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HER Number (PRN):08251
Name:Burh at Chirbury
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:Conservation Area: Chirbury

Monument Type(s):

  • BURH (Late Saxon - 915 AD to 915 AD)


The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the construction of a burh at Chirbury (Cyricbyrig) in 915.

Parish:Chirbury with Brompton, South Shropshire, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SO29NE
Grid Reference:SO 260 984

Related records

00498Parent of: Ringwork and cultivation remains 260m W of St Michael's Church, Chirbury (Monument)
08481Part of: Pre-Conquest settlement of Chirbury (Monument)

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA4724 - 1958 Excavation of ringwork at Chirbury by F T Wainwright
  • ESA5524 - 1999-2000 Historic landscape characterisation of Bro Trefaldwyn (Ref: CPAT 761)
  • ESA5528 - 2003 Excavations at Chirbury Priory by Porth y Waen Study Centre/ SAP Archaeology


The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the construction of a burh at Chirbury (Cyricbyrig) in 915. The ringwork west of Chirbury [PRN 00498] was formerly recorded on the SMR as the most likely site for the burh, but more recent material suggests that this is unlikely. A new record for the burh has therefore been created. Two possible point locations are marked on the SMR: at the ringwork (unlikely); and at the heart of the settlement itself (likely, but no attempt has been made at present to map the possible area of the burh) <1>

A note on the 1959 excavations at the ringwork site, interpreted by the excavator as the burh. Considered to be the fortress built by Aethelflaed in AD915 at Cyricbyrig. Excavation revealed a slight rampart of thrown up earth and stones: there was no sign of a palisade; a small ditch associated with it was apparently designed for drainage rather than for defence. Defensive arrangements had the appearance of being unfinished or, of never having been used. Examination of interior confirmed that it was never permanently occupied. No late Saxon/ early Medieval pottery found on site. No positive archaeological date for enclosure. Reasons given for assigning a C10 date to the fortress <2>

The context for the creation of the burh at Chirbury was defence of the Mercian border not against the Welsh but against Viking attack during the Danish wars. The 1950s excavations [at the ringwork site] produced no evidence of a Saxon date and showed it was only lightly defended. Suggests that the burh was a much larger enclosure than the medieval ringwork, and was built around the village on an axis parallel with its roads <4>

Worthington Margaret & Cooper Roger, 2003, Preliminary report on excavations during 2003 [at Chirbury] (Excavation report). SSA21366.

<01> Gathercole E Clare, 1999/ 2002, Comments by SMR compiler in SMR database, 21/01/2004 (SMR comment). SSA20725.

<02> Wainwright F T, 1960, Article in Shropshire Newsletter (Article in serial). SSA2132.

<03> Wainwright F T, 1959, Paper in The Anglo Saxons (Article in monograph). SSA2131.

<04> Britnell William J et 2 al, 2000, Bro Trefaldwyn historic landscape: historic landscape characterisation, p75 (Historic landscape survey report). SSA21363.


---SSA21366 - Excavation report: Worthington Margaret & Cooper Roger. 2003. Preliminary report on excavations during 2003 [at Chirbury].
[01]SSA20725 - SMR comment: Gathercole E Clare. 1999/ 2002. Comments by SMR compiler in SMR database. 21/01/2004.
[02]SSA2132 - Article in serial: Wainwright F T. 1960. Article in Shropshire Newsletter. Shropshire Newsl. No 10. p1.
[03]SSA2131 - Article in monograph: Wainwright F T. 1959. Paper in The Anglo Saxons. The Anglo Saxons. Clemoes.
[04]SSA21363 - Historic landscape survey report: Britnell William J et 2 al. 2000. Bro Trefaldwyn historic landscape: historic landscape characterisation. CPAT Rep. 356. p75.
Date Last Edited:Jan 28 2019 10:36AM