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Byrhtnoth's Last Essex Visit

79 km / 49 miles

Essex
Ealdoram Byrhtnoth was a veteran East Saxon hero who lost his life leading his countrymen against Viking raiders at the battle of Maldon on 11 August 991, that is remembered in Anglo-Saxon poetry and in Maldon’s 1991 Battle Millenium Tapestry. Byrhtnoth was summoned from distant Ely by Maldonian’s concerned that their new burh (castle) might not be enough to defend them against a splinter group of Viking raiders camped nearby on Northey Island in the estuary, after the main group had sacked Gippeswyck (Ipswich) and sailed home. Recruiting as he marched from Ely at harvest time, the six-foot warrior may have used valley routes close to the Great Ouse to Cambridge and the Cam to reach Great Chesterford where the current route starts at the entry to the then East Saxon Kingdom, now Essex.

It follows the Cam valley to Saffron Walden, crossing into the Pant river valley and then near Wimbish to the river Chelmer valley that it follows south via Thaxted and Great Dunmow to Chelmsford. Here the Chelmer turns east, joining the Blackwater (Panta in Roman times) to reach the head of the Blackwater estuary at Maldon, where the site of the battle is finally reached. While the walk's route follows the second part of Byrhtnoth's conjectured route, for those wishing to complete the full journey from Ely, the author, Laurence Taylor, suggests using the Fen Rivers Way from Ely to Cambridge and part of the West Anglian Way (Cambridge to Cheshunt) using its Great Chesterford alternative, in all an additional 36 miles or so, with OS Landranger 143 or Explorer 226 additonally needed.

Links include West Anglian Way/Fen Rivers Way and Essex Way, Icknield Way Path and Centenary Circle (of Chelmsford)


Details:

Path Type
Other Paths
Attributes
Heritage
Start
TL502427 - Great Chesterford, Essex
View on StreetMap
Finish
TL860054 - Maldon, Essex
View on StreetMap
Open Date
2005

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

Booklet
Byrhtnoth's Last Essex Visit (Derek Keeble - 2006)
Looseleaf
West Anglian Way (Cambridge Group Ramblers)

Maps:

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Paths Marked on OS mapping
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Hotels
Self-catering
Other

 
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
OS Landranger
154167168
OS Landranger Active
154167168
OS Explorer
176183195209
OS Explorer Active
176183195209

Accommodation within 5 Km of this Path:

 
 
From Path
Along Path
Hotels
Duxford Lodge Hotel  (bookable online)
4 Km
< 1 Km
Hotels
The Crown House  (bookable online)
< 1 Km
< 1 Km
Hotels
Saffron Hotel  (bookable online)
< 1 Km
7 Km
Other
Puttocks Farm B & B  (bookable online)
3 Km
33 Km
Self-catering
The Lodge  (bookable online)
3 Km
39 Km
Hotels
Boswell House Hotel  (bookable online)
< 1 Km
57 Km

Click to show 3 more Accommodations


Connected Paths:


Downloads:


Route Profile:

80.7 Km (50.1 miles)
587 m (1,926 ft) ascent
125 m (410 ft)  maximum height