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Byrhtnoth's Last Visit


82 km / 51 miles
Ealdorman 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 Maldonians concerned that their new burh (fortified settlement) 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. The walk ends at the causeway to Northey Island, close to the site of the battle.


Path Type: Other Paths
Attributes: Heritage
Start: TL504426 - Great Chesterford, Essex View on StreetMap
Finish: TL869056 - Maldon, Essex View on StreetMap
Open Date: 2005

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

Route Description - PDF Byrhtnoth's Last Visit  (Derek Keeble  - 2020 ) Download File
Route Description - PDF Corduroy Country Strides  (Derek Keeble  - 2020 ) Download File


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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 154, 167, 168
OS Landranger Active 154, 167, 168
OS Explorer 176, 183, 195, 209
OS Explorer Active 176, 183, 195, 209

Connected Paths:


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GPX Route File
MemoryMap Route File
Byrhtnoth's Last Essex Visit Memory Map Route File
Last Updated 29/03/2021 21:19:07
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Tracklogs Route File
Byrhtnoth's Last Essex Visit Tracklogs Route File
Last Updated 29/03/2021 21:19:07
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Route Profile:

82.1 km (51.0 miles)
608 m (1,995 ft) ascent
125 m (410 ft)  maximum height

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