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Grimsby Town defences

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Burdyke; Burdike

In the civil parish of Grimsby.
In the historic county of Lincolnshire.
Modern Authority of North East Lincolnshire.
1974 county of Humberside.
Medieval County of Lincolnshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TA266091
Latitude 53.56366° Longitude -0.08975°

Grimsby Town defences has been described as a certain Urban Defence.

There are no visible remains.


Grimsby: Stone Walls; Form unknown; Position largely or wholly unknown; Good documentation; No archaeological excavation on defences known. (Bond)

Two grants of murage were received, in 1261 and 1268. The Bailiff's account rolls of the time of Henry V show small expenditure on the defences. There are no remains. (Turner 1971)

Medieval borough, mentioned in documents dated 1194, 1201, 1202 and 1207. Grimsby was protected by earthen defences of post conquest date. (PastScape. no source given for the statement regarding earthen defences. The sources given refer to The castle of Grimsby)

Medieval Grimsby did not have town walls. It was too small and was protected by the marshy land around it. However the town did have a ditch. (Tim Lambert unreference online essay)

The grants to Grimsby of 1255 (missed by Turner) and 1261 were compound grants for 'amending' the port and for paving and walling of the town. The order in which these are listed may be significant. Generally murage had precedence and for it to be last in the list suggests it may have been added as an after thought. For Grimsby the work on the docks must have had primacy. The grant of 1268 is calendared as a simple grant of murage which may mean that work was now being concentrated on walls or that, for ease of recording, the complex surtax for quayage, pavage and murage is just being recorded as murage. What these grant do show is there was either an intent to have defences or there were existing defences. The town record for small sums spent of the defences means there were defences of some sort by the early C15. Bond appears to have assumed that murage is for stone walls but it could be for dykes and earthen defences (see Barley, 1975 p. 60). The name 'Burdyke', the low precedence of walls in the small number of "murage" grants, the low expenditure on upkeep (although records are not complete) and the lack of remains may all suggest the defences were fundamentally earthen ditches and banks, possibly mainly concerned with flood defence. Osbourne reports C12 pottery was found in the Burdyke and it is entirely probable the Burdyke was in existance before the C13 murage grants.
As with other towns in the Danelaw (notable York) the street names with a 'gate' part (ie. Wellowgate and Cartergate) are derived from the Danish gata meaning street, not the Old English geat meaning a barrier across an entrance. The given map reference here is to the parish church of St James.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:01

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