Contact your local branch for assistance



Get an accurate property valuation, with just a few details…


Close up of handle on blue door - Dedham - Beresfords Estate agents - Essex

Little Known Facts – Maldon

By The Beresfords Marketing Team - 23 March 201

It is now over a thousand years since the battle of Maldon took place near the town in the year 991. It is generally thought that the battle took place near the causeway to Northey Island on the shores of the River Blackwater, referred to in the poem as the 'Panta'.

The poem was probably written at the end of the tenth century, and it is one of the most famous writings in Old English which have survived. Unfortunately, the manuscript, which was in the collection of Sir Robert Bruce Cotton, was destroyed in a fire in 1731, but a transcript had been made - although the beginning and end of the poem have been lost.

In the battle, the Vikings, under their leader Anlaf, try to land at Maldon after a series of raids along the Essex coast. Here they are confronted by a substantial Anglo-Saxon force, led by Earl Byrhtnoth (or Beorhtnoth, but whose name is now commonly modernised as Brithnoth). The Vikings demand payment as the price of their withdrawal, but Brithnoth scorns the idea and rejects the offer with contempt.

The battle has to wait because of the rising tide. When the tide ebbs, Brithnoth allows the Vikings to cross the river in order to fight on the surrounding land. The Essex men at first stand firm against the invaders, but when Brithnoth is killed by a poisoned spear, some of the defenders panic and flee. The others stand by Brithnoth's body, and fight to the last.

Nowadays the only battle you may see in Maldon is at the annual mud race where hundreds of people from around the world come together to sprint, plod or even crawl across the mud of the River Blackwater to raise money for charity. The race usually takes place at the end of December, although the 2010 event has been postponed to the 25th April 2011 due to icy mud conditions! This event is fully subscribed but spectators are always welcome and it’s a great family day out. Further information can be found at

We use cookies to enhance your experience of this site by saving your preferences.
Please let us know you agree to the use of cookies…