History of Maldon

The district of Maldon in Essex is an area that is full of history. The district itself was formed in 1974 to bring together the town of Maldon, Burnham on Crouch and what is known as the Maldon Rural District comprising a range of other towns, villages and land.

It is thought that the first settlers to the district came in the Bronze Age and settled to the north of what is now the town of Maldon. The area’s salt marshes made this a popular area and salt has been harvested in the Maldon district since 500BC from the Blackwater and Crouch river areas.

The Romans also lived in this area for a period and built a fort at the mouth of the Blackwater river to protect the area from Saxon invaders. Visitors here can also visit St Peter on the Wall which was established by St Cedd in the 650s - it is now considered to be one of the oldest churches in England that still has much of its original building materials in place.

The area saw much activity during the Viking age. The district as a whole was a rich prize given its salt and maritime benefits so was attacked fairly frequently. In the 900s the king Edward the Elder camped in the town of Maldon to try and hold back the Vikings. The district held out until the Battle of Maldon in the 990s which the Vikings finally won.

Another advantage to the district was its proximity to the coast and as years progressed Maldon became a maritime hub - the town of Maldon itself was an important trading port for many centuries and trade was carried out here both to Europe and along the east coast of England. In later years the ports here did a lot of agricultural trade with London via Maldon barges. Nowadays, however, the remaining Maldon barges are used for leisure purposes and the area has strong sailing connections.