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to distinguish it from other ham-tuns, especially from the one in Mercia (Northampton) when that kingdom was annexed to Wessex in 920.
1 The site of this Saxon town has been pretty accurately ascertained to have been the district on this side of the Itches extending from where 8. Mary's Church now stands northward as far as the present St. Matthew's Church. It is also probable that during and perhaps before the Eoman occupation a British settlement stood on the same spot.
As to the construction of the town in these early days we may imagine a wooden-built town or home—such as was usual, the very word build being timbrian, to construct of timbor (timber)—surrounded by its enclosure or tun, i.e. a rampart of earth with a wooden stockade, outside all being a ditch.
This Saxon town of Old-Hampton suffered severely from time to time from the incursion of the Danes, and many are the stories of these northern raids; as in 837, 860, 980, 981 and again in 994, when Southampton was made the head-quarters of the Danes and Nor-weigians, who, under Svein and Olaf their leaders ravaged the kingdom and laid Beige to London.
It may have been from the weakness of its position or from the knowledge that hard by existed a spot more capable of defence, or it may have been from other motives, but certain it is that eventually the site of the town was changed and New Hampton built on the ground now covered by our modern Southampton. When this migration took place is uncertain, but the probability is that it was early in the 11th century, in the settled times of good King Cnut the Dane, whose memory has been associated with the town.
: Who has not heard of King Cnut commanding the waves to retire at his command? The year, month, day, hour are unknown when, surrounded by his
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