The starting-point for producing this map were several maps produced by
W.J. Petchey in his Ph.D thesis on post-medieval Maldon.
Recent archaeological evidence has identified a small Roman settlement
between the Chelmer and Blackwater. This led to a reinterpretation of
what had previously been assumed to be the earthern ramparts of
Edward the Elder's burh. The two are not
incompatible: if Edward found the remains of Roman defences near the local
settlement (by that time relocated from the Roman site, which had
succumbed to the spread of marshland), it would have been logical enough
to strengthen the perimeter to create a refuge for the community. The
road running westwards through the ramparts led to
Chelmsford and then on
to London. A discussion of evidence for the identification of earthworks
here with the burh is found on the
Maldon Archaeology site. Petchey's map distorts the
size of the circuit somewhat.
This meadow, in the vicinity of the site of the Roman settlement, served
as pasturage for horses, cows and other animals of the townspeople. There
was also at least one lime-kiln here (the noxious nature of kilns making
them unsuitable for location near human habitation).
Although the surviving borough records refer to this timber bridge by
the name of "pontmeldon", the name of the street leading up to it
indicates that it was earlier as far back as Saxon times, judging
from the etymology of the name known as Fullbridge. In the late Middle
Ages, there was a toll for crossing the bridge of 1d. per cart or packhorse
This led down the hill from the marketplace to the Maldon Bridge. Possibly
also known as Stone Hill at one time.
I am not certain of the precise route of this lane, now known as Market Hill, but it
descended from corner of the high street (as it came to be known) where St. Peter's church
stood, to Fullbridge Street. Its initial stretch later accommodated the Buttermarket building.
Causeway to Heybridge
This was a raised road, the land on this side of the Chelmer being flat,
at sea-level and marshy. Built in Saxon times, it connected the bridge
across the Chelmer with another bridge across the Blackwater in the manor
of Heybridge. The causeway was maintained by the borough.
All Saints' church
Its existence is documented in the late 12th century, when the king
confirmed Beeleigh Abbey's ownership of it. Although apparently the last
of the churches built at Maldon, it became the principal church of the
town; Robert Darcy established a chantry
there. The original building was probably of modest size, but it was
expanded in the early 14th century.
St. Peter's church
This appears to have been the original church in the settlement at
Maldon, serving a small community of traders and craftsmen by at least
the end of the 9th century. In 1189 it, along with All Saints, was
confirmed as belonging to the abbey. A gild dedicated to the Virgin
Mary was founded there in the early 15th century. The church stood at
the junction of the high street and St. Peter's Lane.
St. Mary's church
Founded in mid-11th century, to serve those who had settled near the
quayside, it is later indicated as belonging to St. Martin-le-Grand's,
The Carmelites had established a house in Maldon by 1293, and are seen
enlarging their holding in 1314. According to Morant they settled in Maldon
in 1292, at the initiative of the Bishop of London.
It was here that all wholesale deals were made with outsiders bringing
goods by water; before they could sell their cargoes, outsiders first
had to go to the Moothall to obtain a licence and make it publicly known
what goods they had sell. Townsmen could re-sell the goods they bought
at the Hythe, but only in the marketplace or from the shops that were
part of their residences (i.e. they couldn't resell them at the Hythe
itself). Porters offered a service of carrying merchandize to the
town centre, or elsewhere to townspeople's houses. In addition to the
communal quay, parts of the waterfront were also given over to private
quays and warehouses, mostly belonging to local lords. When the earliest
surviving borough records mention the town quay in 1386, it clearly was
not new. There had been a crane there for twenty years previous. And a
warehouse for protecting the goods of the merchants of the town was built
in the 15th century. The 16th century recension of the custumal reveals
that one of the prominent features at the Hythe was heaps of coal that
townsmen bought from merchants bringing that commodity from Newcastle;
townsmen were required to buy a licence from the town authorities for
their coal-heap (at the cost of 12d. a heap in 1447, when there were
12 heaps). Another feature that must also have been "noticeable" was
The presence of a mint by mid-10th century indicates that Maldon must
have had a marketplace at that date, perhaps on the same location as
in the late medieval boroughm or possibly further west, closer to the burh.
The marketplace was the principal site for
retailing victuals and other necessaries. Except in the case of meat,
goods were to be sold only in the morning and very early afternoon; a
bell perhaps that hung at one end of the Moothall, in 1408, although
more probably the bell in All Saints would be rung to signal the
close of trading. A row of stalls in the middle of the street on the
east side of the marketplace was the butchery; one duty of the market
custodians appointed by the borough was to wash the blood of butchered
animals off the street. This was the only authorized place for the
sale of meat in the town, making it easier for the authorities to
supervise the trade. There is reference in 1407 to a shop in "le
draperie"; where this was in relation to the town centre is not certain, but
it was probably what was later known as Mercery Row, within the marketplace.
Dunghills were at this location, referred to on occasion as "town's end".
Recent research has shown that the location of this structure should be a little
further east than represented on the map above, just south of All Saints church.
[J.R. Smith, "Maldon’s Old Moot Hall and Market Place: a reinterpretation,"
Transactions of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History, ser.4,
vol.8 (2017) p.107]. As part of his concessions in 1403,
the bishop gave the burgesses a house with solar over it to use as their moothall
it had perhaps originally been built to serve manorial administration.
The assembly room/courthouse was on the upper level. On the lower level, as was
common with many early town halls, were shops at least 4 which were
rented out to townsmen. The common chest, holding the treasury, was
in the vestibule (although in 1467/68 it was being kept in the house of one
of the bailiffs of that year, and the contents were inspected by bailiffs,
chamberlains and council). A second chest, called "le countour"
containing court rolls and the standard measures (for keeping the
assizes), along with the seals for
stamping approved measures of private citizens, was in the assembly room.
The chests were locked, and the authorities were careful to keep track of
who had custody of the keys. From 1576 administrative functions were transferred
to another building, further along the High Street and also known as Darcy's Tower,
after which the original but dilapidated administration building was spoken of as the Old Moothall.
Saracen's Head tavern
It is not common to find mention by name of many taverns in medieval Maldon.
This one, however, was named on several occasions and was one of the
properties owned by the community and leased out to taverners.
This was the site of the residence Robert
Darcy esq. had built in the 1430s, which (after substantial rebuilding)
became the town's post-medieval moothall.
Bishop's Castle Field
The name is intriguing.
Tenters were structures on which cloth was stretched, for drying and
bleaching, as part of the overall dyeing and finishing process. In the
town's 1413 rental "le Teyntourhawe" was being leased to John Sele and,
since "hawe" could mean simply an enclosed area, may refer to this field;
however, we also hear of other "Teyntourplaces" being leased out.
In 1413 this was one of the fields that the borough was leasing out to
a private citizen; it comprised 18 acres. Another field, of 5 acres,
was called the Upper Mill Field.
Another of the fields being leased out by the borough in 1413, it comprised