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Witham

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Essex  /  Witham
Witham is a town in the county of Essex in the East of England, with a population (2011 census) of 25,353. It is part of the District of Braintree and is twinned with the town of Waldbröl, Germany. Witham stands between the city of Chelmsford (8 miles to the south-west) and the town of Colchester (13 miles to the north-east), on the Roman road between the two. The River Brain runs through the town and joins the River Blackwater just outside.HistoryEarly historyExcavations by Essex County Council field archaeological unit at the recent Maltings Lane development discovered evidence of Neolithic occupation at Witham, including human remains and several trackways across ancient marsh. Excavations of the Witham Lodge (Ivy Chimneys) area of the town in the 1970s unveiled remains of a Roman temple as well as a pottery kiln. This would have been alongside the main Roman road from Colchester to London and used as a stopover point on the long journey. Another notable find during the excavation was a votive offering pool in the grounds of the temple, containing several artefacts that would have been offered to the gods. In 913, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Edward the Elder marched from Hertford to reconquer Essex, and encamped in Witham on his route to set up a base at Maldon. Witham's position on the Roman road in relation to the major Viking army based at Colchester was the most likely reason for this, and it would have effectively cut Essex in two.
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