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The Battle of Benfleet

What were once the wild marshy banks of the river Thames have today become so tamed and subdued that I doubt locals from even a hundred years ago would recognise them in present day. Over the past few centuries flood defences turned the marshes to fields and from fields to urban sprawl.

Today it seems strange to think that thousands of people drive through the site of a Viking fort on their way on and off of Canvey Island every day, and whilst I'm sure most are aware of the Viking memorial placed by the side of road, I suspect few really know just how important the battle of Benfleet really was to our nation's history.

The Context For H├Žstan's Invasion
The first Viking raids on England occurred in 836 but they would become an issue for the English for hundreds of years to come. Comparatively, Essex saw very little of the conflicts compared with other parts of England like Wessex, Mercia and Northumbria, but there are still a number of significant Anglo-Danish battle sites…

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