No, I hadnt heard that, but it does make sense. Is it the shore forts only?
Or, maybe this is a referrence to the forts built as a defense against the Danes/Northmen in the time of Aethelred? But these would have been inland along the border of the former "Danelaw" wouldnt it?
What started out as a series of actual forts might have just evolved into storage sites, and trading places. Here, taxes may have been paid and stored, guarded by the huscarls or some trustworthy minor noble. I suppose some extra weapons and plunder/loot might have been stored under guard as well. I wonder if these were used as "hundred" forts?
These stone shore forts would have been a little tough for unsophisticated forces of a small raiding force to crack. The Saxons might have used the similar strategies of those used in Ireland with the round towers, such as the one on Devinsih Island. Whatever goods were stored in there would have been safe enough from a small raid, who wouldnt want to stop and lay siege to one of these. Only a large raid with siege machines would want to tackle one?
Or, if one were to have to fort up for a while and let a Danish force blow past on thier way somewhere else, the defenders would need supplies already in storage there. These Saxon shore forts may have been multi-use places. Its hard to tell.
Are you talking specifically about shore forts, or inland forts as well? These being stone forts from the time of Aethelred?
I have often allowed myself a flight of fancy in wondering how my own family name came to be. Stanbery was in the old world Stanboro. It got changed when we came to America for whatever reason I dont know.
Stanboro is a form of the Saxon word "Stan" for stone, and "Burh" or "Burg" for fort or fortress. Its an unusual name, isnt it. The Saxons didnt commonly use surnames, that was a Norman introduction, I assume. I never really did figure how we came to be called this?
I found a couple of referrences to the places associated with the name in the Doomsday book. There was a Stanborough hundred which had been an earlier name in the Doomsday book. I have no idea what it all means. I think that it had been an iron age fort of some kind. http://www.paribus.co.uk/cia/viewPla...1a003b0f720066
I didnt know what a hundred was, as in Stanborough hundred, so I looked it up on wiki. This is what I got... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred...ry_subdivision
Looks like a hundred was an old Saxon term of a territory which could produce 100 families, or 100 men at arms (unclear which), and was goverened by a constable. Looks like a hundred was similar to what we in America would consider a small county.So, Im wondering if every hundred had one of these stone forts as a kind of base from which to operate from? These small forts might have been like a county seat, a place of governance at the small level? Maybe this is what the shore forts you mentioned were about? They might have served the same purpose and the other hundred forts inland? Just that where there was a need great enough, they were built of stone?
We Americans are often at a loss in understanding this ancient European stuff that Europeans would commonly just know. But it is fascinating to learn about this stuff and try to sort it all out. Of course, we add 2 and 2 and sometimes come up with 22 when dealing with trying to figure out what small forts were for, what is a hundred, where did my family name come from, etc.I guess what I am trying to say in my own muddled up (as usual) way is that while researching my family name and trying to figure out what it meant, I came up on these little terms like the stone forts and the hundred system.. But I find it very interesting and it has a grab on me.
But as yet, I have no idea how we came to be called such an unusual name. It was hard to learn how to spell in the 1st grade. All the other kids had easy names, while I had this crazy name that didnt even sound like a word.??? I wished then that I could have just been named "Brown" or something less odd. But hey, what's in a name?
You are right about the theory of the shore forts. Some old theories have a way of getting modified in the light of archeology. It will be interesting to see what the future tells us about the Saxon forts.