A Saxon Burh

A burh is a fortified site, a defended town or hillfort.
They were created by King Alfred and his successors
as an organised response to the marauding Vikings.

The boundaries of some modern boroughs can be
traced back to the Anglo-Saxon burhs that preceded
them, and in the case of some fortified towns, even
the street layout remains intact.

Some were built on or near the remains of Roman
settlements, and it is to the remains of Roman
Wilderspool, in Warrington, that we look for the
possible location of this burh.

To try to establish not only the location, but also the
reason for the burh, we chose to have a three-part
shot which encompassed threat, then defense, then the burh.

 
                 
 

To this end we realised we would need a large
landscape, somewhat simplified, and a more
detailed model of the burh which may have
occupied a mound in the Stockton Heath area,
possibly an earlier hillfort.

Off in the middle-distance is a bend in the
River Mersey. On this bend we chose to show a
burning village, with a Viking raiding ship moored off
the bank. You can see these things by moving your
mouse-cursor over the image on the left.

We set the camera to physically pull-back across
part of the scene, so we fly past the burh, but for the
opening few seconds we used a zoom-out as well
to go from the burning village and Viking ship to the
wider view.

 
                 

Not content with burning one of their
villages, we also decided to have the
weather turn miserable and raining!

On the right is a screengrab of the
particle simulation for the burning village,
and on the far right is the simulation for
the rainfall.

It's important to maintain the camera's
tilt and pan and zoom during this so that
the rainfall appears to match the main
shot when composited.

 
                 

   

Hopefully the Viking ship was
sighted coming up the estuary
and the villagers had time to take
shelter in the burh.

Click the link on the right to see
the final shot.

 

 

 

Click Here to see the Final Burh Shot!

 

 

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