Statue of Saxon hero who fought against the Vikings, in Promenade Park

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One of the highlights of a walk around Promenade Park is to walk along the extension, which stretches out into the water (or the mud) and leads to a seating area at the end. There you can also see at close hand the statue of famous Saxon leader Byrhtnoth (sometimes written as Brythnoth, Brithnoth, Britnoth or Byrthnoth) who fought back against a Viking invasion. Ultimately he lost, but his bravery in battle was commemorated in the epic Old English poem The Battle of Maldon.

The battle was fought in 991AD, and following the thousand-year anniversary, The Maldon Culture Company raised around £100,0000 to commission a lasting memorial to the district's hero, and artist John Doubleday was commissioned to create a statue of the great warrior which was unveiled in 2006. The inscription at the base of the statue states:

"Byrhtnoth, represented by the figure standing on this monument, was the principal voice in rejecting the policy of appeasement which dominated the court of King Ethelred in the closing years of the 10th century. The leading military figure of his time; he was probably aged 68 when he confronted the vikings at the Battle of Maldon. He surrendered his life in defence of the people, religion and way of life represented in the lower relief panel of the column. Above it you will see aspects of the battle in which he died. Around the base is a quotation from his final prayer
as recorded in the surviving fragment of the poem The Battle of Maldon." TThat prayer was "Grant me Lord Thy grace" along with the date of his death, on 10 August 991.

The lifesize (6.4m) statue of the warrior in full battle armour and with a raised sword stands on a 2.5m plinth and is cast in bronze. The artist, local sculptor John Doubleday, is famous for his statues of Charlie Chaplin in London's Leicester Square and Sherlock Holmes in Baker Street, as well as for a statue in Witham of the novelist Dorothy L Sayers. You can find out more about his work at www.johndoubleday.co.uk

To find out more about the Battle of Maldon, and read some of the original poem, you can visit www.battleofmaldon.org.uk.

Photos by Miriam Sidebottom.

Map & Directions

Statue of Byrhtnoth

Type:Sculpture

Promenade Park, Park Drive, Maldon, CM9 5JQ

Opening Times

* At all times

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