Oxford was founded in the 9th century when Alfred the Great created a network of fortified towns called burghs across his kingdom. One of these was at Oxford. There may have been a village already existing there or Alfred may have created a new town. The streets of Anglo-Saxon Oxford were in a regular pattern suggesting a new town but we are not certain.
Oxford is first mentioned in 911 when the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a sort of national diary, said: 'King Edward received the burghs of London and Oxford and London with all the lands belonging to them'.
Oxford probably had a market from the time it was made a burgh and it soon became a flourishing town. In the 10th century Oxford had a mint with 4 moneyers (coin makers). But Oxford was a fortress as well as a town. In the event of war with the Danes all the men from the area were to gather inside the burgh.
However this strategy was not entirely successful. In 1009 the Danes burned Oxford. (An easy task since all the buildings were of wood with thatched roofs). However Oxford was soon rebuilt.
Then in 1013 the Danish king claimed the throne of England. He invaded England and went to Oxford where 'the people soon bowed to him and gave hostages'. In 1018 a conference was held in Oxford to decide who would be king of England.