Even where Romano-British culture continued, the imperial economy which sustained urban life had collapsed.
Meanwhile the Vikings were founding their own boroughs.Others were new creations, often beside a royal castle, such as Roxburgh.New towns continued to spring up in the 13th century, for example Salisbury, created to serve the new cathedral begun in 1220.Falmouth in Cornwall was established by the swashbuckling Sir John Killigrew of Arwenack House, long occupied by his family and now within the town. Whitehaven, Cumbria, also owes its existence to a local landowner, but this time a newcomer.Sir Christopher Lowther purchased the estate of the former Priory of St Bees in 1630 and in 1634 built a stone pier at the fishing hamlet of Whitehaven. So a good site might be on a bend in a navigable river, or beside a river crossing. In those of our historic towns not too mangled by Blitz or boom, you can trace the growth from medieval core through belts of Georgian, Victorian and modern buildings, almost like tree rings. The date and magnificence of churches, public buildings and places of entertainment give other clues to the periods of greatest prosperity.