London’s Greatest Bridges (with Rob Bell)

The series began at London Bridge itself. From an engineering perspective, Bell explained that the wooden Claudian bridge was the first across the Thames , built on no fewer than twenty-nine artificial islands, making it very difficult to negotiate. It was replaced with a very similar stone unit by Henry II. The Haberdashers were very… Continue reading London’s Greatest Bridges (with Rob Bell)

The Vinland Map, fact or fiction….?

“….The Vinland Map carries with it the air of mystery and, some would say, the stench of deception. In the vaults of Yale University, and insured for $25 Million, it is either a colossal fraud or an artefact of unparalleled value. The map appeared on the scene in 1957 when a couple of shady characters… Continue reading The Vinland Map, fact or fiction….?

Even more “Britain’s Most Historic Towns”

Alice Roberts has been back on our screens with a third series of the above. This time, she visited (Mediaeval) Lincoln, (Restoration) London, (Naval) Portsmouth, (Elizabethan) Plymouth, (Steam Age) Glasgow, (Georgian) Edinburgh and (Industrial Revolution) Manchester, albeit not in chronological order like the two previous series. There was a focus on Nicola de la Haye… Continue reading Even more “Britain’s Most Historic Towns”

Columbus didn’t discover America, Henry Tudor got there first . . . !

I know this book (cover pictured below) is serious, well researched and is no doubt an excellent read . . . but come ON, forget Columbus, the Vikings and early Irish holy men, we all know Henry VII got there first, on his way to settle the small obstacle of Richard III. The Tudor proboscis… Continue reading Columbus didn’t discover America, Henry Tudor got there first . . . !

Henry Tudor Sailed the Oceans Blue?

In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Henry Tudor Sailed the Oceans Blue?  No, no, we all know that’s NOT the way the rhyme goes…however, apparently, some publishers do not know the difference between the English king and the explorer Christopher Columbus. A picture of Henry VII, labelled as Columbus, recently appeared in a child’s history textbook… Continue reading Henry Tudor Sailed the Oceans Blue?

Witchcraft (4): Witchcraft American Style

Why do the Salem Witch Trials continue to fascinate after three hundred and twenty five years?  Why do tourists and locals, wiccans, witches, warlocks and wizards continue to walk the crowded streets of this pretty little seaside city in Massachusetts in search of magic and mayhem?  What propels them to stroll the narrow streets, licking… Continue reading Witchcraft (4): Witchcraft American Style

Witchcraft (3): Matthew Hopkins

If the witchcraft trials at North Berwick in the 1590s and later in England, of which Pendle in 1610 is an example, happened because James VI/I fervently believed in witchcraft, as shown by the three characters in Macbeth, it can be argued that the subsequent decline in such cases came because judges and Charles I… Continue reading Witchcraft (3): Matthew Hopkins