Another Anglo-Saxon burial ground that’s also a treasure trove….

  Exciting finds are still being unearthed, this time another Anglo-Saxon burial ground that is proviing to be a trove of treasure and information. “….The site, in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, contained 138 graves, with 141 regular burials and five cremation burials, which makes it one of the largest Anglo-Saxon burial grounds ever uncovered in Britain….” “….Items… Continue reading Another Anglo-Saxon burial ground that’s also a treasure trove….

Digging for Treasure

There are several interesting archaeology series on television and Channel Five has now joined in with an ensemble programme, headed by two familiar personalities (Dan Walker and Michaela Strachan) and a similarly ubiquitous chief archaeologist (Raksha Dave), but with more of an emphasis on metal detecting for the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme, including Roman… Continue reading Digging for Treasure

Were the English, Welsh, Irish and Scots once all Celts…?

  I haven’t read Sir Simon Jenkins’ book The Celts: A Sceptical History, and to be honest I don’t think I’m likely to. Like Jenkins, I too am half-Welsh and half-English, but I don’t fancy being descended from “sociable sailors”. What’s the old saying about sailors having a girl in every port? I should imagine… Continue reading Were the English, Welsh, Irish and Scots once all Celts…?

Athelstan–Our Greatest Monarch?

A recent poll searching for Britain’s ‘Greatest Monarch’, came up with the surprise winner of… drum roll, King Athelstan. Not that the Anglo-Saxon king wasn’t so great, but the winner is a little surprising since most people seem to have believed the ‘crown’ would go to Elizabeth I. (Yawn!) I hope the voters actually remembered… Continue reading Athelstan–Our Greatest Monarch?

Marc Morris on mediaeval television programmes and films …

… programmes and films about the Middle Ages, not actually made during them – which would require an even greater advance that the Viking discovery of America before Columbus … Here he discusses: The Game of Thrones (2013), Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves (1991), Ironclad (2013), The Last Kingdom (2015), Vikings (2013), Braveheart (1995)

A pedant writes…

In the aftermath of certain historical novels I have read recently, I should like to give the following information, in the hope it will be helpful to authors, editors (if they still exist) and indeed readers. SLAVERY – Although slavery was quite common in England in Anglo-Saxon times, it was became less usual after the… Continue reading A pedant writes…

Returning to Sutton Hoo

The Mid Anglia branch of the Richard III society met at Woodbridge railway station and drove to the National Trust’s Sutton Hoo. Sutton Hoo, made famous this year by the release of Netflix’s “The Dig”, starring Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan, is the site of the Royal burial ground of East Anglia’s 6th, 7th and… Continue reading Returning to Sutton Hoo

Richard’s other Anglo-Saxon ancestry, inter alia

Richard’s ancient ancestors was composed a few years ago to illustrate Richard III’s descent from heroes of the home nations: Alfred the Great (many times over, but two divergent lines soon afterwards), Malcolm III (Canmore), Llewellyn Fawr and Brian Boru.Slides 2-3 show not just the well-known connection through Edmund II (Ironside), St. Margaret of Wessex and… Continue reading Richard’s other Anglo-Saxon ancestry, inter alia

This Union: The Ghost Kingdoms of England

This is an excellent series on BBC4 about the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms that eventually evolved to fill the vacuum left by departure of the Roman legions. In the first episode, Ian Hislop visits East Anglia, particularly Colchester, Ipswich and Sutton Hoo, viewing some coins with Philip Wise and hearing about the Wuffingas, apparently descended from a… Continue reading This Union: The Ghost Kingdoms of England

My reaction to Lucy Worsley’s Christmas Carol Odyssey….

Sometimes the stories behind our much-loved Christmas carols are quite disheartening, involving as they do national and international strife and religious rivalry that was both bloody and filled with hatred. Yet every year we sing the resultant carols with joy. The reactions of the human race are sometimes contradictory. To say the least! I am… Continue reading My reaction to Lucy Worsley’s Christmas Carol Odyssey….