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…?
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…
Dublin Castle through history….
The Normans didn’t only conquer mainland Britain, but—as Anglo-Normans—crossed the Irish Sea to eject the Vikings from their settlement in what is now Dublin. The remains of the Viking settlement have been excavated beneath the present castle. To read about Viking Dublin, go here. One thing led to another and in the 13th century… Continue reading Dublin Castle through history….
The outstanding exception in the “Cambridgeshire” six….!
Well, it’s true, I don’t know many of the six Cambridgeshire castles that are listed in this article . Many of them disappeared very early on in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and hill forts aren’t something about which I know a great deal anyway. Poor old Cambridge Castle suffered the ignominy of having a Shire… Continue reading The outstanding exception in the “Cambridgeshire” six….!
Two mediaeval logboats have been found in the River Boyne
In a case of underwater archaeology, this RTE article describes how Anthony Murphy discovered the logboats near Drogheda, with a drone. It can be compared to the Newport Ship, but is potentially a thousand years older.
The history of castles….
We all love early castles. Well, we can love those from later ages, but they don’t have quite the same cachet as those wonderful old fortresses that always make us gasp when we see them. But how did they evolve? And why did they become obsolete except as tourist attractions and scenic splendours? This article… Continue reading The history of castles….
The Traitor’s Arms?
In 1840 workmen carrying out repairs to St Bartholomew’s Church, Ashperton, Herefordshire were collecting stones from the ruins of a nearby manor house when they discovered a heavy stone plaque, carved with an elaborate coat of arms, among the rubble. The stone was taken to the church for safekeeping and has hung on the wall… Continue reading The Traitor’s Arms?
SARUM LIGHTS–A COMMEMORATION
2020 is the 800th Anniversary of the founding of Salisbury Cathedral. Before ‘New Salisbury’ came into existence, the town stood on the windy cone of Old Sarum, a huge iron-age hillfort with massive earthen ramparts. There was a particularly forbidding Norman castle on the height, with a windswept bridge over a deep moat–here, Henry II… Continue reading SARUM LIGHTS–A COMMEMORATION
London: 2000 years of history (channel 5)
Who let Dan Jones out? At least, as in his last outing, he is accompanied both by a historian (Suzannah Lipscomb) and an engineer (Rob Bell), narrating and illustrating almost two millennia of the city’s past. In the first episode, we were taken through the walled city of “Londinium” being built and rebuilt after Boudicca’s… Continue reading London: 2000 years of history (channel 5)
The Champernownes of Devon
The Champernownes (above), a Norman line whose alternative spellings include Chapman and Chamberlain, are surely Devon’s second family after the Courtenays of Powderham Castle, who hold the Earldom. From 1162, their (Domesday Book-cited) home was at Chambercombe Manor near Ilfracombe (middle right) but, by the early sixteenth century, this had passed to Henry Grey, Duke of… Continue reading The Champernownes of Devon