The Great British Dig – History in Your Garden

This excellent series began with a pilot last April, with Hugh Dennis and three archaeologists looking for a Roman settlement on the site of a former inn in Maidstone’s Florence Road. It resumed in February with the small team moving to Benwell, Newcastle, to locate a Hadrian’s Wall fort, followed by a Viking burial ground… Continue reading The Great British Dig – History in Your Garden

How did those Canterbury pilgrims hear at the back…?

There is something that has always puzzled me about Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: if there were up to thirty pilgrims (which is what’s reckoned) how on earth could one of them (at a time)tell a tale that the other twenty-nine could hear? In the text Chaucer has his pilgrims point out places they’re passing, so it… Continue reading How did those Canterbury pilgrims hear at the back…?

A visible difference

This Mail on Sunday interview with Jonathan Rhys Meyers is sadly, mostly about his current personal problems. However, one or two paragraphs towards the end, should be of interest: But it was his lead role in TV drama The Tudors, as the criminally charismatic Henry VIII, that made everyone take note, even though Rhys Meyers… Continue reading A visible difference

Raedwald again

Basil Brown’s work at Sutton Hoo, on secondment from Ipswich Museum, began in summer 1938 and reached “Mound One” today in 1939. In time, he explored the many mounds on that site, one of which probably includes the remains of Raedwald, King of East Anglia to about 624 and Bretwalda of England from 616. Raedwald,… Continue reading Raedwald again

Talbot Country

There is a pub in Bridgnorth, near where I live. Well, let’s be honest, there’s about a hundred. If you have ever been to Bridgnorth, aside from the Severn Valley Railway, the funicular railway from Low Town to High Town and the remains of the slighted castle, which lean at a greater angle than the… Continue reading Talbot Country

Discovered in Norwich

Whilst visiting Norwich to see the Whitefriars plaque to Lady Eleanor Talbot, Richard’s sister-in-law, in Tomblands near the Cathedral, I happened to take lunch in a particular hostelry, the Glass House. It is principally named for the city’s stained glass industry and various panels, also commemorate the author Harriet Martineau, the rebel Robert Kett, Cotman… Continue reading Discovered in Norwich

So where exactly is “Orwell”?

Harwich Town station is the end of the line, a twenty-five minute ride from Manningtree and the north-eastern extremity of Essex. As you cross the main road from the station car park, turning left takes you past a series of old buildings with Harwich Society plaques amid a modern setting. Some of these commemorate people such… Continue reading So where exactly is “Orwell”?

J D Wetherspoon’s The Last Plantagenet in Leicester….

The first J D Wetherspoon pub mentioned in this list of such hostelries in Leicester , is The Last Plantagenet. No prizes for guessing who that might be. The writer treads a diplomatic line about the discovery of Richard’s remains, by saying: “…his burial site was finally uncovered by an archaeological project…” No names, no pack drill!… Continue reading J D Wetherspoon’s The Last Plantagenet in Leicester….

Britain’s most historic towns

This excellent Channel Four series reached part four on 28th April as Dr. Alice Roberts came to Norwich, showing streets, civic buildings and even a pub that I have previously visited, describing it as Britain’s most “Tudor” town. She began by describing Henry VII as “violently seizing” the English throne (or at least watching whilst… Continue reading Britain’s most historic towns