Hugh Dennis and his small team of archaeologists are back on Channel Four and this time they have gone back a full two thousand years and beyond. The series starts in Falkirk with a fort and a piece of the Antonine Wall, apparently buried under several gardens and a bowls club. After some digging, the… Continue reading The Great British Dig – History in Your Garden (2)
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
Right, so has Nero been as hard-done-by through history as our Richard III? After first pointing out that Richard was lied about and denounced by his enemies and killers, and that he still has supporters even now, this article certainly wonders about Nero’s legacy. It’s said that Nero’s ambitious mother manipulated him on to the… Continue reading Did Nero REALLY fiddle while Rome burned….?
On reading Chivalry by Léon Gautier, I learned that St Maurice was the patron saint of knights. Another interesting fact about him is that he’s often depicted as a Black African man in armour. He apparently came from Upper Egypt, so he probably was black. I’m reminded of the Black Madonnas. We’re always surprised… Continue reading St Maurice, patron saint of knights….?
Like other towns near the east coast, Colchester was partially settled by Hugenot refugees from the Low Countries in the sixteenth century. The Dutch Quarter is defined as being to the immediate north of the middle of High Street, as West Stockwell Street turns off at the Town Hall. This Victorian structure has six historic… Continue reading Colchester’s Dutch Quarter
Joan of Arc means a great deal to France, but I’m afraid I have never really cottoned on to her. Perhaps because I’m a little uncomfortable when it comes to people who “hear voices”. Not that I’m saying she deserved her horrible death. Far from it. No one deserves that. But when it comes to… Continue reading Joan of Arc or Boudicca? Boudicca every time for me, I fear….
Last night I settled down to watch a two-hour documentary I’d recorded from the History Channel. No, it wasn’t about Richard III, or even the English medieval period, but about the Fourth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. Specifically about the discovery of the long-fabled fourth pyramid, some five miles from Giza: here Unfortunately, I haven’t been… Continue reading Richard III and the Pharaoh….?
Channel Five’s reputation for history programmes has risen greatly over the past few years. At the heart of this, first in a Great Fire of London series with Suzannah Lipscomb and the ubiquitous Dan Jones, has been the “engineering historian” Rob Bell, who has toured bridges, ships, buildings and lost railways in his own amiable,… Continue reading Britain’s Lost Battlefields (with Rob Bell)
A friend in America sent me the following article, by Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post. Having just been researching the ancient route from Paris to Lyon, as it was in the late 14th century, I found it very interesting to think that the routes and places chosen by the Romans all those centuries ago, are… Continue reading Ancient Roman roads drove later development….