London’s Greatest Bridges (continued)

This series finally resumed on Channel Five at the beginning of October, to cover two of the newer structures over the Thames, neither of which are in the original form. As usual, Rob Bell’s enthusiasm is infectious and his programmes are highly informative. Episode Three covered Westminster Bridge. By 1700, the population of London was… Continue reading London’s Greatest Bridges (continued)

“The Buildings that fought Hitler” (Yesterday)

Once you have reached beyond the bizarre title, which sounds rather like a Dr. Who episode, this is actually a very good series. Rob Bell, the engineer who is becoming quite ubiquitous, demonstrates how the UK was ready to use ther natural and built environments, together with science, to repel and then restrict a German… Continue reading “The Buildings that fought Hitler” (Yesterday)

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

The wax votive offerings found at Exeter Cathedral….

  During the medieval period it was common for hollow beeswax votive offerings to be made in the hope of spiritual assistance in healing or at least minimizing an injury or ailment. In Exeter Cathedral, these were hung above the tomb of Bishop Edmund Lacy (c. 1370-1455), but there were other cathedrals and churches where… Continue reading The wax votive offerings found at Exeter Cathedral….

To be Bl(o)unt …

Most people are aware that James Blunt’s real surname is Blount. This is an influential name in late mediaeval, “Tudor” and Stuart times. Bessie Blount was another mistress of Henry VIII and bore him Henry Duke of Richmond, who married Lady Mary Howard but died without issue, to be buried at Framlingham. Walter Blount, who… Continue reading To be Bl(o)unt …

Britain’s Most Historic Towns (2)

This excellent Channel Four programme, presented by Professor Alice Roberts, with Dr. Ben Robinson in the helicopter, has returned for a new series. The early venues were Dover (World War Two, visiting the underground base, concentrating on the retreat from Dunkirk and subsequent Channel defence, meeting some survivors, wearing ATS uniform and riding in a… Continue reading Britain’s Most Historic Towns (2)