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
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 series began at London Bridge itself. From an engineering perspective, Bell explained that the wooden Claudian bridge was the first across the Thames , built on no fewer than twenty-nine artificial islands, making it very difficult to negotiate. It was replaced with a very similar stone unit by Henry II. The Haberdashers were very… Continue reading London’s Greatest Bridges (with Rob Bell)
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)
In life, Henry VII was renowned for fighting his battles from a deckchair, behind a pike wall with a telescope. Even some of his statues are behaving similarly now. The best example is, or was, in Exeter. It commemorated the two sieges of the city in 1497 when the two Cornish Rebellions were kept out… Continue reading Where’s Henry?
I was quite amazed to find out last week, when visiting Leicester Cathedral, that the small coat of arms that can be seen on the front part of the tomb was made by a skilled craftsman called Thomas Greenaway, who is one of only a handful of people who use the 16th Century craft of… Continue reading The Making of Richard III’s Coat of Arms for his Tomb