Jamestown Graves

This is from an article in the i by Michael Ruane yesterday: “When his friends buried Captain Gabriel Archer in abut 1609, they dug his rave inside a church in Jamestown, Virginia, lowered his coffin into the ground and placed a silver box on the lid. the English outpost was a desperate place. They called … Continue reading

Red Letter Days

When Henry VIII found himself in need of a divorce I’m sure he had no idea what a nest of hornets he released. The divorce should have been easy enough. Though divorce was illegal, there were always ways for the papacy to manage to bend the rules for one of their supporters. The problem was … Continue reading

Rewilding is not all about Wolves

A few weeks ago I was in Bute Park, central Cardiff when I saw some people tearing out plants and smashing them up. I thought they were doing harm so of course I asked them what they were up to. They were destroying a patch of Himalayan Balsam. This intrigued me because I remember when … Continue reading

Cotswold Games

This is from Highways and Byways of Oxford and the Cotswolds: “On the summit of Dover’s Hill is a grassy plateau, famous for 250 years as the site of the Cotswold Games. Games of one sort or another had probably long been customary in the district in connection with the Whitsun ale, but they were … Continue reading

Jonathan Hulls, Inventor

This is some more from Highways and Byways of Oxford and the Cotswolds: “Jonathan Hulls was the son of a mechanic at Aston Magna, a hamlet through which the railway now passes between Moreton and Blockley stations. In early manhood he settled at Broad Campden as a clock repairer, but his genius carried him far … Continue reading

Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners

This was a two parter on the BBC focusing on the recent discovery in Britain’s National Archive of the complete listings of slave owners who were compensated when slavery was abolished in 1832. The list names an astounding 46,000 both here and abroad, ranging from a single slave to hundreds of them, a total of … Continue reading

The Wool Staple

This comes from The Highways and Byways of Oxford and the Cotswolds: “In 1363 the Staple, as the licensed mart for the sale of English products was called, was, after several changes, definitely fixed at Calais, and here buyers from all parts of the continent would congregate. We can in imagination draw a picture of … Continue reading

Rollright Stones & Whispering Knights

This is a ring of Neolithic stones near Long Compton on the border of Oxfordshire. This is from Highways and Byways of Oxford and the Cotswolds: “Up here on the wold we have entered a fabled land. Close to us on our left is the spell-bound circle of he Rowldrich, to our right the King-stone, … Continue reading

Cross Hands

There are a lot of old pubs with this name, usually at a cross roads, so I guessed this was the reason. This is from Highways and Byways of Oxford and the Cotswolds: “@WE may now descend to Campden either across the fields by the Fish Inn – a small isolated public built in 1771, … Continue reading