Filed under Saxon history

Offa’s Dyke

This is a wall – or monument, barrier, that is generally believed to have been built by the Mercian king Offa to separate Wales from England, and that, like Hadrian’s Wall, to have run from sea to sea. But the story is far less clear or straightforward. This is from an article by Chris Catling … Continue reading

Antarctic and Volcanoes

One of the most important pieces of research in the Antarctic has been the analysis of ice cores which has enabled scientists to piece together the past 2,000 years, and in particular, the number of large volcanic eruptions, via the presence of sulphate dust. This is from an article by Steve Connor in the i … Continue reading

Britain’s Borderlands

Rory Stewart is, as his name suggests, a Scot, but he is one of the most English in his extraordinary life to date. A talented linguist, he has spent a lot of time walking the deserts of the middle east, and for a time was deputy governor of Iraq, and is one of the most … Continue reading

Plugging My Books

This is a blatant attempt to tweak a few book sales, as they are just sitting around at home getting on each others’ nerves. I have written 17 books, with another one that needs working on. Theyare mostly local history, but I never do just local – whatever Iwrite about, I always try to place it within a wider … Continue reading

The English Abroad

The English Abroad

The denizens of these islands have long had an awkward relationship with mainland Europe, perhaps more so during the Crusades when they were often on the rampage away from home. This is from Rose Macaulay’s book ‘the Went to Portugal’,  after a suggestion from the Pope that they could break their journey in Portugal. This … Continue reading

From Mimicry to Drama

From Mimicry to Drama

More cribbings from my tome on St Bartholomew’s Fair: “The  first power of the mind revealed in every child is that of mimicry. The majority of me  go to the grave mimics; in religion, manners, language they have learnt their parts, and acquitted themselves in them more or less respectably. Nearly all child’s play is … Continue reading

The Story of Bristol’s Eponymous Bridge

The Story of Bristol’s Eponymous Bridge

This is from a paper I presented at the Regional History Centre’s Symposium in 2010. For the full story of the Bridge, ‘Death and the Bridge – The Georgian Rebuilding of Bristol Bridge’ is available from me via Amazon. The kindle version is ‘Civil Engineering & Civic Apathy’ Bristol Bridge: Barometer of Bristol’s Prosperity The … Continue reading

The Space of Words

The Space of Words

The Christian Bible begins with ‘In the beginning was the word’. This is one of the most famous lines in English, and yet nobody today really knows what it means. Part of it is that it has been translated several times, never a good way to obtain clarity of meaning, but more importantly, we live … Continue reading