Interesting Articles, Interesting Places, Yorkshire

Return of the Vikings

Seven years ago I had the opportunity to visit the Jorvik Viking Festival and ever since I have been dying to return. It has grown over the years to be one of the largest Norse-themed festivals in Europe, attracting over 40, 000 international visitors each year and providing education as well as a whole heap… Continue reading Return of the Vikings

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Interesting Places

Hamwic, Anglo-Saxon predecessor of Southampton

Today, Southampton is a modern port city of a quarter of a million inhabitants. Before the mid 9th century however, Southampton did not exist. Originally, a Roman fort often called Clausentum lay on the east side of the Itchen. After the Roman period in England however, a separate settlement moved to the opposite bank of… Continue reading Hamwic, Anglo-Saxon predecessor of Southampton

Interesting Places

Wic wic is wich? The Anglo-Saxon trading settlement

The most prominent type of settlement associated with trading activities in the Anglo-saxon period was the Wic, an Anglo-Saxon loan word from the Latin Vicus meaning a dwelling, farm, hamlet, or subsidiary settlements. The Wics were communities very similar to those found in rural areas with the distinction of servicing trade and industry. Most communities… Continue reading Wic wic is wich? The Anglo-Saxon trading settlement

Interesting Places, Northumberland

Lindisfarne, Holy island of the north: Part 2

Welcome to Part two of the history of Lindisfarne. If you have missed the first part in which Lindisfarne was founded and became a religious, cultural and scholarly mecca, you can read the article here. Unfortunately for Lindisfarne, its rise to prominence also made it a target. The climax of the centre’s history came in… Continue reading Lindisfarne, Holy island of the north: Part 2

Interesting Places, Northumberland

Lindisfarne, Holy Island of the north: Part 1

In the early 7th century, the death of King Edwin caused the kingdom of Northumbria to split amongst rival groups. This weakened state made it easier for Cadwallon the King of Gweynedd (northern Wales) to attack the land and under his influence the people had quickly reverted back to their pagan roots. Aided by a… Continue reading Lindisfarne, Holy Island of the north: Part 1

Durham, Interesting Places

Durham – An amazing World Heritage Site

Jeanette Harvey is the Author of Sisters of the Bruce, the tale of Isabel (Queen of Norway) and Christina (The Countess of Mar) who helped mould the history of Scotland and the world as much as their famous brother, Robert the Bruce. In this re-post from May 2014, Jeanette explains her visit to Durham Cathedral… Continue reading Durham – An amazing World Heritage Site

Interesting Places, Yorkshire

Whitby through the ages

Summer, twilight, 1890: A man paces through an English seaside town. His long legs move briskly, alive with the thrill of the new discovery that propels him homeward to his writing desk. Bram’s mind ran through the scene he had just left at the library. The book he had been reading had fascinated him, ‘An… Continue reading Whitby through the ages

Interesting Places, Yorkshire

Ripon

Another place that features in The Northumbrian Saga is Ripon in Yorkshire. After marrying the unfaithful Eadred at the beginning of the story, Aethelwin and her half sister Ailith travel south to the opposite end of Northumbria to their new home of Shepworth, a fictional village I set on the opposite side of the River… Continue reading Ripon

Interesting Articles, Interesting Places

Anglo-Saxon Churches

After covering farming and domestic buildings, royal estates and halls, this month we will move on to Churches and Monastic complexes. Many of the towns and cities all around England started either as religious centres or else satellite villages and hamlets that serviced such centres. They were integral in helping with the administration of government… Continue reading Anglo-Saxon Churches

Interesting Places, Scotland

The history of Jedburgh… and Jedburgh?

The history of Jedburgh especially in the middle and late Medieval period and beyond is fascinating. Being only 12 miles north west of the present English border, like many towns in the borderlands it has found itself caught up with the constant fighting between England and Scotland. The tug of war between the two sides… Continue reading The history of Jedburgh… and Jedburgh?