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

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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 Articles, The Northumbrian Saga

Trade

As part of my plans of outlining aspects of early medieval life I was going to write a post on Trade. In The Northumbrian Saga, Leodgar and Aethelwin are both traders of Anglo-Saxon Northumbria and with the invasion of the Vikings comes a whole new orbit of trade and trade partners, including Thorstein. As usual… Continue reading Trade

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 Articles

Sisters doing it for themselves?

I recently saw an article pop up on my facebook page that immediately had me excited.Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female.This was followed of course by a very aptly chosen picture of Lagertha from Vikings... which I have also used... shamelessly.But the more I read the article and all… Continue reading Sisters doing it for themselves?

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

Interesting Articles, Ireland

Viking burials under Dublin’s streets

Dublin, Ireland: The archaeological site of Kilmainham-Islandbridge in Dublin “...is now demonstrably the largest burial complex of its type in western Europe, Scandinavia excluded”. This has come after a massive 15 year project making sense of the archaeology under Dublin’s streets with results expected to be published in an 800 page report titled ‘Viking Graves… Continue reading Viking burials under Dublin’s streets

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