The Summer Solstice

June 21, 2018 is the summer solstice this year, celebrated at Stonehenge and across the globe, for the longest day of the year.  “Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning “sun”[…]

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Dinas Bran (Castle)

Dinas Bran is a medieval castle begun in 1260 and destroyed in 1277 during the Welsh wars with King Edward I of England. The first settlement that we know of was an iron age hill[…]

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Dolbadarn Castle

Dolbadarn Castle is only 6 1/2 miles as the crow flies from the Menai Straits, and yet, the topography of the area is such that it was built by Llywelyn Fawr (Llywelyn the Great) to[…]

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Traveling on Medieval Roads

What roads medieval people used to cross England and Wales is a fascinating question and one that has occupied me for some time.   The Ordnance Survey maps at multimap.com can show you the Roman roads.  I[…]

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Slavery and Wales

The title says Slavery ‘and’ Wales because the degree to which slavery existed in Wales is difficult to determine.  Without a doubt, many Welsh were forced into slavery–evidence points to Welsh captives on the continent[…]

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A Medieval Siege

Besieging a castle was a far more common form of warfare than a fight on an open battlefield.  Sieges had the element of surprise and required fewer men than battle too, such that a ruler[…]

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Better Know a Castle*: Abergavenny

On Christmas Day in 1175, William de Braose, a Marcher lord (the 4th Lord of Bramber), summoned Seisyll ap Dyfnwal, Seisyll’s eldest son, Geoffrey, and a number of other local leading Welshmen from Gwent to Abergavenny Castle[…]

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Rewriting the Dark Ages

A new theory has been working it’s way through the archaeological literature that there was no Saxon ‘invasion’ of Britain after the fall of Rome.  The theory states that “9th century Anglo-Saxon propaganda distort [ed] the[…]

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Dinas Ffareon (Dinas Emrys)

Dinas Ffareon is an Iron Age hill fort near Beddgelert which overlooks Lyn Dinas in Snowdonia. It is one of the more remote castles in Wales and “it was here that King Lludd ab Beli buried the[…]

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Roman Villa found near Aberystwyth

Thirty years ago, aerial photographers from Cambridge University noted something odd about the layout of a field near the village of Abermagwr near Aberystwyth.   They were doing a flyover during the summer, and because of[…]

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