Category Archives: Ancient Welsh History

The Chilternsaete, Angles, Saxons and Britons

An ancient British kingdom in the Chilterns? Well, maybe. I have just finished reading Rutherford-Davis’ 1982 study entitled Britons and Saxons, The Chiltern Region 400-700 (Phillimore and Co Ltd, Sussex). I am not in a position to pass judgment on … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Welsh History, Anglo-Saxon History, Anglo-Saxon Settlement, Elmet, Ethnogenesis | Leave a comment

Hunting Italian Uncial

I have reached the point where I am preparing book 1 of my trilogy (Kith and Kin) for publication on Kindle. (Book 1 is called Death in Elmet, A Medieval Murder Mystery) As a part of this, I have been working … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Welsh History, Anglo-Saxon History, Early Christianity, Elmet | Leave a comment

Flora Britannica

On a recent trip to England, I discovered a marvellous book: Richard Mabey’s Flora Britannica (Chatto & Windus, London, 1996). This is not a dry encyclopaedia of plant descriptions but rather a wonderful social history of human relationships with the plant … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Welsh History, Anglo-Saxon History, Landscape, Seventh-Century medicine and health beliefs | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Beyond the Gododdin

I have just finished reading a rather thought-provoking collection of essays entitled: Beyond the Gododdin, Dark Age Scotland in Medieval Wales. (ed Alex Woolf, St Andrews 2013, proceedings of a day conference held on 19th February 2005). The Gododdin is … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Welsh History, Original sources | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Early Medieval Gwynedd

The next incident in my story is set in North Wales in the year 635 in the fortress of Deganwy. Consequently, I have been going through my files looking at all the background information that I have collected to help … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Welsh History, Historical characters | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Anglo-Saxon Transportation Routes

My current writing problem is that I somehow need to transport a small group of major characters from West Wales to East Anglia in the year 635. This throws up multiple logistical problems, not the least of which is that … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Welsh History, Anglo-Saxon History, Landscape | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Inventing a Seventh-Century Welsh Court

Or: Playing fast and Loose with the Laws of Court of Hywel Dda. Hywel Dda (the Good) lived from 880-950 and the laws associated with his name were presumably written some time in the first half of the tenth century. … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Welsh History, Ancient Welsh Law, Original sources | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Anglo-Saxon Shield Wall

This may seem like a silly question, but does anybody know whether there is any evidence for the use of the shield wall as a tactic in the seventh century? Most novels seem to take it for granted that it … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Welsh History, Anglo-Saxon History | 3 Comments

Welsh or British?

I have been struggling with a decision as to names, both of the people and of their language. Technically, the pre-Anglo-Saxon inhabitants of Britain were Britons or Brythons, but I find this problematic. This is because it tends to marginalise … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Welsh History | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

St Gildas’ day

The best source I have found for a free download of Gildas’ works is Fordham University, ( http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/gildas-full.asp ) I thought it appropriate on St Gildas’ Day to write something about the Welsh parts of my story. My inspiration is … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Welsh History, Early Christianity, Original sources | Tagged , , | 2 Comments