Anglo Saxon History Romans

Poetry Van at Fargo Village for the BBC Strong Language Event

Today I went to Fargo Village to buy some books for some work I am going to start. When I got there my good friend was busy trying to buy petrol which during the current crisis (not crisis) is difficult. Whilst enjoying a cup of tea and a cake I saw this poetry van. The Poetry Van serves poems whilst you wait. I waited and waited and eventually I was “served”. The poet who wrote for me wrote a poem about the blinding of Vortigern by the Jutes after he betrayed them.

On my other post I have discussed the poem itself and have concluded that it is a very fine poem, written in fifteen minutes by a man who would normally spend days and blood over a single line. In my Jack Russell post I have not discussed the historical elements.

I think that Lewis is a very good man who dealt with an autistic obsessive very well indeed. The first thing he dealt with this morning was me telling him about the Frisken Massacre, the withdrawal of the Roman Legions from Britannia, the civil war between Vortigern and Ambrosias and then Vortigern getting his eyes popped out at a dinner party in vengeance for his betrayal of the Jute leaders.

He stressed that it would not be an authentic account and it would be a poetic representation of my interested in the topic. He asked me my feelings and I am sorry to say that I couldn’t think of any, as I say I am autistic and rarely feel anything. but I am good with poetic licence and a critic of stagnant “authenticity”. Frankly it is a delightful poem that with all the energy of the metaphysical poets tells the story of the coming of the English. I do not particularly care that Lewis has confused Britannia with England, brought in the Goths or has anachronistically used that name or put potatoes in a 5th century feast. I know that when I post this in some groups there will be ‘rivit counters’ who will not be able to get over such details. To such people please retweet the link with your criticism, that will be very useful.

The point that I like about the Coming of the English is that we see that history turns on the decisions of individuals and their actions good or bad. We see a peace treaty destroyed by one unnamed person spilling a drink and not saying sorry which leads to the massacre of the Friskens. We see the Jutish princes return to Jutland and then have to leave to make money and enter the service of the Tyrant Vortigern and we see Vortigern growing concerned about the rise of the Jutes and lashing out only to be betrayed and blinded in revenge.

Thankyou Lewis for my poem.


Once and for all, licensing of metal detectorists won’t work — The Heritage Journal

By Nigel Swift .You hear it all the time from archaeologists and some detectorists: licensing will improve behaviour as the official code will be adhered to and finds will be recorded not concealed. I think it’s tripe, whoever proposes it. £100 is well worth paying if you’re minded to conceal finds from a farmer in […]

Once and for all, licensing of metal detectorists won’t work — The Heritage Journal

A Cross in Time: The Market Cross at Kells — Archaeo𝔡𝔢𝔞𝔱𝔥

While damaged through constant exposure to the elements and even being once hit by a bus, the Kells Market Cross is a fragile, beautiful yet defiant survivor of over 1,100 years. Dating to the late 9th or perhaps the very early 10th century, the cross has a complex story regarding its art that has yet […]

A Cross in Time: The Market Cross at Kells — Archaeo𝔡𝔢𝔞𝔱𝔥

Soveida Ensemble Charity Concert in Coventry — Jack Russell

Charity concert from Soveida Ensemble

Soveida Ensemble Charity Concert in Coventry — Jack Russell

Playing Hnefatafl in the Park (with a pagan)

Today I ticked a point off my bucket list playing two ancient boardgames in the park with a friend. We played about five games of Hnefatafl and one of Fox and Geese in the War Memorial Park in Coventry. Hnefatafl, also known as Kings Table, is a board game popular in the Viking period. Fox and Geese is a similar game but is heavily weighted to the Geese player and so fell out of popularity in the Middle Ages. Both games are asymmetric games with unequal forces and different winning goals. They challenge the player to be competent, keep focus and work towards specific goals in pursuit of the eventual objective of winning.

My friend is called Arron and despite it being his first time playing (and having just come off a long drive from work) did very well indeed. I obviously play these games daily as part of my job and I did not cut him any slack but he soon picked up the rules and the game and after an hour was making it very hard for me to win.

It was a very enjoyable time with lots of good conversation and game play. We got a lot of interest as well from other park users. One boy sent his mother over to ask if he could have a game. In the future I would like to play more in the park so if anyone would like to join me drop me a message in the comments section.


Chester, England: A Roman garden — NattyTravels

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclosure page for more info Chester’s Roman Garden is located just outside the city walls. It’s a place I would highly recommend visiting. Its made up […]

Chester, England: A Roman garden — NattyTravels

Curse tablets in Roman Britain — Notes from the U.K.

Britain enthusiastically adopted the Roman tradition of writing curses on lead (or sometimes pewter) tablets. Maybe that tells us something about the British character. Maybe it doesn’t. Either way, because lead doesn’t rust, they left us a record of daily life, or of one odd corner of it anyway, that we can snoop around in. […]

Curse tablets in Roman Britain — Notes from the U.K.
Events Reenactments Romans

Brough, Petuaria Revisited Show.

At the beginning of August I was privileged to join Britannia, the best Roman Reenactment group in Britain at a site near Hull called Petuaria.

Petuaria is now called Brough, a pretty little village near Hull. The event was a celebration of the excavation of the site, which is ongoing and a chance for reenactors to strut their stuff, see below. I must add to the organisers that it was one of the best and friendliest events that I had ever attended.

What was incredibly surprising was that the archaeologists let me have a go in the trench doing some digging. It was great fun and I found some interested things. But more about that another day.


Dispelling Tudor Myths: King Henry VIII — The Freelance History Writer

King Henry VIII after Hans Holbein (Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery) Dispelling Tudor Myths: King Henry VIII As part of the Dispelling Tudor Myths series here on The Freelance History Writer blog, it’s time to address two items regarding the reign of Henry VIII, both of which were debunked long ago but continue to be […]

Dispelling Tudor Myths: King Henry VIII — The Freelance History Writer

Documentary Review ╽Life On A Tudor Monastery – Absolute History — THE CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

In today’s blog post, I wanted to share a six episode documentary series called Life On A Tudor Monastery made by BBC. All episodes are aired and free on this amazing YouTube channel called Absolute History, with the permission of the BBC and its content creators. It was a very enjoyable series detailing what life […]

Documentary Review ╽Life On A Tudor Monastery – Absolute History — THE CHRONICLES OF HISTORY