Early Eccentric

Just a few weeks after my visit to Hexham and I find another great church with 7th century origins.  From the side elevation Ripon Cathedral even shares a similar look due to the squat tower at the centre, though once you understand the history of the building then you'll understand that there was no plan … Continue reading Early Eccentric


Trenches, strings, and roof wraggles!

Long before Channel 4 unleashed Tony Robinson and the rest of the Time Team crew upon us I was interested in archaeology, (studying Latin and Ancient History at school has that effect) and so when there was a dig taking place locally I was excited to see what was going on. This was in the … Continue reading Trenches, strings, and roof wraggles!

A tale of two settlements

The coastal scene was very different this morning - blue skies and sunshine replaced by a thick fog, leaving everywhere damp grey and autumnal.  Even the fog was insufficient to hide the devastation of the beach.  The weekend has probably seen more visitors to the beach than any other outside of the Sunderland International Airshow … Continue reading A tale of two settlements

It’s just a rumour that’s been spread around town*

The City of Sunderland grew out of the merger of three separate settlements of Anglo-Saxon origin, although the fishing village that originally bore the name wasn't officially recognised until a century after the arrival of the Normans.  The name Sunderland probably derives from the Anglo-Saxon word soender, meaning to part or separate, and refers to … Continue reading It’s just a rumour that’s been spread around town*

Near the bendy spring?

The village of Bywell in Northumberland was once a busy medieval market town, yet little remains of the settlement now.  I was told many years ago this was due to the plague, though I haven't been able to confirm this by any recent research - it may have been cleared by the landowner for agricultural … Continue reading Near the bendy spring?

La petite anglaise et la petite francaise

On the day that Anders Behring Breivik is put on trial in Norway for "self defence" against multi-culturalism, I find myself writing once more about the multitude of cultures that make up British society, an inevitable consequence of our days of Empire, and one that makes it far less likely that we will see such … Continue reading La petite anglaise et la petite francaise

Crossword clue; GEGS (9,4)*

Today it's Easter Day, the Christian celebration of egg dispensing rabbits.  If that sounds a little confused then the very fact that Christians in many parts of the world choose to celebrate one of their most important holy days with a festival named after an Anglo-Saxon pagan goddess, (and one which some scholars suggest may … Continue reading Crossword clue; GEGS (9,4)*