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Lundy, Isle of Avalon

Historical Stuff

      Lundy, Isle of Avalon         Historical Stuff

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Alfred, a Saxon King, tried to recreate Arthur's Britain during his reign. All the lands on the north Devon coast, parts of Cornwall and Somerset were taken by the crown. To Alfred the centre of Arthur's Britain seems to have been near St. Nectan's abbey at Hartland, N. Devon more


Arthur's Army The armies of the Britons were mainly cavalry those of the Anglo - Saxons, whether seaborne or land based, were infantry. Early Welsh poets tell of resplendent well -mounted sword -armed warriors fighting spear equipped foot -soldiers. One early poem specifically tells of the defeat of Arthur's horsemen by Anglo -Saxon infantry. Not until the late 6th C. does horse furniture start to appear among excavated Anglo - Saxon grave goods in Britain and then only as that of a leader who rode while his men marched...... read more


Arthur's Battles  In -'Historia Brittonum' written C.800 Nennius lists twelve battles fought by Arthur None of the places named is easily recognizable but they can be interpreted as describing a series of invasions or raids by the English as they sailed around the South-western coast of Britain, from Exeter round Lands End to Barnstaple Bay, where the final battle, the siege of Mount Badon, took more


Arthur's Navy  Geoffrey of Monmouth tells us that Arthur built, or assembled, a fleet of ships.  From earliest times, the peoples of the soutwest of Britain have been dependant on the sea, for food, for trade and for defence. more


Beacons  The island of Lundy was the centre of a network of signal beacons covering the southwest of Britain; Devon and Cornwall and the south of Wales as from the Brecon Beacons and the Preseli mountains. The author of 'Lundy, the Tempestuous Isle' recorded seeing fourteen lighthouses from Tibbet's Hill on Lundy........  read more


The Evolution of Legends  'Many a hermit, anchorite, and venerable figure in religious garb who crosses our path in Arthurian romance may be legitimately suspected of being a god or goddess in disguise.'  ..............  read more


Irish Round Towers   As their name suggests most examples of Irish Round Towers are to be found in Ireland; where the remains of nearly seventy are known. However they are found elsewhere.  There are examples on the Isle of Man and in Scotland. The notable monastery of St. Gall in Switzerland had two such towers according to an early 9th century plan. The earliest example of a surviving Round Tower in Ireland is thought to date from 940 more


Phoenicia / Sarras When Phoenicia came under the protection of Rome in 65 BC there seems to have been a resurgence of trading activity. as the ships of Phoenicia traded from port to port all over the known world with less danger than at any other more


Religious Similarity There had been a close relationship between the Hellenic world and the British Isles from early times. Around 30 AD Strabo recorded one of the stories of Artemidorus;- "There is an island near Britain where they offer sacrifices to Demeter and Kore, like those in Samothrace." (Strabo, Geography, Bk.IV, ch.4, sec. 6.) more


Sea Levels In "The Age of Arthur," John Morris notes, "There is ample evidence for a drastic change in the sea level of Europe and the Mediterranean towards the end of the Roman Empire; its severity affected the coast and rivers of southern and eastern Britain."  "When the Britons wrote their plea to Aetius, they said: "The barbarians push us back to the sea; the sea throws us back to the barbarians; thus two modes of death await us, we are either slain or drowned." more


Spread of Christianity into early Britain 'The next noticeable point is that while the lives of the Celtic saints and the Celtic records contain many allusions to saints and missions associated with Damnonia, they are entirely silent about the saints and bishops who are associated with Exeter and the district east of it, and, on the other hand, the traditions and legends associated with Exeter and Glastonbury show no knowledge of such people as St. Petrock, St. Brannock, St. Nectan and other famous Devonshire missionaries who came from South Wales.' more


Temples of Apollo  The author of the journal of Pytheas' travels (Diodoros Siculus, Bibliotheca quoting Hecateus of Abdera as one of the writer's authorities). wrote that there were two temples to the god Apollo on the British Isles. There was ‘both a magnificent sacred precinct of Apollo and a notable temple which is adorned with many votive offerings and is spherical in shape’ ..... read more


The Knights Templar  Sometime between 1110 and 1120, in the aftermath of the First Crusade, a small group of knights  vowed to devote their lives to the protection of pilgrims in the Holy Land. They were called the 'Order of the Poor Knights of Christ.' The King of Jerusalem, Baldwin II, granted them the use of a captured mosque built on Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the site of the ancient Temple of Solomon. From this they became known as the Knights Templar. Under the patronage of St. Bernard of Clairvaux the Order received papal sanction and legitimacy. The Knights Templar were granted permission by the pope to wear a distinctive white robe with a red cross. ... read more


Trade Routes  In ancient, and not so ancient, times the mines of south-western Britain were the source of the world's supply of tin and the coming of the Phoenicians to Cornwall to trade for tin is well attested to.  Most historians, Sir John Evans and Lord Avebury among them, believe that the trade existed as early as 1500 BC.  With trade also go ideas, colonists, travellers, refugees....... read more


The Roman Conquest of Britain - In 43 AD the Emperor Claudius despatched Aulus Plautius with four legions, the IInd Augusta, the XIVth Gemina, the XXth Valeria and the IXth Hispana, and an equal number of auxiliaries to invade and conquer Britain.  Little realising that on this island Roman traditions and values would be preserved long after the rest of the empire, indeed even the eternal city, Rome, had succumbed to the barbarians...... Read More


Rebellion of the Silures against the Romans - In AD 47 trouble developed on the Roman frontier with the Silures in South Wales; and in response the Romans constructed a fortress beside the Severn, at Kingsholm, Gloucester; from where an invasion of the Silurian territory was launched in 50 AD. The Silurian armies were led by Caratacus (British - Caradoc), a Belgic prince, whose homeland lay to the east. Caratacus is believed to have led the British fleet against the Romans in the Channel..........Read More


The Jewish Revolt against the Romans - " The Jewish revolt of 66 AD., which had its culmination four years later in the sacking of Jerusalem, the burning of its Temple, and the widespread extermination and humiliation of the Jewish people. As is historically well attested, in 70 AD. the Roman general Titus returned in triumph to Rome, parading through the streets such Jewish treasures as the 'menorah' (the huge seven-branched candelabrum of the Temple), and enacting tableaux demonstrating how he and his armies had overcome savage, ill-advised resistance from this renegade group of the Empire's subjects, many of whom he had to crucify wholesale...... Read More


The Boudiccan Revolt against the Romans - In AD59-60 the Roman military governor of Britain, Suetonius Paulinus, led two legions across North Wales and massacred the druidic sanctuary on Anglesey. At around the same time the Romans decided to annex the kingdom of the Iceni on the death of it's ruler, Prasutagus. Brutality against his widow, queen Boudicca, incited the whole region to rise in revolt, soon to be joined by the neighbouring tribes, the Trinovantes and others. .......Read More


The Roman Fleet - Roman fleets operated under the control of the army. The principle role of the fleet was transport of men and supplies in support of the army. Roman fleets comprised both oared galley warships and sail powered merchantmen....... Read More


Vespasian - The future Emperor Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus was born near Rome in 9 AD. He was the commander of the Second Augusta Legion during their victorious advance across Southern Britain from Kent to Exeter. After leading the Second Augusta Legion during the conquest of Britain he was made consul in 51 AD.......Read More


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