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Mount Badon

 
 

   Mystic Realms        Arthur, the rightful king

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'The twelfth battle was on Mount Badon in which there fell in one day 960 men from one charge by Arthur; and no one struck them down except Arthur himself'

  -  Nennius

" The coast of North Devon consists almost entirely of towering hog-backed cliffs with few and dangerous landing-places, except the break in the cliff-wall afforded by the Taw-Torridge estuary and a few miles of level beaches on either side of it" - Devon and Its People

Saxons, Irish, Danes, have all used the estuary of the Taw/Torridge to attack north Devon. Sometimes small raids, occasionally full scale invasion

From Bideford old town there is a commanding view over the rivers' estuaries and the North Devon coast 

the siege of the Mons Badonis - 'osessiois Badonici montis'.Gildas

All the evidence shows that the westward advance of the Anglo- Saxons was halted, and halted so sharply that it was generations before they again presented a serious threat to the Britons in the west and they never totally succeeded in conquering the west.

The West Saxons did not move into Devon as settlers until the 7th C. With his defeat of the Anglo -Saxons at Mount Badon in the early years of the 6th C., Arthur kept the invaders back for a hundred years.

 When they did move in there is very little evidence of intermingling of the races.

 Very few British place names survive in Devon.

The 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle entry for 893 says the Danes 'besieged a fortress on the North Coast of Devon'

  W.G.Hoskins says this was Burridge Camp

" Burridge Camp is an iron age hillfort which became the burh of Pilton." from 'Exploring Saxon & norman England,'

 

As  to the strategic importance of Burridge Camp; Polwhele remarks on the fact of there being a regular chain of earthworks running from Barnstaple to the northeast... there are also numerous similar relics in the large and almost peninsular district of which Burridge Camp ( Barnstaple) may be called the key, and almost the only means of approach to.

The Second Battle of Badon

 

The entry for 665 AD in the Cambrian annals reads;- 'Easter was celebrated among the Saxons for the first time. The second battle of Badon. Morcant died'

Morcant (Gwlad Morcant) was King Morcant of Glevissig (Glamorgan) . The rulers of Glevissig had close ties with north Devon.( The father of the sixth century saint Paul Aurelian was a landowner in Dunmonia ( Devon ) who served as a military companion of a king in Glevissig (Glamorgan)).

The west Saxons invaded and conquered southern Dunmonia, including the fortress / settlement of Exeter. After which  they turned their attention to northern Dunmonia. Where they fought the second battle of Badon on the site of the first, in northern Dumnonia.

"The "Second Battle of Badon" mentioned in the Welsh Annals as taking place in 667 is, in my opinion, the Bedanheafod/Biedanheafod battle of year entry 675 in the ANGLO-SAXON CHRONICLE." - The Road from Avalon - August Hunt.

'In 658 'Cenwalh fought at Peonna against the Welsh, and drove them in flight as far as the Parrett'; the new frontier entailed the English occupation of Glastonbury.

'Cenwalh is said to have invaded southern Dumnonia thereafter. In 661, he fought at Posentesburh, possibly Posbury by Crediton, beyond Exeter. Then, or soon after, Exeter was opened to the English. English place names attest heavy colonisation that spread inland from Exeter; and the city was long partitioned between the English and British.

'The English conquest of south Devon outflanked the northern Dumnonians, but they long resisted; the fortress of Taunton, only eight miles west of the Parrett, was not constructed until the time of king INe, perhaps when he ' fought Geraint, king of the British', in 710. Ine tried and failed to reduce Dumnonia, for the Cambrian annals claim the heavy defeat of an English invasion in Cornwall in 722, and in the same year the English acknowledged that Ine's queen dismantled his own fortress of Taunton, perhaps again withdrawing behind the Parrett. The ultimate conquest of Dumnonia was postponed. Edgbert of Wessex invaded Cornwall in 815, but ten years later the Dumnonian kings fought back in Devon and Egbert failed to take Launceston.

- The Age of Arthur - John Morris

 

related pages

Nennius

 

 

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