Just back from the fantastic Dolaucothi Gold Mines in mid-Wales - the only Roman gold mines known in Britannia. This tunnel looks fine in the floodlights, but the original miners would never have seen it like that - they'd have had to manage with little oil lamps. Things hadn't improved much by Victorian times, when … Continue reading Gold rush, AD75-style
It’s hard to believe that we used to expect to capture a whole holiday with one roll of film that might hold 36 shots. I've had several trips away this summer and now even my computer is groaning at the prospect of downloading all the photos. (Who knew there were SO MANY Greek statues?) So … Continue reading Back in the Trenches Again
I've always thought of Parracombe as a peaceful and picturesque little Exmoor village, but when William of Falaise (relation of the more famous William the Conqueror) moved in sometime after 1066, he decided he needed a massive wooden castle to keep the natives in order. The site is now called Holwell Castle and there's a … Continue reading Queen of the Castle
i've just been enjoying a few days in Jersey, an island which turns out to have hung onto some fine traditions of the past: 1. Stashing cash: The biggest hoard of Celtic coins in the world was found in Jersey in 2012 - and that's the ninth hoard from the Late Iron Age that's come … Continue reading Jersey – plus ça change…
Butser Ancient Farm in Hampshire was full of Romans last week. There were soldiers and civilians, and families ranging from toddlers to grandparents. They were wandering in and out of the houses, feeding the sheep, eating, playing, laughing, working, shopping and having their hair done. Some of them were even having their photos taken … Continue reading Toga Tuesday!
Just back from travelling in the Scottish borders to find that Jean, Sam and Alice have kindly sent me a link to this story of Roman silver being discovered in Scotland. It's interesting that the experts think the silver is a bribe rather than a stash of plunder. The historian Cassius Dio tells us that … Continue reading Of Scotland and the price of peace
Right. Line up, you lot. And get that hair cut! Half of you look like a bunch of girls!
The first half of June's looking pretty busy with a rush of events up and down the country at which I'll be showing off my now not-so-new Roman shoes. 1-4 June Heading north for the Eboracum Roman Festival in York - a spectacular event for all ages. I'll be in the Authors' Tent in the … Continue reading Have shoes, will travel
Two trips to London since Christmas! Back in February I meant to do a blog post about seeing some of the Roman writing tablets found on the Bloomberg HQ site, but never quite got around to it. Besides, there were no pictures: perhaps to avoid fisticuffs around the display tables, it was a no-photography event. … Continue reading Wide-eyed in the Big City – visiting Roman London
A visit to the island of Alderney has been on my bucket list ever since we saw our friends' holiday photos, so there was dancing and singing here at Downie Towers when an invitation to the Alderney Literary Festival arrived. Below are a few photos of my own, along with some random thoughts about the … Continue reading Small Island