Category Archives: History

Historical accounts and tales from the past

Old Midsummer and the Feast of St. Barnabas

Did you know that 11th June was once celebrated as the day of the summer solstice by the English? The longest day of the year was marked with the Feast of Saint Barnabas, signalling the day when the folk would need to start cutting their hay. But what happened? Why 11th June? Find out more in St.Barnabas and Old Midsummer. 

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The Legend of Birmingham’s War Stone

Now and again I stumble upon something that upon further investigation, reveals a fascinating and forgotten history that gets me very excited! Whilst trying to find out about the “War Stone” in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, I was surprised to learn of a legend between two battling giants, and a castle that has long disappeared from the maps. Have a read, here.

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London’s Runic Ringerike Gravestone

We’re all probably familiar with the exquisite Norse Ringerike style art, with its swirling lines, carved runes, and fantastical beasts. What may surprise you is to learn that one was found in London, and what an example it is! Read all about The Runic Ringerike Tombstone of St Paul’s to learn about this stone that was found in the churchyard of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, with details on how you can go and see it for yourself.

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The Lich Street Dig

I was lucky enough to view the dig site in Worcester that was open for a short period during 2015 and view the area with one of their researchers. Have a read of my article, “What Lies Beneath Lich Street” to share what I discovered, and to learn about some of the amazing history of this historic city in the heart of England.

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My Grandfather’s Story

It’s been a year since my granddad passed away, after a long illness. As a tribute, this article celebrates his life, and looks at his reasons for leaving Co. Kerry in Ireland to start a new life in England. Through writing this piece, I’ve discovered why I am compelled to write. You can read his story here.

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Tom Crean, Antarctic Explorer

Known as the gentle giant of Annascaul, Tom Crean’s adventures in the frozen continent of Antarctica are nothing short of legendary. I’ve written about this quiet hero for June’s issue of Celtic Guide.

You can download the magazine for free at their website or purchase a hard copy from Amazon.

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Shakespeare’s Curse

Fearful that his remains would be dug up, famous playwright, William Shakespeare had a curse inscribed over his grave in his final resting place in Stratford-upon-Avon. But was this enough to stop his bones being disturbed? Read my latest article for The Spooky Isles.

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A Muddled History of England’s Patron Saint

On 23rd April, the people of England celebrate St. George’s Day. National hero and patron saint, he was a Christian martyr. Whilst most of us are familiar with dragon-slaying legends, the important story of a man saying no to genocide seems to have been forgotten when he was made a figure-head of the Order of the Garter. Find out more about this man, who was said to be born in Turkey – or was it Coventry? The Enigma of Saint George.

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The Silver Brooch of Aedwen

The British Museum is home to many treasures, including this, the Brooch of Aedwen. It is one of only two of this style found in the UK, and is dated to the Anglo-Saxon period. What makes this special though, is the curse, and cryptic rune etching on the back of the disc. It would seem that the curse may have worked!

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