Category Archives: History

Callanish

“a place appointed for worship in the time of heathenism” Martin Martin A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland circa 1695 Someone once said that the wonder evoked by historical sites is inversely proportional to the number of eyes … Continue reading

Posted in History, Islands, Scotland, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Blyth Spirit

Back in April I took part in a writing workshop in Suffolk led by Ivor Murrell of Suffolk Poetry Society and Melinda Appleby of Waveney & Blyth Arts. The workshop encouraged the participants to immerse themselves in the sights, sounds … Continue reading

Posted in History, Suffolk, Uncategorized, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

The Minster in The Saints

The Saints is a small, loosely defined area of northeast Suffolk just south of the River Waveney and the Norfolk border. Effectively it is a fairly unremarkable patch of arable countryside that contains within it a baker’s dozen of small … Continue reading

Posted in History, Suffolk, Travel, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Skellig Michael – The Edge of the World

Today is St Patrick’s Day and March 17 is the supposed date of the 5th-century missionary’s death. Patrick was the forerunner of many early missionaries who came to Irish shores to preach Christianity, the island more receptive to new ideas … Continue reading

Posted in History, Islands, Travel, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Ladywood: Two Towers and a Reservoir

It had been many years since I had been to Ladywood. This inner city borough of Birmingham had long been a mythic landscape for me even before I became aware of any sort of Tolkein connection. It was here that … Continue reading

Posted in Cities, History, Midlands, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Hethel Old Thorn

If trees could only speak. If they had some semblance of sentience and memory, and a means of communication, what would they tell us? Ancient trees – or at least those we suspect to be very old – are usually … Continue reading

Posted in Folklore, History, Norfolk, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Memory fields in the city of sock-wearers

The small city of Kruševac in south-central Serbia is probably best known for its fortress and 14th-century church, a fine example of the highly decorative Morava school. This was Prince Lazar’s capital in the late 14th century and it was … Continue reading

Posted in Balkans, Eastern Europe, History, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

All along the supple river: following the Ystwyth to the sea

  ystwyth (Welsh) adjective:  supple, flexible, pliable The harbour at Aberystwyth on the west coast of Wales holds the confluence of two rivers. One of these, the Rheidol, is probably best known for the narrow-gauge steam railway that plies its … Continue reading

Posted in History, Human Geography, Walking | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Ghosts of Empire – Park Street Cemetery, Kolkata

One way of looking at this evocative, if mildly disturbing, place is as a hidden enclave populated with the ghosts of colonialism. Situated right in the middle of Kolkata, tucked away purdah-like from the mayhem of the city streets, the … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, History, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Birmingham Edgelands Part 2

Edgelands are not necessarily always on the urban edge. Not physically anyway – the important thing is they are perceived as different from the zones that lay beyond. Neither strictly urban nor rural but an overlooked amalgam of the two … Continue reading

Posted in History, Human Geography, Midlands | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments