Monday, August 29, 2016

Nottingham and Robin Hood. Sherwood Forest.

Robin Hood statue, Nottingham, England

Robin Hood. He is understated in his town, Nottingham, and in his woods, Sherwood Forest. See; and There is a fine interactive museum, however, with tableaux and details and old ledgers.

  • Update to 2016:  New archeological finds at nearby King's Clipstone, a village where The King's Houises, a/k/a King John's palace documented in 1164 are laid out at Archeology Magazine, Sept-Oct 2016, see

Robin Hood, according to the exhibits, is a generic type of name, like John Doe, used for any unknown petty criminal or other hapless individual arrested for whatever.

 Robin Hood did this, Robin Hood did that. See the ledgers through the years.  All those activities over that long period of time could not have referred to one person. But as anywhere, stories illustrate larger truths, and may well not be true in themselves. Legend, myth. Robin Hood. See the tales at

Many Robin Hoods:  Perhaps the main model for our Robin Hood was one Robin fitz Ooth, Earl of Huntingdon, born 1160, died 1247, Or Sir Robert Foliot, 1110-1165, or Robert Hod, or Robert de Kyme, 1210-1285, Robert Hood of the Wakefield Roles, 1290-1346, or several others not listed at the robinhood info site above.  Or a collage.

 Once a figure is identified, religions or social, the stories collect, and soon have a life of their own.

Sunday offers limited visiting hours. Visiting on a Sunday is good for leisurely strolls and a less crowded museum; but not all exhibit areas are open early. The underground caves and dungeon areas beneath the castle area did not open until much later.

Sing it again, Robin Hood riding through the glen, at

Update 2010:  the new film, Robin Hood, at, is fun and fast-fighting, but nothing at Nottingham seems to support the details.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Worcester. King Ceowulf II of Mercia, defender of England. Move over, King Alfred of Wessex.

Hwaet! An ally of King Alfred of Wessex seeks his time on the stage as a hero of England, against the Vikings.  Co-efforts shown on coins with faces together, equal, as to Alfred and Ceowulf.

Share, children.  Share.  History rewrites by the chroniclers serving the agenda of the king best equipped to chronicle, rule the day, but eventually some do get corrected.

Here, the chroniclers of Alfred the Great, King Alfred of Wessex, who beat back the Vikings at Edington and is therefore a great hero, had help.  Not only help, but perhaps the efforts of the unsung King Ceowulf II, king of Mercia 874-877 were dispositive.  Coins have been found that display Alfred and Ceowulf equally on the face of the coins.  A few of them had been found earlier, but a new discovery shows the widespread dissemination of them and points to a strong alliance between the kings. See support at

Ceowulf is not only written out of history, the few accounts of him are unfavorable. See
Ceowulf was dismissed as a "foolish king's thane" holding lands for the interest of the Vikings in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, see historyfiles site, and, for example.  Instead, he was independent, a "shrewd negotiator" (see site), legitimate king, and with friendly relations as to Alfred.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Glastonbury Abbey: Archeology and King Arthur

Archeology at Glastonbury Abbey.  Review of the old, and exploration of the new: Glastonbury Abbey back in the news  Archeology may produce ambiguous results, but continual look-backs are valuable. What was dismissed, or advocated earlier, may be a springboard for new information.  Here, the Abbey site was indeed occupied in the 5th Century, the time of King Arthur, but alleged remains of his body and that of Guinevere?  Not definitive, not really anything.  Just a pit.

Here, the interface of legend and fact, see Legends of Glastonbury at

Timeline highpoints

33-35 CE -- Legend.  Joseph of Arimathea, holder of the Holy Grail (do a search) founds "Christian" church at Glastonbury.  Church?  What institution was in effect so soon after the death?  No mind.

5th Century -- Site is occupied, with "definitive proof" at the Abbey site, and this from the time of the actual King Arthur, see Legends of Glastonbury

600's -- Saxons, now Christian, conquered Somerset county. King:  Ine of Wessex, who built on the Abbey site, see

1066 -- Norman invasion.  Normans added to the existing structures at the Abbey.

1184 -- Huge fire at the Monastery, see site.  Monks rebuild, with some new but old-looking structures, to add to the pilgrimage value, see Legends of Glastonbury site.

1191 -- Monks at the Abbey find a log, hollow but with two bodies inside and a cross with the inscription indicating that here lie "King Arthur and his wife Guinevere."

1278 -- Edward I oversees reburial, bones said to be the royals Arthur and Guinevere

1536-1541 -- Protestant Dissolution of the Monasteries, with Glastonbury Abbey included in 1539.  In 1536, there were 800 monasteries, convents, friaries, reign of Henry VIII.  By 1541, none, with 10,000 religious persons displaced. See Glastonburyabbey site.

1904-1979 --  Era of 36 or so excavations, but unpublished, often misinterpreted

1950's - 1960's -- more excavations, but affirmative evidence for the royals Arthur and Guinevere are contested.