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Just when you thought it was safe to form an opinion...

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I have long been interested in the conflict commonly referred to as The Wars of the Roses and I am currently reading a book focusing on George Duke of Clarence, brother to Edward IV and Richard III. (The Third Plantagenet: George, Duke of Clarence - John Ashdown-Hill)
I am aware that the term The Wars of the Roses was only adopted to describe the conflict several centuries after it occurred. I am also aware that the emblems of the white rose for the house of York and the red rose for the house of Lancaster have gained popularity or been assigned after the event; the white rose was utilised by the house of York however the red rose is not utilised by the house of Lancaster until the reign of Henry VII during the Tudor period, some years after the end of the conflict. 
The introduction to this book alone though has provided further, significant insight into the subject and thrown into turmoil my assessment of the right and wrong of the conflict. As an example the author indicates that it …

The Plot Thickens...Again

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I have just finished reading a book about the Black Prince by Louise Creighton and, as usual when I finish a history book, got the urge to post about it here.

I love reading history books, usually non-fiction. I really enjoy historical fiction, and in fact it was a fictional story concerning Edward I that got me into history in the first place, but I prefer non-fiction as it allows you to get as close to the actual person, and events of the time, as is currently possible. It also removes the artistic licence element which in some cases I have found extreme and inappropriate.

But, sometimes you just want to loose your self in a good story, and I have recently finished reading Bernard Cornwall's series regarding Uthred of Bebbanburg which has provided complete satisfaction in that area!
For now, moving back to non fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed Louise Creighton's book and found it gave me valuable insight not only into Edward of Woodstock (later dubbed the Black Prince) but also h…

Caergwrle Castle

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I got to choose an event for Mothers Day this year and decided on a walk here. This is Caergwrle Castle. Estimated to have been built in the late 13th century by Dafydd ap Gruffydd it stands on one of two sandstone hills in the village and commands fantastic views to the north and south.

To the west is Hope Mountain with a peak of 330m and to the east is the hillfort Caer Estyn, situated on the twin hill. The River Alyn runs between the castle and the hillfort.


While similar in structure to other castles I have visited every castle is unique and I found the size, design and location of this fortification to be very impressive. The slopes of the hill are tree covered and as such surrounding noise pollution is somewhat dimmed by the bird song. It was very easy to let your imagination take you back in time and imagine yourself at the site centuries ago, admiring the view and keeping a close eye out for any advancing enemy.

Time was a factor on the day of our visit however we look forward…

This Day In History - The Battle of Hastings

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950 years ago today King Harold II, Harold Godwinson, of England was defeated by William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. Harold, the last Anglo Saxon King of England died in the battle. On Christmas Day 1066 William was crowned the first Norman King of England at Westminster Abbey and the face and fate of the country changed forever.

See more events that occurred in history on this day here: This Day in History

The Battle of Crogen

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This week we visited a local battle site relating to Henry II's campaign in Wales in the 12th century. 
The spot marks the location of The Battle of Crogen. I recorded as much as I could in photos to tell the tale as per the interpretation boards which had such great information however the main purpose of our visit was to see the oak tree that marks the location that the Welsh buried the English dead after a crushing defeat. 
The oak would certainly have been present at the time, forming part of what was the Ceriog Forest, and is a truly amazing specimen. (Click on individual images to enlarge.)
















Lecture Note 1 - History of the World - 1500CE Further Reading

Course: History of the World to 1500CE Columbia University YouTube Lectures - Richard Bulliet (RB) Lecture 1 - Further reading 1.2

Introduction to World History - Youtube upload 2010
Below are my notes on points for further reading from lecture 1 prior to studying lecture 2.
Sources: Hyper PhysicsC14 datingRadiocarbon
FR 1.2 - Carbon dating and corrected carbon dating.
Additional sources: BBC Bitesize

Well this is going to test the old grey matter! Ok so Carbon dating is a form of radioactive dating. It can only be applied to matter that was once living and presumed to be in equilibrium with our atmosphere; matter that assimilates carbon dioxide such as plants and animals. 

The nitrogen in our atmosphere is bombarded with neutrons that produce a radioactive isotope called carbon - 14. This in turn combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide which is assimilated by plants and animals through photosynthesis and I assume by animals through merely breathing. When plants and animals die they cea…