Monday 8 September 2003
Pix Of The Day: The Little England Beyond Wales
CREDITS: © Peter Turner/MaccCAM.co.uk
MAP: Fishguard, St. David's and Haverfordwest
When clicked, thumbnails popup enlarged versions of the images.
A few days ago an American acquaintance casually asked us what we knew about Edward Longshanks. In a country where many of the inhabitants are a bit unclear on anything before Queen Victoria, this was something of a surprise. Where I was born, on the English side of where the Anglo-Scottish border now runs, Edward I (1239-1307) is more usually known as the 'Hammer Of The Scots'. Large tranches of English history concern themselves with the problems of the Celtic Fringe, although blaming the Celts is not really fair.
Many of the tides of conquest, particularly the last one in 1066 by second generation Norsemen pretending they were French, came across the waters to the south and east, driving the existing occupants to the mountains of the north and west. The Gaels, who sailed round the north capes to invade from the north and west, are one of the notable exceptions to this generalization. Much of Edward's reign was spent dealing with problems in Wales, and in Scotland. He died on an expedition against the Scots, camped on a bleak marsh we visited many times on bicycles when I was young.
Peter Turner's MaccCAM.co.uk web site is one of our regular haunts: if you check out the site contents page, you too may find something of interest. We chose Peter's expedition from his home town of Macclesfield, southwestward to Pembroke, a region and peninsula of southwest Wales still referred to (somewhat disparagingly by people with a strong Welsh identity), as 'Little England'.
They have long memories in the fringes: the name comes from the influx of Flemish settlers who were given safe passage by Edward I to settle around the town that is now Haverfordwest. They had become refugees after displacement from their own lands by an incursion of the sea. Edward was not being altruistic, but wanted the ethnic diversity created by the incoming Flemish settlers to diminish the strength of local resistance to English rule.
Peter's three part photo tour weekend started Dollgellau in the north, in a different region named Gwynedd, then proceeded south through Fishguard to St. David's. A disused railway station, cottages, mountains, a cathedral, an ancient burial site with the chamber stones remaining as menhirs, an Iron/Bronze Age hill fort, a cannon, boats in harbour, and even a dragon: there can be little that Peter did not photograph on his trip! An excellent site that we heartily recommend.
On This Day In 2002: Brodsworth Hall - Sun 8 Sep 2002
Photographer John Beres has a photo web site that covers the English counties of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, but does range further afield. I chose to feature these two pictures, part of a gallery John made after a visit to Brodsworth Hall, near Doncaster in the county of South Yorkshire. The site has a number of galleries themed by location, and two flower galleries. Usefully for such a site, there is also a map to give you an idea of John's usual area of operation.
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)