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Journey back to the Dark Ages this Bank Holiday weekend at Old Sarum as the Vikings take resident.

Discover more about this fascinating period with displays of weaponry and archery. Also witness combat shows where warriors go

Vikings at Old Sarum Castle

Brute Force and wily tactics.

head-to-head in competitions that will test their strength and skill in a fierce fight to the finish!  Also find out more about domestic life during the period with displays of cooking and talks on diet and lifestyle.  For our junior warriors there’s also a chance to take part in a mini battle.

Date: Sat 25 – Mon 27 May 2013 (bank holiday)

How to Book

Tickets will be available to purchase at the event site on the day

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/events/the-vikings-os-25-may/

Prices

Ticket price includes entry to event & Old Sarum Castle

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VisitWiltshire has launched the county’s first ever tourism App, which showcases the best of the Wiltshire tourism offering and provides unique content, including App-only special offers, and will be an interactive and invaluable source of information for visitors.

The App is part of VisitWiltshire’s marketing strategy to boost tourism visits and spend to the county. Wiltshire snow

The mobile app is now available to download for free from the Apple and Google Play stores. The wide range of content on the app will reflect the breadth of attractions and activities the county has to offer, including Salisbury Cathedral; the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site; Longleat and Wiltshire’s renowned white horses; the Kennett and Avon Canal and Caen Hill Locks; and Wiltshire’s variety of scenic villages and historic market towns.

It also includes details of all VisitWiltshire’s 480+ tourism partners, as well as sections on towns and villages, things to do, accommodation, shopping, food and drink, outdoor activities, and what’s on in the county. Other features include interactive mapping – so visitors will be able to find places nearby, special offers, Wiltshire-themed games, and weather updates.

Fiona Errington, Marketing Manager, VisitWiltshire said:

We’re delighted to be launching our new VisitWiltshire App, which will showcase Wiltshire as a fantastic tourist destination and offer visitors a wealth of ideas and information on what to see and do when out and about or planning a visit to our county. The VisitWiltshire App shows visitors our fantastic attractions, great range of accommodation, restaurants, pubs, great shops, and many other highlights and locations. Having over 480 Wiltshire tourism businesses contribute makes this a tremendous resource for our visitors.

Almost a third of visitors to visitwiltshire.co.uk now use a smart phone or tablet and are increasingly looking for tourist information in their hand and on the move. This new App gives them access to the best of Wiltshire at their fingertips .”
Wiltshire tourism business interested in being included on the App should contact Fiona Errington on: fionaerrington@visitwiltshire.co.uk

Full story: http://www.heart.co.uk/wiltshire/news/local/first-tourism-app-wiltshire/

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The sounds of battle will be erupting at Old Sarum when members of The Medieval Siege Society lay siege to the Castle and recreate The Wars of the Roses this Bank Holiday weekend. Enjoy displays of medieval martial skills such as swordsmanship and archery, culminating in dramatic battle re-enactments. Don’t miss the mighty medieval trebuchet in action too!

Old Sarum EventsThroughout the day visitors will be invited to step back in time and tour the living history camps, seeing how an army would live on campaign and give an insight into life for fifteenth century soldiers and their families

Sun 5 & Mon 6 May 2013 (bank holiday

More information: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/events/siege-os-5-may/

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Prepare to immerse yourself in the story of England at History Live! – an action-packed blockbuster and Europe’s biggest historical event.

History AliveOver 2,000 re-enactors and performers bring two millennia of history to life through stunning combat displays, thrilling battle re-enactments and a host of interactive experiences.

Gladiators, redcoats, and the Roman Imperial Army will be among the returning favourites at the event, which will also feature breathtaking displays of skill and valour from clashing knights on horseback in the Grand Medieval Joust and of bravery from Allied soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy.

New for this year will be a re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings, the battle that changed the course of the nation, as well as a demonstration of the impressive artillery used before gunpowder was even invented.

Away from the arena and parade ground, visitors can also step into living history encampments, discover fun activities and enjoy expert talks. With plenty to keep the whole family entertained, this is a weekend you will not want to miss.

 

Image courtesy of Point and Shoot Medieval Photography.

  • Date: Sat 20 & Sun 21 July 2013
  • Property:
    Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire
  • Time: 9.30am-6.00pm
  • <!–

  • Booking :
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  • Suitable for: Everyone

Purchase your tickets today by calling our dedicated Ticket Sales Team on 0870 333 1183 (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5.30 Sat 9am – 5pm) or online below. Tickets will also be available to purchase at the event site on the day.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/events/history-live-kelmarsh-20-jul/

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It feels as if we’ve always cherished the ruins of our stately homes, great abbeys, castles and ancient monuments. Yet our love affair with historic buildings is relatively recent. It’s been a revolution that flew in the face of industrial change and has been inspired both by acts of personal bravado and government intervention.

Main Image: BBC/English Heritage

Main Image: BBC/English Heritag

A new series on BBC Four this month called “Heritage! The Battle for Britain’s Past” looks at those pioneers of the past who fought to save the physical remains of the nation’s history. Some like William Morris, Octavia Hill and John Betjeman are familiar names, others – the “men from the ministry” /who worked quietly behind the scenes – are unsung heroes.

 
The first episode charts the birth of the heritage movement and the battle to save Britain’s great sites from destruction. The second episode looks at the interwar years, the rise of the day out to a historic site, and the struggle for the future of the English country house. And the final episode examines how in the second half of the 20th century, the definition of what did and did not constitute “heritage” changed.heritage-bbcfour

Made in partnership with English Heritage, the series features contributions from many of EH’s experts and draws upon its research into the early acts of heritage legislation – including the landmark Ancient Monuments Act of 1913.

A timely reminder to all of us about just how important these buildings remain, how we so nearly lost so many and the lessons we mustn’t forget.

Heritage! The Battle for Britain’s Past starts tomorrow at 21.00 on BBC Four
Links source: http://www.primeresi.com/heritage-the-battle-for-britains-past/12094/

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Within the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, the National Trust manages 827 hectares (2,100 acres) of downland surrounding the famous stone circle.

Walking across the grassland, visitors can discover other prehistoric monuments, including the Avenue and King Barrow Ridge with its Bronze Age burial mounds.

Bronze Age burial mounds rise among beech trees at King Barrow Ridge

Bronze Age burial mounds rise among beech trees at King Barrow Ridge

Nearby, Winterbourne Stoke Barrows is another fascinating example of a prehistoric cemetery. While Durrington Walls hides the remains of a Neolithic village.

The best approach to the famous stone circle is across Normanton Down, a round barrow cemetery dates from around 2600 to 1600BC.

stonehenge@nationaltrust.org.uk

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stonehenge-landscape/
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/

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Archaeologists hunting for the remains of King Richard III may have made a crucial breakthrough – after finding human remains in the ruins of a medieval friary underneath a modern-day car park.

A team from Leicester University, which has been digging in the city centre, will today announce what it claims is “a dramatic development in the search for crucial breakthrough – after finding human remains in the ruins of a medieval friary underneath a modern-day car park.

A team from Leicester University, which has been digging in the city centre, will today announce what it claims is “a dramatic development in the search for Richard III”.

Last month, archaeologists began searching for the body of the last king of the House of York, who was defeated in battle by a Lancastrian army in 1485. They have unearthed the site of a Franciscan friary in Leicester called Grey Friars, and also believe they have found the burial place of Richard – a church – where human remains were found. The DNA material will be tested to see if matches that of a 17th-generation descendent of the monarch’s sister.
NICK CLARK – http://www.independent.co.uk

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Richard Taylor, a spokesman for the university, said: “What we have uncovered is truly remarkable”.

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Beginning at sundown on the eve of July 31st to sundown on August 1st

The Celtic Harvest Festival – Lughnasadh – also known as Lammas – is a harvest celebration beginning at sundown on the eve of the 31st of July until sundown on August 1st and derives its name from the Irish God Lugh. In Wales, this time is known simply as Gwl Awst, the August Feast. Lugh is associated with the power of sun and light, and so fires were burned in honor of Him on this day. In addition to His associations with light, Lugh is a God of Skill and Craft, a master of all human skills. On this His feast day, it is particularly appropriate that we celebrate our own abilities and skills.

“Celtic Festival of the first fruits and ripening corn “

Lugh dedicated this Celtic festival to his foster-mother, Tailtiu, the last queen of the Fir Bolg, who died from fatigue after working and clearing a great forest so that the land could be cultivated. When the men of Ireland gathered at her death-bed, she told them to hold funeral games and celebrations in her honor. As long as they were held, she prophesied Ireland would not be without song.

Lammas (was christianized as Lammas:  the word ‘Lammas’ is an Old English word meaning ‘Loaf Mass’) celebrates the first harvesting of crops, the first of three harvest festivals.  The Earth yields up Her first gifts to us … a blessing from the Mother and the product of our human hands.  It is a time to celebrate the fruitfulness of the Earth and fruits of our labors.  We have sown and nurtured, and now we are reaping the benefits in rhythm with the Earth.  In later times, the festival of Lughnasadh, but in rural areas it was often remembered as “Bilberry Sunday,” the people would gather the earth’s freely-given gifts of black berries.  As well people sang and danced jigs and reels to the music of melodeons, fiddles and flutes, and held uproarious sporting contests and races.

Corn, grains and berries are of particular significance at this holiday (see recipes below from corn, flour and grains).  Traditionally, the newly harvested grain is made into bread to be shared with all in this celebration.  Fruits and vegetables are ripe and ready for canning and preserving.  We celebrate and partake in the fullness of the Earth while beginning to make provision for the cold months ahead.

This was also an occasion for handfasting and displaying of their skills and specialized crafts.  Through the centuries, Ireland’s country-people have celebrated the harvest at revels, wakes and country fairs. Some still continue this festival today with an entertaining manner and it is usually celebrated on the nearest Sunday to August 1st, as so that a whole day could be set aside from work.

It is a time to ask ourselves:  “What are my talents?  What are my skills?   How do I express my creativity?  How do I use my abilities to re-craft my world … to add beauty …. color … richness?  Our skills may include woodworking, designing, creating, sewing and needlecraft, art, music, dance, sports or communication, organizing, healing, parenting, problem solving etc.  Whatever our talents or abilities, this is a time to recognize them and honor them, and to share our recognition of the talents and abilities of others around us.  If you have had an interest or urge to develop a particular skill or creative outlet, now might be the time to make a pledge or commitment to yourself to pursue your interest.  By offering the fruits of our labors back to the Universe we enrich both ourselves and our world.

Because Lughnasadh is a celebration of the new harvest, people cooked special ritual foods and festive meals.  If you are curious about this historic celebration and the abundance of foods prepared, please search the internet. It is a wonderful time to celebrate the abundance we receive from mother earth and be with our special loved ones.

Lammas Traditions

Lammastide was the traditional time when craft fairs and pageants were held. Long Summer evenings are beginning to get shorter.
In Ireland Lammas is traditionally a time for buying and selling, horse trading and music.
The ‘Oul Lammas Fair’, Ireland’s oldest traditional market fair, which takes place in Ballycastle, Co Antrim on the last Monday and Tuesday in August, attracts people in their thousands at festival time.

Saint Catherine was celebrated – ‘ The Catherine Wheel’ came from the Pagan rites when a wagon wheel would be tarred, set on fire and rolled down a hill – symbolizing the decline of the Sun God as the seasos wheel turns to Autumn Equinox. If the wheel went out before it reached the bottom – poor harvest, abundant if it remained lit.

St. Ciaran’s Well, Clonmacnois, County Meath – pilgrims go with torches at midnight on the first sunday in August – looking for a trout. The sun was believed to live in holy wells during the night.

Celts erected temporary hills to celebrate the harvest festival of Lammas. In Ireland a girl would be seated on the hill-top, garlanded with flowers and proclaimed the goddess of the hill. Celts would climb hills to pray to the gods and gather bilberries at Lammas.
The raising up of Celtic crosses onto stone steps recalls the Lammas tradition – Perrons – a type of man-made holy terraced mountain.

Making of the Corn Dolly from the best ears of corn taken from the last sheaf to be harvested.
This was usually kept hanging over the hearth to bring good luck, and the seeds were added to the new seeds in the Spring.

Link: http://www.mysticfamiliar.com/library/witchcraft/lughnasadh.html
L
ink: http://www.new-age.co.uk/celtic-festivals-lammas.

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Archaeologists have unearthed a charred stone that suggests the Mediterranean diet came to these islands during the Iron Age

Professor Mike Fulford at the dig in Silchester. The latest find is an olive stone that dates back to Iron Age Britain. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

Professor Mike Fulford at the dig in Silchester. The latest find is an olive stone that dates back to Iron Age Britain. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

Iron Age Britons were importing olives from the Mediterranean a century before the Romans arrived with their exotic tastes in food, say archaeologists who have discovered a single olive stone from an excavation of an Iron Age well at at Silchester in Hampshire.

The stone came from a layer securely dated to the first century BC, making it the earliest ever found in Britain – but since nobody ever went to the trouble of importing one olive, there must be more, rotted beyond recognition or still buried.

The stone, combined with earlier finds of seasoning herbs such as coriander, dill and celery, all previously believed to have arrived with the Romans, suggests a diet at Silchester that would be familiar in any high street pizza restaurant.

The excavators, led by Professor Mike Fulford of Reading University, also found another more poignant luxury import: the skeleton of a tiny dog, no bigger than a modern toy poodle, carefully buried, curled up as if in sleep. However it may not have met a peaceful end.

“It was fully grown, two or three years old, and thankfully showed no signs of butchery, so it wasn’t a luxury food or killed for its fur,” Fulford said. “But it was found in the foundations of a very big house we are still uncovering – 50 metres long at least – so we believe it may turn out to be the biggest Iron Age building in Britain, which must have belonged to a chief or a sub chief, a very big cheese in the town. And whether this little dog conveniently died just at the right time to be popped into the foundations, or whether it was killed as a high status offering, we cannot tell.

“The survival of the olive stone, which was partly charred, was a freak of preservation. But there must be more; we need to dig a lot more wells.”

Fulford has been leading the annual summer excavations at Silchester, which bring together hundreds of student, volunteer and professional archaeologists, for half a lifetime, and the site continues to throw up surprises. It was an important Roman town, but deliberately abandoned in the 7th century, its wells blocked up and its buildings tumbled, and never reoccupied. Apart from a few Victorian farm buildings, it is still open farmland, surrounded by the jagged remains of massive Roman walls.

Fulford now believes that the town was at its height a century before the Roman invasion in 43AD, with regularly planned, paved streets, drainage, shops, houses and workshops, trading across the continent for luxury imports of food, household goods and jewellery, enjoying a lifestyle in Britain that, previously, was believed to have arrived with the Romans.

This sodden summer have driven the archaeologists to despair, with the site a swamp of deep mud and water bubbling up in every hole and trench.

“Conditions are the worst I can ever remember. Ironically, the wells are the easiest to work in because we have the pumps running there,” Fulford said.

The tiny dog is one of dozens that the team has excavated here over the years, including one that was buried standing up as if on guard for 2,000 years. A unique knife with a startlingly realistic carving of two dogs mating was another of the spectacular finds from one of the most enigmatic sites in the country.

Visitors can observe the archaeologists’ trench warfare this weekend, when the site opens to the public as part of the national festival of archaeology, one of thousands of events across the country.

Article by: Maev Kennedy guardian.co.uk,
Full Story: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jul/19/olive-stone-pre-roman-britain

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ARCHAEOLOGY WEEKEND

It’s the Festival of British Archaeology – this is your chance to meet a real archaeologist and to uncover artefacts from Old Sarum’s history. Enjoy a weekend for all the family with plenty of hands-on activities and crafts to keep everyone busy! Take part in a mini-dig and have a go at identifying objects lost over time.

About Old Sarum

Discover the story of the original Salisbury and take the family for a day out to Old Sarum, 2 miles north of where the city stands now. The mighty Iron Age hill fort was where the first cathedral once stood and the Romans, Normans and Saxons have all left their mark.

Today, 5,000 years of history are told through graphic interpretation panels on site. Families, heritage lovers and walkers can enjoy a great value day out at Old Sarum- you could even bring a picnic and enjoy the fantastic views across the Wiltshire countryside. The gift shop has a delicious range of ice-creams and exclusive English Heritage gifts and produce. Wooden bows and arrows are also on sale to help the kids imagine what life was like all those years ago!
DON’T MISS
The spectacular view from the ramparts at Old Sarum to the ‘new’ cathedral in the centre of Salisbury
Our interesting interpretation panels bringing 5,000 years of history to life
Old Sarum’s literary connections- you can buy some of the famous books written about the site in our shop

English Heritage: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/old-sarum/

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