Dee Finney's blog

start date July 20,. 2011

Today's date  February 17, 2012

page 137





2-17-12 - DREAM -  3:16 a.m.   I was in a large room in a brick building, lit only by a tall window's light.  There was a small crowd of people in the room discussing war with the Irish.

I was looking at a document with old Irish language that used words like bryn tawg.

I understood that they went to war with the English over a piece of land that took a half hour's walk, and I wondered how large a piece of land that was, and it came to 7/8 of a mile.

I wondered why England would go to war over a 7/8 mile piece of land, so I called out to someone named Dee who was standing at the window talking to someone else to tell them that a half hour's walk was 7/8 of a mile.


ROV has been telling me stuff about King Arthur Pendragon for years, here is today's:




I had visions of documents all referring to things about King Arthur and was told to "LOOK DOWN"

Then I had a dream about going to a library and met a blonde woman at the doorway that I knew from work and we said "Hello", but I couldn't stop and chat because I had to go to the bathroom.

In the bathroom there was a burst pipe and so much water was coming out of it, I left the bathroom to leave the building and the water ran like a river behind me like it was chasing me, even when the hallway went uphill and I noticed the hallway was made of red brick, and there was another standpipe at the doorway that had a rod sticking out of it at the bottom and it was sparking towards my foot where the water was creeping up behind me. And I heard the words " SPARKS SPARKS SPARKS, PENDRAGON, PENDRAGON, PENDRAGON."

I came out of the doorway of the library and jumped off the porch onto a muddy field where a very large man was standing, and I ran for my car and woke up.

I knew I had to go back to sleep, so I went to the bathroom, took the phone off the hook and went to bed, where I had another dream.

In the second dream, I was shown a lake with an island in it like I was flying in an airplane right over it, and I knew that was where King Arthur Pendragon was buried.

QUESTION: Are there any other graves on the island where Princess Diana is buried?

ANOTHER QUESTION: are there any islands that the river Dee goes around when it goes through a lake?


Search results

  1. ... Declaration of Independence, and issued a Message to the Free Nations of the World, which stated that there was an "existing state of war, between Ireland and England".
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_War_of_Independence -
    More results from en.wikipedia.org »
  2. 1629 - 1687: The English Civil War and Cromwell ... was to abolish Parliament and he ruled England on ... of England', but he had been active in Ireland ...
  3. William defeated Jacobitism in Ireland and subsequent Jacobite Risings were confined to Scotland and England. However, the War was to have a lasting effect on Ireland ...
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williamite_War_in_Ireland -
  4. Summary. The Irish Uprising of October 1641 rapidly escalated into a war that involved the Three Kingdoms of Ireland, Scotland and England. With the insurgents ...
    www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/military/confederate-war.htm -
  5. ... highest interests' lay 'in the speedy and overwhelming victory of England ... Ireland and the Great War by Keith Jeffery (Cambridge University Press, 2000)
    www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/britain_wwone/ireland... -
    More results from bbc.co.uk »
  6. Ireland Are They Still at War with England? I could not wait to get out of Dublin in my rented little Fiesta, on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of ...
    www.obobservations.com/Stories/Irelandatwar.htm -
  7. Folk Music from England, Scotland, Ireland, & America: War Songs; Lyrics, Historical Information, MIDIs and Tune Related Links
    www.contemplator.com/war.html -
  8. Encyclopedia—Charles I, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland Civil War and Execution. There were no decisive victories in the civil war until Charles was defeated ...
    www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0920730.html -
    More results from infoplease.com »
  9. If Ireland and England went to war who would win...? Find answers to your legal question.
    www.wikilaw3k.org/.../If-Ireland-and-England-went-to-war... -
  10. [Feb 27, 2006] Why doesn't England declare war on the Republic of Ireland and make it part of the United Kingdom? Why would they want to? What benefit would it be? Modern nations ... ~ by Answers101 ( 19 comments )
    www.answerbag.com/q_view/44369 -
    More results from answerbag.com »

A Virtual Stroll Around the Walls of Chester

The River Dee and Grosvenor Park

River Dee II

Site Front Door
Search the Site Index

Check out the Route Map
A brief introduction to Chester / 2

The Northgate / 2 / 3
The North Wall
The Phoenix Tower
The Kaleyard Gate
/ 2
The Cathedral
/ 2 / 3
The Eastgate
/ 2
The Newgate & Wolfgate
The Amphitheatre 1
/ 01 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / Comments about
St. John's Church
/ 2
The 'Roman Garden'
River Dee inc Grosvenor Park
/ 2
The Bridgegate
/ 2
The Castle
/ 2
The Grosvenor Bridge
The Roodee
/ 2
The Watergate
/ 2
The Infirmary
The Watertower
Tower Wharf
St. Martin's Gate
The Bridge of Sighs
/ 2
Chester's visitors through time
The Rows of Chester
The Chester Gallery
Old Maps & Aerial Photos
Old photos of Chester & Liverpool
Vanished Chester Pubs / 2
Chester Cinemas
The Old Port / 2
The Chester Canal / 2 / 3
The Royalty Theatre
Chris Langford Gallery
Mystery Plays Gallery
Chester Anagrams!
MickleTrafford Railway Stroll
Letters about the CDTS Busway
Letters about our site 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
The B&W Picture Place
Links to Interesting Places
Advertise with us
Write to us

Pressing on, just ahead of us as the walls turn to the west by Barnaby's Tower, we get our first view of the beautiful River Dee.

Deva was the name given to their fortress by the Romans, which translates as divine or Goddess- and was taken from the British (Celtic) name for the then-mighty river beside which the fortress was built.

All natural rivers, lakes or other bodies of water were held in reverence by the early inhabitants and considered to be the dwelling places of divine beings, and the majority of British rivers still retain their ancient names.

The River Dee, which is about 70 miles long, rises in the hills above Llanuwchllyn in the 'Dolgellau gold belt' of Merioneth (Gwynedd) and, before it passes through Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) it is known as Afon Dyindwy or 'The Little Dee'. There is an old legend which says that the waters of the River Dee do not mingle with the waters of Bala Lake but pass straight through, emerging undiluted for their final journey down to the sea.

On leaving Llyn Tegid the river first passes under a modern road bridge at Bala where the channel was diverted (the remains of the old channel and its bridge can be seen a few yards away) in connection with the Bala Lake Scheme, by which the flow in the river is regulated for water supply and mitigation of flooding in the Dee Valley. The river passes through the regulating sluices a short way downstream.

The reach of the river for about 19 river miles downstream of Bala is fairly flat and meanders in wide curves amongst gravel shoals, with bridges at Llanderfel, Cynwyd, Corwen and Carrog. Below Carrog the river becomes steeper, and before it reaches the beauty spot of Llangollen in Denbighshire there are the well-known Horse Shoe Falls at Liantysilio.

At Llangollen there is another road bridge, and at Pontcysyllte, a few miles downstream of this, the river runs some 120 feet below Thomas Telford's magnificent aqueduct carrying the Shropshire Union Canal from one side of the valley to the other on its way to Chester. The river next passes below the multiple arches of the London-Holyhead railway bridge, and the next weirs are at Erbistock which is about one-third of a mile upstream of Overton Bridge. Below Overton the river is again less steep, and continues its way in wide meanders under the Bangor-on-Dee bridge and thence under the Holt/Farndon bridge. Above this point the river has been either in Wales, or has formed the border between England and Wales; below Farndon the river lies in England until it leaves Chester.

Below Chester, the river flows in an artificial channel which was excavated some two centuries ago when what are now Sealand and Shotton were reclaimed from the Estuary. This 'canalised reach' runs in a straight line for 5 miles and passes beneath two road bridges at Queensferry, the first a modern fixed bridge which effectively prohibits the passage of any tall ships, and the second known as the Queen Victoria Jubilee Bridge, which is of the rolling bascule type. A mile further on there is the Hawarden railway bridge, originally constructed as a swing bridge, but nowadays never opened, which carries the New Brighton/Chester/Wrexham line.

The long canalised reach significantly modifies the tides as they pass upriver; whereas at the seaward end of the estuary a mean spring tide has a range of some 28 feet and six and a quarter hour periods of flood, and ebb the same tide at Chester has a range of oniy about 8 feet, a flood period of only one and a half hours and an ebb period of about 11 hours.

There are no locks on the River Dee but there are many on the Shropshire Union Canal and its feeder canal. In Roman times, the Dee was an important shipping river, and 1200 years later Chester was the second most important port in Britain. As silting of the estuary became more and more serious (being substantially accelerated by the reclamations which were carried out between 1732 and 1916), the main port activity moved downstream from Chester, first to Shotwick, and then to Parkgate (here is a fine panoraramic photo showingly dramatically how the River Dee had changed) - and then to Caldy. Although the importance in past centuries of the Dee for shipping has now been largely lost, the expanding North Wales port of Mostyn keeps its quays busy with sea-going vessels. Ships of up to 2,500 tons burden can enter at high water on spring tides but may 'take the ground' when the tide recedes as there are no wet docks in which a ship can lie afloat.

The Groves
Leaning over the city wall, the attractive area below us is known as The Groves, Chester's riverside promenade and a magnet for residents and visitors alike. It was laid out in two stages- the section below us by Charles Croughton in 1725, and the western end, nearest to the Old Dee Bridge, by Alderman Charles Brown in 1880-1. There are refreshment kiosks, pubs, a pretty Edwardian bandstand (right) and landing stages from where pleasure boats depart for cruises up the Dee and from where rowing- and motorboats may be hired. Concerts and regattas are held in the summer months and local artists display their work along the base of the wall.

Above we can see strollers on the Groves in one of Francis Frith's fine views in 1923- a scene which has remained largely unchanged to this day. On the right is a photograph by the author of the Bandstand on a foggy winter day in 2007. (It is one of his many images of Chester available for you to purchase as beautiful handmade prints).

The first recorded performance in the bandstand was by the Mounted Band of the Royal Artillery and took place on May 17th 1913. The tradition of live music on The Groves continues to this day and a concert can be enjoyed here every Saturday and Sunday from early May to September from 2-3.30 pm and again from 4-6pm. Details of the bands playing and more can be found by ringing 01244 402446.

Just ahead is a long flight of steps arranged in sets of three and known as the Wishing Steps, which were built about 1785 and link the different levels of the south and east walls.

In his 1924 work, In Search of England, author H V Morton recalled, "Why? I asked a man who was standing on them, looking as though none of his wishes had ever come true. 'Well', he said, in the curiously blunt way they have here, 'You have to run up and down and up again without taking breath, and then they say you'll get your wish'.

I noticed a band of breathless Americans standing on the other side, utterly vanquished. I decided to try no conclusions with the Wall of Chester and passed on in a superior way, mentally deciding to have a wish- for I can never resist these challenges of Fate- some morning when I could come fresh and vigorous to the steps. That, however, I learn is not playing the game; you must walk the wall first and then 'run up and down and up again', a feat which I shall leave to the natives- and to the Legions!" An earlier bit of local folklore had it that, if an unmarried girl successfully performed the same feat, the man of her choice would propose to her.

This writer was recently enjoying the company of some Canadian visitors during the course of one of his
guided walks around the City Walls and witnessed one of the party (a PT instructor, as it turned out) easily managing the feat with hardly an effort- so it can be done!

A litle further on are the Recorder's Steps. A stone plaque here records that the steps were built by City Recorder Roger Comberbach in 1700 to allow access to his house, but this may be inaccurate, for in 1720- the year after the Recorder's death- the Assembly ordered the city's mason to make a new flight of stairs "between the Bridge and Dee Lane". Very soon afterwards, on 21st May 1721, one Kenneth Edwards, a tanner, fell down the 'new stairs' and died.
In 1730, Roger Comberbach built himself a new home, Dee House, on the site of Chester's Roman amphitheatre- currently the subject of a great deal of ongoing local controversy.

Close by the Recorder's Steps may be seen the ruined base of a vanished- and apparently nameless- watchtower, similar in design to Morgan's Mount- which we shall visit towards the end of our stroll- with stone seats and windows. Its upper section was removed in the 19th century, but if you study its base and the surrounding stonework from the Groves below, you will easily see the damage caused by Civil War cannonballs and grenadoes.

This building is shown as a lofty tower in 16th and 17th century maps and 'bird's eye views' of Chester but it is not indicated in Wright's prospect of the south side of Chester (1690) and appears only as a widened space on the walls in Lavaux's map (c 1745). In the plan of the Civil War fortifications (1643) the place is called the 'raised platform on the walls'. Historian Randle Holme thus described it,

"This mount is set between the New Gate and Bridge Gate and is a large square solid mount raised a dozen or sixteen steps aboove the rest of the wall on each side of it. It is battlemented about three sides, the other side next the citty is beare and open. In the warre time 1643 it was made a battery for a great gun, but being so high it was a place unserviceable".

queens park bridge Joseph Hemingway, in his perambulations of the walls while preparing his Panorama of the City of Chester (1836), gives this account of the spot, "At the top of the Wishing Steps stood an ancient watch tower, which had an apartment with a stone seat on one side, and windows commanding an extensive view of the surrounding country. The tower was taken down in 1826 as affording a lounging receptacle for disorderly vagrants; and being reduced in height to a level with the parapet wall, was covered over the sloping flags; thus furnishing a temptation to adventurous children to play their gambols upon, and risque their lives, although this danger might be averted at a trifling expense, by the erection of an iron railing. A few years ago, a child in endeavouring to mount this spot, was precipitated into the orchard beneath, but was but little injured, though the depth outside the walls in this part is not less than twenty yards."

Enhancing the scene before us is the graceful Queen's Park Suspension Bridge, the only footbridge to cross the river. Originally built in 1852 at the instigation of Enoch Gerrard, Esq., the 'projector and proprietor' of Queen's Park, the developing affluent surburb across the river. According to Thomas Hughes, author of The Stranger's Handbook to Chester, "It was 'a pretty object in the landscape. Though of such spider-like construction, its capabilities and strength have been fully tested".

When Chester Corporation accepted the responsibility for this bridge in the early nineteen twenties, they decided to demolish it, This took place in August 1922, and a new bridge built to the designs of Mr Charles Greenwood, City Engineer and Surveyor, took its place and remains with us today. The opening ceremony, conducted by the Mayor of Chester, Councillor S. R. Wall, took place on 18 April 1923. It was superbly restored in 1998.

The interesting old watercolour above shows the river viewed from the Wishing Steps including the newly-erected first bridge and the first of the Queen's Park mansions are seen standing in, to modern eyes, remarkably open ground. Many more were soon to follow and mature trees now line the riverside. The first suspension bridge is also shown in the above photograph, dating from around 1910 and a fine aerial view (from a balloon!) of it in 1855 may be seen here. Here it is around the 1920s in a splendid handcoloured restoration. You can see a photograph of its replacement on a sunny afternoon in the 1960s here- and also one in the winter fog by your guide on the first page of our river visit.

Development Follies
old boat sheds on the grovesgroves bistroThe area below us as we look down from the dizzy heights of this, the south-east corner of the City Walls is dominated by a modern bar/bistro building, (llustrated right: photograph by the author, January 2010) originally called The Old Orleans but since remnamed as The Groves.

Back in 1978, when this area was occupied by an old bowling green and a row of utiltarian corrugated iron boat storage sheds, planning permission was sought for a large hotel development for the site. Reaction to this was mixed but numerous individual objections were lodged and a lively debate concerning the best use for the site commenced. The Royal Fine Arts Commssion was of the opinion that the community would most benefit by the sheds being demolished and site being landscaped and utilised as public open space. Subsequently, the commission agreed that a restaurant / public house integrated into the landscape scheme may be acceptable. The council refused permission for the hotel and, after a period of consultation, the present building was erected.

Nearly thirty years later, in February 2007, news started to leak out that a development company, Delamere Palatine, had applied for planning permission to demolish the pub and erect a starkly modern glass-and-steel structure (illustrated below) in its place, designed by the (some said) aptly-named architects Shed KM, and comprising two restaurants on its ground floor with three stories of apartments above. The developer's chief executive, Stuart Williams, described the existing building as "foul" and "an eyesore". He added "we are trying to bring something to Chester which is contemporary. We cannot keep doing mock Georgian, Victorian and Tudor".

Stephen Wundke, the current licencee of the pub was naturally keen to move into the super new building. His judgement about its current state? "I make no apologies for saying that The Groves- the area, not the pub- has not changed since the 1930s." (and that's a bad thing?) He also, remarkably, claimed that, "based upon exit polls, nearly 30% of visitors to Chester do not even realise that it has a river running through it"... Well well.

To nobody's great surprise, many local residents and business people were deeply upset by the proposals and promptly embarked upon a spirited campaign of objection under the banner 'Save the Groves'. This was based not only upon what was seen as the deeply inferior nature of the new building and its inappropriateness to the area, but also upon issues such as loss of sunlight due to the height of the new facade and that "it will seriously and significantly damage a key area of public open space". Residents living in the fine houses along the City Walls also strongly objected because they felt their splendid views of the river would be blocked by the new building.

Nontheless, City Council planning officers recommended that the development be allowed to proceed, based upon "the outstanding quality of the design". Councillors thought otherwise, however, and unanimously threw out the application. The developers lodged an appeal but the planning inspector agreed with the councillor's decision, saying, "The riverside area... has a distinct Victorian/Edwardian character with its bandstand and kiosks... The residential element of the proposal would appear as an intrusive and damaging feature".

It seemed certain that things would not long rest there, however, and, sure enough, in January 2009, an entirely new, more 'traditional' plan was announced, once again featuring the bar / restaurant, but adding shops and fourteen apartments built on different levels surrounding a central first-floor courtyard. Also proposed was a six-storey tower situated right next to the City Walls and rising seven metres above them.

The architect is John Tweed of Chester-based Tweed Nuttall Warburton, who, among other things, are responsible for large apartment blocks at Dee Hills Park, further along the River Dee, and at the historic Leadworks site next to the Shropshire Union Canal. They were also resposible for the remarkable boat-shaped Scout HQ at the Old Port. Answering critics of the scheme, he said, "It's theatre. Chester has a wonderful panoply of views and, far from destroying them, we want to create new ones... If handled carefully, we can create something really attractive once people get used to it down there. I'm a Cestrian, I live in the city. I want to contribute to it, I don't want to demean it. I couldn't live with myself if we were trying to get something by that was wrong".

Many of those who were, understandably, up in arms about the previous proposals are equally unhappy about many aspects of the design and scale of the new scheme, especially the tower element, fearing it will detract from, and block views of- and from- the adjacent magnificent section of the City Walls. The removal of mature trees and reduction in sunlight to The Groves are also causes for concern. One commented, "the proposal is once again breathtakingly inappropriate".

Permission was formally granted for the demolition of the existing Groves Bar in late February 2009 but events took an interesting turn at a packed council meeting a week later when English Heritage had their say on the plans. sIn a letter to the committee, historic buildings inspector Anna Boxer wrote, "The site here referred to as The Groves was in Roman times a sandstone quarry and to our knowledge has not been the focus of any previous historic development. It is a highly sensitive site from many different views. The walls are here visible in their full height, other important viewpoints are from the Queen's Park Bridge, Handbridge, the walkway on the other side of the River Dee, the walls and from the Roman Garden. The historic and community values of the site are also derived from the importance of this area as one of the major access points to the river from the city. Due to the highly negative impact on the setting of the City Walls, a highly-graded listed structure and Scheduled Ancient Monument, and due to the poor response to the historic context of the site, we recommend that the application be refused consent".

chester guided walksBased largely upon this judgement, the city council's planning board has now wisely agreed to delay coming to any decision regarding the future of the site in order for further discussions to take place. And you, dear readers, must view the artist's impression above and make your own minds up as to the merits, or otherwise, of the scheme. Watch this space. To see some more 'artist's impressions' of the proposals, go here.

Meanwhile the owners of the Groves pub would appear to be confident of the outcome as the building is being allowed to fall into disrepair and is now looking, especially when viewed for the City Walls above, extremely shabby, a disgrace to its beautiful setting...

But then, in January 2010, we learned that the Groves Bar was no more and, passing by a few weeks later, noted with interest that the new licencees were certainly not hanging around- scaffolding and skips abounded, not to mention a banner reading, "Hickory Smokehouse, authentic American barbecue, opens April 2010".

It's good to see the building getting a thorough restoration after being deliberately allowed to deteriorate for so long, and that all the time-wasting nonsense about replacing it with a block of flats seems to be, thankfully, for now at least, a thing of the past...

New Improvements
It's nice to be able to report some more good news, for in July 2011, a six month programme of radical improvements to The Groves was completed. The works included replacing tarmac footpaths with British York stone, replacing grit stone surfaces with natural stones set in a pleasing 'fantail' pattern, planting six large, semi-mature lime trees to replace those that had to be removed due to their poor condition and providing them with bespoke tree grills with ornate detailing, the replacement or refurbishment of one hundred benches, the provision of new waste bins and the addition of new signposts. Well done to all concerned!

Grosvenor Park
greenwood plan for river
City Engineer Greenwood, builder of the suspension bridge, was also responsible for fine row of black-and-white shops close to the end of the Old Dee Bridge in Handbridge and, later in his career, was to produce the radical Greenwood Development Plan of 1944, which proposed major changes to many parts of Chester, including the first suggestion for the construction of an Inner Ring Road to relieve traffic congestion in the historic city centre, a complete excavation of the amphitheatre (if only) and, close to our present location, improvements to The Groves and to Grosvenor Park. Here is his 'artist's impression' of the latter, showing all the property between the Queen's Park Bridge and Dee Lane having been removed to allow for a radical enlargement of Grosvenor Park including the creation of a restaurant, dance hall and a large outdoor swimming pool. None of these proposals were ever carried out.

The 20 acres which form Chester's lovely Grosvenor Park was given to the city by Richard the Second Marquess of Westminster. On October 9th 1867, he wrote to the General of the City Council: "I am desirous of placing the park in the hands of the corporation as a gift on my part to the citizens of Chester, hoping it may afford health and recreation to themselves and their families for many years to come."

The Marquess also paid for the design and laying out of the new 'pleasure park' by Edward Kemp, former pupil of the great Sir Joseph Paxton, the architect of the Crystal Palace in London and of Birkenhead Park, the first such enterprise in Britain to have been developed at public expense.
Kemp was a prolific garden designer- of parks including Hesketh Park in Southport, Newsham and Stanley Parks in Liverpool, Queen's Park in Crewe and Congleton Park. In 1845 he was appointed by Joseph Paxton to be superintendant of Birkenhead Park, entrusted with overseeing the complex task of laying out the first public park in Britain. He undertook many commissions for laying out the gardens of great houses all over Britain and also designed many municipal cemeteries, for example at Southport, Anfield in Liverpool and Flaybrick Hill Cemetery, Birkenhead, where he was buried in 1891. He also did design work for Edward Walker at the Leadworks in Egerton Street, Chester.

The area that would be transformed into Grosvenor Park was originally made up of agricultural fields known as 'The Headlands', with the largest such marked on the 1833 plan of the city as 'Billy Hobbies Field', in the corner of which was a natural spring, known as 'Billy Hobbie's Well'. This enjoyed a long tradition as a wishing well- but only, apparently, for girls, as the following anonymous old poem explains:

I lov'd the tales that idle maids would tell
Of wonders wrought at Billy Hobbie's Well;
Where love-sick girls with leg immured would stand,
The right leg t'was- the other on dry land,
With face so simple, stocking in the hand,
Wishing for husbands half a winter's day
With ninety times the zeal they used to pray.

The ancient well was subsequently enclosed within an ornate stone canopy which still may be seen on the park's boundary today. The well itself, however, has sadly long since dried up.
The official opening of Grosvenor Park was accompanied by the grandest ever procession witnessed in Chester, being over a mile in length. The Eastgate was adorned with Evergreens and the arms of the Grosvenor family were surmounted with a trophy of flags. Under the Westminster arms read: "Cestria today with grateful heart accepts her noble neighbour's more than princely gift. Her children, too, in ages yet unborn, shall bless the donor of the peoples park".

Grosvenor Park is now regarded by many as one of the finest and most complete examples of Victorian parks in the North West of England, if not nationally. Although many changes have taken place since its official opening, much of the original design and features set out by Kemp have been retained. Many features and buildings within the park were designed by the architect John Douglas. These include Grosvenor Park Lodge, the boundary wall and gateways in to the park and the canopy to Billy Hobby's well. The ornate Grosvenor Park Lodge was originally the head park keeper's residence but is today used as the city council's parks and gardens administrative office.

These works were the first recorded instances of architect Douglas' employment by the Grosvenor family, the start of a long and fruitful partnership- he practiced in Chester for more than 50 years and has given the city some of its best-loved buildings.
He died in 1911 aged "threescore years and ten" and lies in a modest tomb in the wonderful Overleigh Cemetery.

Our photograph shows the marble statue of the park's donor, Richard the Second Marquis, in Garter robes. It was sculpted by Thomas Thorneycroft and erected on Thursday, 1st July 1869 at the junction of four avenues. The sculptor declared that he had created it from a single block of marble but it was later found that the Marquis' left shoulder had been formed from a second piece. It cost £3,500, the money being raised by a subscription to which over 1,500 people contributed.

There was one small problem. A newspaper report shortly aftertwards stated that "The new inscription was cut very neatly by Mr A Dodd of George Street, the bevel from the former surface was almost imperceptible. It will be remembered that the first inscription was objectionable and had to be re-cut." This objection was that, in place of "The Second Marquis" as now inscribed, it originally read "The 2nd Marquis". Local wits soon found it a source of amusement and began, much to the distress of its subject, to refer to the statue as that of "The Two-Penny Marquis"! People were easily amused- and easily offended- in those days it seems.

Whilst the park was being prepared in 1865/6, a cholera epidemic broke out in the city. For want of more appropriate accommodation, the sick were accomodated in a temporary structure which was built in the area soon to be the park, making it the first building on the site. The outcome of the epidemic led to the establishment of a new and separate wing on the old infirmary for contagious diseases in 1867/8.

Three ancient relics of old Chester were re-erected in Victorian times as 'follies' in Grosvenor Park- a doorway from old St. Michael's Church (in the foreground of our photograph below), the old Shipgate (seen in the background), and some arches from St. Mary's Nunnery which long stood close to the Roodee. You can learn more about the nuns of St. Mary's here.

old picture of grosvenor park
Visitors to the park will quickly become aware of the large numbers of Grey Squirrels (Sciurus Carolinensis) that live here. It is believed locally that Grosvenor Park was the first place in Britain where they were introduced. Although not correct, the creatures, originally natives of the eastern USA, certainly first appeared close by- they were first recorded in nearby Denbighshire in the 1820s, but systematic introduction began when one Mr T. V. Brocklehurst liberated a pair at Henbury Park, Macclesfield (also just a few miles away) in 1876 and they seem to have been brought to Chester soon after. At the time, a lot of exotic plants were being introduced to decorate stately homes and gardens, and landowners seemed to think the squirrels would make a nice addition also. No-one anticipated how successful they would be, or the serious consequences of their spread on the red squirrel population.

Left: a fanciful artist's impression of Grosvenor Park from an 1865 edition of The London Illustrated News when it was being planned by Edward Kemp, showing how it would look when complete. Possibly, the drawing was made by an artist who had never visited Chester- St. John's Church on the far left looks particularly unfamilar...

If we now leave Grosvenor Park, cross the suspension bridge and proceed to our left, we will soon come to The Meadows, a huge and beautiful area of grass and wetlands bordering the river where cattle graze- a surprising and refreshing sight so close to a busy city centre- and that are permanently open to the public. They are much loved and jealously guarded by local people, but have occasionally been threatened by planners: when Manchester submitted its absurd bid to host the 1996 Olympic Games, it was seriously suggested by Chester City Council that a competition rowing lake, complete with extensive car parking, grandstands, cafes and who knows what else, should be constructed there. To quote from the official Olympic bid handbook: "The city of Chester on the River Dee, 35 minutes from the Olympic village, offers an excellent stretch of land for the construction of the course. The local government authorities in Chester... have enthusiastically supported the development of plans for the course. In a city nearly 2000 years old, legacies as fine as this are truly appreciated".

On the contrary, the proposals were treated by the populace with the contempt they deserved, and were formerly abandoned when Manchester's bid inevitably failed in favour of Sydney, Australia. The Meadows had been donated to the city by the Brown Family (of Brown's of Chester) in 1926 on the condition that they remained permanently open to the people of Chester "as a public park, recreation ground, or lands for cricket, football or other games and recreations in perpetuity"- our 'enthusiastic' council therefore had no right whatsoever to make the offer they did.

Twenty years earlier, in 1967, the Chester Society of Architects, doubtlessly fishing for a bit of work, seriously proposed the creation of an 'aqua park' on the Meadows- incorporating a similar collection of snack bars, car parking and other 'leisure facilities' as the later equally-abortive Olympic scheme.

floating bathsGreenwood's outdoor swimming pool may have failed to materialise, but, sixty years earlier, new swimming facilities had been provided on the banks of the Dee when, in 1883, a curious structure known as the Floating Bath was moored near the Bridgegate.
You can see it in this rather fuzzy old photograph. It had a deep end and a shallow end and incorporated changing rooms, the whole covered in by a canvas awning. River water was admitted through a series of holes- which, unfortunately, also admitted quantities of mud and silt. Five years later these were enlarged to allow a greater flow of river water which seems to have dealt with the problem.

The Floating Bath was open daily during the Summer months from 6am to 9pm with separate sessions for ladies and a season ticket cost five shillings.
In 1899, an exceptionally strong tide caused the bath to break loose from its mooring and get caught upon the weir. Although greatly damaged, it was repaired and briefly returned to service until, with the opening of John Douglas' indoor baths in Union Street in 1901 (still, against the odds, thriving today), it was closed, broken up and sold as scrap.

Western Command
Looking through the trees across the river, one may see a large building resembling somewhat a cack-handed Greek temple. This was built in 1938/9 as the headquarters of the Army's Western Command. Western Command stretched from Hadrian's Wall on the Scottish border to Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire and included Lancashire, Cheshire, wales and the West Midlands and, from 1907 to 1972, the garrison city of Chester was its HQ. Outgrowing its original home in Watergate House (built by the prolific Chester architect Thomas Harrison in 1820) in Watergate Street, it moved into temporary premises in Boughton in 1935 and stayed until this large new neo-Georgian building was completed in 1938. In 1972 the Royal Army Pay Corps (RAPC) took over the buildings until the Ministry of Defence closed the site in 1997.

Right: Sunset over the beautiful River Dee. The tower of Chester Cathedral can be seen in the distance, beyond The Meadows.

At the end of the depressed 1930s, the construction of the building gave work to hundreds of local men of all trades, most of them over call-up age. Men eager of the chance to labour with pick and shovels, baskets and horses and carts commenced to excavate a vast crater into the hillside. As war was declared in 1939, it was all speed to finish the huge, three-section building, the Army moving in as sections were completed. Offices, plumbing systems, air conditioning and the like were duplicated in the vast underground space in case the building above was destroyed by bombing. In 1941, it was camouflaged, a dark grey wash being applied over the new bricks and stonework to help prevent it being seen from the air.
In 1943 and 1944, secret meetings were held in the underground bunkers between Winston Churchill, General Eisenhower and General de Gaulle.

The Army finally vacated the buildings in 1997 and they were sold to North West Securities for use as their Chester Head Office. A radical enlargement and remodelling took place at this time when the building's height was increased and a new block added at right angles to it and the clumsy Parthenon-like structure was added to the river frontage- truly a 'Temple of Mammon'. In time, N W Securities turned into Capital Bank, then the Bank of Scotland, which recently merged to become, for the moment at least, the Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS).

Our photograph on the left illustrates a novel floral display which appeared on The Groves in the Summer of 2009. Artfully crafted from discarded bicycles, it is one of many similar cheerful creations that appeared around the city at this time, designed to celebrate Chester's newly-won status a one of Britain's 'cycling demonstration towns'- a movement established by the government department, Cycling England. To learn more, visit Cycle Chester.

In the year 973, the River Dee witnessed an impressive Royal ceremony. According to to the Anglo Saxon Chronicle 'In this year Prince Edgar was consecrated king on Whit Sunday at Bath, in the thirteenth year after his accession when he was twenty nine years old. Soon after this, the king led all his fleet to Chester, and there six kings came to him, to make their submission, and pledged themselves to be his fellow workers, by sea and land'.

The Chronicle of Simeon of Durham, written in the twelfth century, embroiders this ceremony: 'On a certain day, he embarked on a boat with them; they took the oars, and Edgar, taking hold of the tiller, skilfully steered the boat, through the course of the River Dee, with a great crowd of earls and nobles accompanying him with a similar fleet. He sailed from his palace to the minster of Saint John the Baptist. Having completed his devotions, he returned with the same pomp, to his palace'.

The six kings names are believed to have been: Kynath, King of Scots; James, King of Galloway; Maccon, King of Man, Malcolm and Inkil, Kings of Cumberland; Sifreth and Hywal, Kings of North Wales; and Dufnal, King of South Wales.

The monk Henry Bradshaw, a monk at the Abbey of Chester, expanded upon the tale in around 1500- and even added a couple of extra kings!...

'Kynge Edgare approched the Cite of Legions,
Now called Chester specified afore;
Where Vlll Kynges mette of divers nacions
Redy to gyve Edgare reverence and honour
Legiance and fidelite depely sworn full sore
At the same Cite; after to be obedient
Prompyt at his callying to come to his parliament.
From the castell he went to the water of Dee
By a privet posturne through walls of the towne
The Kynge toke his barge with mych rialte

The forsayd Vlll Kynges with him went alone
Kynge Edgare kept the sterne as most principall
Eche Prince had an ore to labour with all.
When the Kynge had done his pylgrimage
And to the Holy Roode made oblacion
They entered agayne into the sayd barge
Passynge to his palace with great remowne
Then Edgare spake in praysing of the crowne
All my successours may glad and joyfull be
To have such homage, honour and dignitie'.

The open green area which can be seen across the river is still known as Edgar's Field and it is generally surmised that his palace once stood there.

From our present location, you may now choose to return back across the suspension bridge and walk along the Groves, or alternatively stroll along the other bank, from where a very pleasant, and rather timeless, view of the weir, walls and city may be obtained. In either case, we will soon approach the Bridgegate and the splendid Old Dee Bridge.

But first, go here to continue our visit to the Wizard Dee...

Curiosities from Chester's History no. 16

  • 1591 Stanley Palace in Watergate Street was built as the Town House of the Earls of Derby. Originally its gardens stretched as far as the City Walls near the Watergate. The plays and old customs of the city altered by the Mayor, Henry Hardware: the Bull-Ring near the High Cross was taken up, and bull baiting was outlawed. Formerly, before the enraged animal was released, the Town Crier would proclaim: "Oyez, Oyez, If any man stands within 20 yards of the Bullring, let him take what comes". He also "caused the the Giants in the Midsummer Show not to go, the Devil in his feathers not to ride for the butchers, but a boy, as the others, and the cuppers and cannes and dragon and naked boy to be put away; but caused a man in complete armour to go before the show in their stead".
  • 1595 Ale to be sold three pints for 1d (one penny). An army of 4000 passed through Chester on their way to Ireland, to quell the rebellion of Tyrone. Such was the level of disorder displayed by these soldiers, that a gibbet was set up at the High Cross as a warning. Bear baiting and "plays" prohibited.
  • 1596 Tomatoes introduced into England. First water closets, designed by Sir John Harrington, installed at the Queen's Palace, Richmond. The English army abandons the longbow as a weapon of war.
  • 1597 The "curiously wrought" spire of the former monastery of the White Friars- now belonging to Sir Thomas Egerton- was taken down. The antiquarian William Webb wrote of its removal, "It was a great pitie that the steeple was put away, being a great ornament to the citie. This curious spire steeple might still have stood for grace to the citie had not private benefit, the devourer of antiquitie, pulled it down with the church, and erected a house which since hath been of little use..." (nothing changes) "...so that the citie lost so good an ornament, that tymes hereafter may talk of it, being the only seamark for direction over the bar of Chester". St. Peter's spire (at the High Cross) was also taken down this year, for reasons of safety.
  • 1599 The River Dee was frozen over, but 3 young men drowned when they fell through the ice. The bullring at the High cross was removed. Oliver Cromwell born
  • 1600 John Tyrer was granted the right to erect a tall octagonal tower on top of the Bridgegate (see also above) He was also given permission to open up the streets to lay waterpipes. Future King Charles I born (1600-1649). The telescope invented in Holland. The population of England and Ireland was around five and a half million.
  • 1601 A large part of the dam system at the Old Dee Mills (see above) collapsed, which prevented water coming up to the mills until it was repaired, some months later. Candy's wife and a man by the name of Boon conspired together to to poison Candy's husband. They were caught and convicted. Boon was 'pressed to death' (crushed beneath large stones) at the Castle and, after being delivered of a child, the woman was hanged.
  • Top of Page | Site Front Door | Site Index | Chester Stroll Introduction | St. John's Church | Roman Garden | River Dee II

    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland[note 5] (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain) is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The country includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea.

    The United Kingdom is a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system, with its seat of government in the capital city of London. It is a country in its own right[10][11] and consists of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.[12] There are three devolved national administrations, each with varying powers,[13][14] situated in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh; the capitals of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland respectively. Associated with the UK, but not constitutionally part of it, are three Crown Dependencies.[15] The United Kingdom has fourteen overseas territories.[16] These are remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in 1922, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land surface and was the largest empire in history. British influence can still be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former territories.

    The UK is a developed country and has the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and seventh-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It was the world's first industrialised country[17] and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries.[18] The UK remains a great power with leading economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence.[19] It is a recognised nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks third or fourth in the world.[20] The UK ha


    The name "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" was introduced in 1927 by the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act to reflect the granting of independence to the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland still within the UK.[21] Prior to this, the Acts of Union 1800, that led to the uniting the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801, had given the new state the name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Great Britain before 1801 is occasionally referred to as the "United Kingdom of Great Britain".[22][23][24][25] However, Section 1 of both of the 1707 Acts of Union declare that England and Scotland are "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain".[26][27][note 6] The term united kingdom is found in informal use during the 18th century to describe the new state but only became official with the union with Ireland in 1801.[28]

    Although the United Kingdom, as a sovereign state, is a country, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are also referred to as countries, whether or not they are sovereign states or have devolved or other self-government.[29][30] The British Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom.[11] With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice often revealing one's political preferences."[31] Other terms used for Northern Ireland include "region" and "province".[32][33]

    The United Kingdom is often referred to as Britain. British government sources frequently use the term as a short form for the United Kingdom, whilst media style guides generally allow its use but point out that the longer term Great Britain refers only to England, Scotland and Wales.[34][35][36] However, some foreign usage, particularly in the United States, uses Great Britain as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom.[37][38] Also, the United Kingdom's Olympic team competes under the name "Great Britain" or "Team GB".[39][40] GB and GBR are the standard country codes for the United Kingdom (see ISO 3166-2 and ISO 3166-1 alpha-3) and are consequently commonly used by international organisations to refer to the United Kingdom.[citation needed]

    The adjective British is commonly used to refer to matters relating to the United Kingdom. Although the term has no definite legal connotation, it is used in legislation to refer to United Kingdom citizenship.[41] However, British people use a number of different terms to describe their national identity. Some may identify themselves as British only, or British and English, Scottish, Welsh, or Northern Irish. Others may identify themselves as only English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish and not British. In Northern Ireland, some describe themselves as only Irish.[42][43][44]

    Prior to 1707

    Settlement by anatomically modern humans of what was to become the United Kingdom occurred in waves beginning by about 30,000 years ago.[45] By the end of the region's prehistoric period, the population is thought to have belonged, in the main, to a culture termed Insular Celtic, comprising Brythonic Britain and Gaelic Ireland.[46] The Roman conquest, beginning in 43 AD, and the 400-year rule of southern Britain, was followed by an invasion by Germanic Anglo-Saxon settlers, reducing the Brythonic area mainly to what was to become Wales.[47] The region settled by the Anglo-Saxons became unified as the Kingdom of England in the 10th century.[48] Meanwhile, Gaelic-speakers in north west Britain (with connections to the north-east of Ireland and traditionally supposed to have migrated from there in the 5th century)[49][50] united with the Picts to create the Kingdom of Scotland in the 9th century.[51]

    In 1066, the Normans/a> invaded England and after its conquest, seized large parts of Wales, conquered much of Ireland and settled in Scotland bringing to each country feudalism on the Northern French model and Norman-French culture.[52] The Norman elites greatly influenced, but eventually assimilated with, each of the local cultures.[53] Subsequent medieval English kings completed the conquest of Wales and made an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to annex Scotland. Thereafter, Scotland maintained its independence, albeit in near-constant conflict with England. The English monarchs, through inheritance of substantial territories in France and claims to the French crown, were also heavily involved in conflicts in France, most notably the Hundred Years War.[54]

    The early modern period saw religious conflict resulting from the Reformation and the introduction of Protestant state churches in each country.[55] Wales was fully incorporated into the Kingdom of England,[56] and Ireland was constituted as a kingdom in personal union with the English crown.[57] In what was to become Northern Ireland, the lands of the independent Catholic Gaelic nobility were confiscated and land given to Protestant settlers from England and Scotland.[58] In 1603, the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland were united in a personal union when James VI, King of Scots, inherited the crowns of England and Ireland and moved his court from Edinburgh to London; each country nevertheless remained a separate political entity and retained its separate political institutions.[59][60] In the mid-17th century, all three kingdoms were involved in a series of connected wars (including the English Civil War) which led to the temporary overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the short-lived unitary republic of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.[61][62] Although the monarchy was restored, it ensured (with the Glorious Revolution of 1688) that, unlike much of the rest of Europe, royal absolutism would not prevail. The British constitution would develop on the basis of constitutional monarchy and the parliamentary system.[63] During this period, particularly in England, the development of naval power (and the interest in voyages of discovery) led to the acquisition and settlement of overseas colonies, particularly in North America.[64][65]


    The Legend of King Arthur was made popular by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his History of the Kings of Britain written in 1135 AD. Chretien de Troyes and Malory later embellished Geoffrey of Monouth's story. These authors drew upon earlier histories including History of the Britons by Nennius, the Annales Cambriae, and the Complaining Book of Gildas, a Welsh monk from the 6th century, as well as local histories, poetry, Celtic mythology and traditions.

    There are many versions of the Arthur legend. The following is a brief overview of some of the common elements of the legend. The bolded words are discussed below and go with the slides.

    The Romans pulled their troops out of Britain in AD 410. With the loss of the Roman authority, local chieftans and kings competed for land. In 449 AD King Vortigern invited the Angles and Saxons to settle in Kent to help him to fight the Picts and the Scots. But the Angles and Saxons betrayed Vortigern at a peace council where they drew their knives and killed 460 British chiefs. The massacre was called the Night of the Long Knives and according to Geoffrey of Monmouth occurred at a monastery on the Salisbury Plain.
    Ambrosius Aurelianus became King and consulted the wizard Merlin to help him select an appropriate monument to raise to the dead chieftains. Merlin suggested that the King's Ring from Mount Killarus in Ireland be dismantled and brought to England. The king's brother and Arthur's father, Uther Pendragon, leads an expedition of soldiers to bring the stones from Ireland to England. Merlin magically reconstructs the stones as Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain around the burials of the dead British chieftains in the monastery cemetery.






    Caerleon, Wales.
 Roman Amphitheatre.
    Caerleon,  Roman Amphitheatre which could be interpreted as the Round Table

    Later, Uther Pendragon becomes King of England and at an Easter feast, falls in love with Igraine, the wife of the Duke of Cornwall. Uther Pendragon makes a pact with Merlin. If Merlin assists him in winning Igraine, Uther will give the wizard their first born child. That child was Arthur. Arthur is said to have been born at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall and was taken by Merlin to be raised by Sir Ector. Shortly thereafter civil war broke out in England and Uther Pendragon was killed.

    When Arthur was a young boy he drew a sword called Caliburn from a stone. One version of the legend states that the sword was made at Avalon from a sarsen stone from Avebury or Stonehenge. Whoever drew the sword from the stone was the true King of England. Arthur was coronated in the ruins of the Roman fort at Caerleon in Wales.
    In another version, King Ambrosius Aurelianus led a battle against the Saxons at Badon Hill. Aurelianus is killed and his nephew, Arthur, takes control of the soldiers and wins the battle. Later Arthur lost Caliburn in a fight with Sir Pellinore. Arthur was saved by Merlin's magic. Arthur receives a new sword (Excalibur) and a scabbard from Nimue, the Lady in the Lake at Avalon. The scabbard was magical and as long as Arthur wore it, he could not die.

    Arthur had three half-sisters who are sometimes referred to as sorceresses. Arthur falls in love with Mordred, not knowing that she is his half-sister. They have a son Mordred. Arthur is horrified when he finds out the truth. He orders all baby boys born at the same time as his son to be brought to Caerleon. The babies are put onto an unattended ship and set out to sea. The ship crashes on the rocks, but Mordred is found by a man walking on the shore and who takes the baby home and saving his life.

    Arthur again falls in love, and marries Guinevere, daughter of King Lodegrance of Camylarde. Guinevere's dowry included a round table and many knights. Arthur establishes his court at Camelot. The round table is a symbol of equality amongst his knights, for no knight was seated in a position superior to another. A rule at the table was that no one could eat until they told a story of daring.
    At Camelot, the knights practiced chivalry and feats of heroism. They also organized a quest for the Holy Grail, the chalice from Christ's Last Supper and held the blood of Christ.
    Unfortunately, Guinevere betrays Arthur with his knight Sir Lancelot. Arthur's son, Mordred, discovers Guinevere and Lancelot and brings the news to his father. Arthur must condemn Guinevere to death, but at the last minute Sir Lancelot saves her. Arthur chases them to France, and in the interim Mordred claims Arthur's throne.
    Arthur and Mordred eventually meet in the Battle of Camlann that takes place circa 537. When the battle ends only Mordred, Arthur and Sir Bedivere remain. They fought until Mordred died and Arthur was fatally wounded. Arther asks Sir Bedivere to throw his sword, Excalibur, into a lake. Arthur is taken to Avalon, an island in a lake inhabited by sorceresses, where he dies.

    But is the legend true?
    It is hard to unravel the legend because Arthur is credited with more heroic acts and battles than is humanly possible.
    The legend of Arthur probably is a composite of several people who lived in the first half of the 5th century AD. This is the period following the Roman occupation when Britons were left to hold off the Saxon invasions on there own. This is the period called the Dark Ages because there is little known about this time. If Arthur is a real individual, then he was not a titled king but a nobleman of mixed Roman-Briton heritage who rose to prominence as a skilled war leader. He is never referred to as a king or a chieftan in early histories.
    Some historians argue that he was knowledgeable of Roman warfare and used cavalry rather than infantry to fend off the Saxons. He may have united the tribes briefly during the 5th century AD. Most of Arthur's activities are concentrated in the Celtic strongholds of Britain: Wessex, Cornwall and Wales. Merlin is also the legendary and was probably a Welsh bard or magician. In the legend of Merlin, the wizard is eventually seduced by the Lady in the Lake, who seals him into a cave where he is said to lie sleeping. The location of the cave is uncertain, but several locations are suggested for Wales and Cornwall. Unfortunately the historic records do not place Arthur and Merlin in the same time period.

    Images associated with the text are bolded.
    FROM:  http://www.sfu.ca/archaeology/museum/kingarth/1intro.html



    Stonehenge Inspired by Sound Illusion, Archaeologist Suggests

    By: Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
    Published: 02/16/2012 06:16 PM EST on LiveScience

    Theories about the purpose of Stonehenge range from a secular calendar to a place of spiritual worship. Now, an archaeologist suggests that the Stonehenge monument in southern England may have been an attempt to mimic a sound-based illusion.

    If two pipers were to play in a field, observers walking around the musicians would hear a strange effect, said Steven Waller, a doctoral researcher at Rock Art Acoustics USA, who specializes in the sound properties of ancient sites, or archaeoacoustics. At certain points, the sound waves produced by each player would cancel each other out, creating spots where the sound is dampened.

    It's this pattern of quiet spots that may have inspired Stonehenge, Waller told an audience Thursday (Feb. 16) in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    The theory is highly speculative, but modern-day experiments do reveal that the layout of the Stonehenge ruins and other rock circles mimics the piper illusion, with stones instead of competing sound waves blocking out sounds made in the center of the circle.

    In support of the theory, Waller pointed to myths linking Stonehenge with music, such as the traditional nickname for stone circles in Great Britain: "piper stones." One legend holds that Stonehenge was created when two magic pipers led maidens into the field to dance and then turned them to stone. [Album: 7 Wonders of the Ancient World]

    Waller experimented by having blindfolded participants walk into a field as two pipers played. He asked the volunteers to tell him whenever they thought a barrier existed between them and the sound. There were no barriers in the field, but acoustic "dead spots" created by sound-wave interference certainly gave the volunteers the impression that there were.

    "They drew structures, archways and openings that are very similar to Stonehenge," Waller said.

    Waller believes the people who built Stonehenge more than 5,000 years ago may have heard this sound-canceling illusion during ceremonies with musicians and thought it mystical, spurring the creation of the stone circle.

    Though the theory is unlikely to settle the mystery of Stonehenge, Waller said he hopes to highlight the importance of considering sound in archaeology. Rock art sites are often in areas where cave acoustics are particularly prone to echoes, he said, suggesting that ancient people found meaning in sound.

    "Nobody has been paying attention to sound," Waller said. "We've been destroying sound. In some of the French [rock art] caves, they've widened the tunnels to build little train tracks to take the tourists back – thereby ruining the acoustics that could have been the whole motivation in the first place."

    the legend of King Arthur



    Family of Arthur

    Arthur was the great legendary British king. Arthur was the son of Uther Pendragon and Igraine. Igraine was the wife to Duke Gorlois of Cornwall (or Hoel of Tintagel), at the time she had conceived Arthur. Through Merlin's magic, Uther was transformed to look exactly like her husband. Uther made love to Igraine, when Gorlois was absence. When Gorlois was killed, Uther immediately married Igraine.

    In the Welsh legend, his mother was named Eigr (Igraine), daughter of Anlawdd Wledig, and his father was Uthr Bendragon (Uther Pendragon). Arthur had a sister named Gwyar, who was the mother of Gwalchmai or Gwalchmei, which means the Hawk of May, and of Gwalhaved. Gwalchmai was better known in English and French legend as Gawain or Gauvain. But there is frequent confusion of who were Arthur's sisters and who was mother of Gawain in the mainstream Arthurian legend.

    According to Geoffrey, Wace and Layamon, Uther and Igraine were parents of Arthur and a daughter named Anna, who married King Lot of Orkney. Morgan le Fay was also considered to be Arthur's sister, but I am not certain that if she was Arthur's sister or half-sister. Geoffrey never mention Morgan in his History, but in his later work, (Vita Merlini, c. 1151) Morgan was one of the sisters and sorceresses who lived in Avalon. In Gerald of Wales' work called Tour of Wales (1188), the scholar wrote that Morgan was Arthur's cousin. Some had identified Morgan with the Welsh mother goddess Modron, the mother of Mabon, the Welsh god of youth. Modron had also being identified as being the wife of Uryen Rheged (Urien) and the mother of Owain (Yvain).

    Later legends say that Arthur had three half-sisters: Morgawse, Elaine (Blasine) and Morgan le Fay. Morgawse had married King Lot of Orkney, Elaine (Blasine) was married to King Nentres of Garlot, while Morgan was wife of King Urien of Gorre, brother of Lot.

    Arthur said to have no children from his wife Guinevere, except for in Perlesvaus, where Lohot was their son, and Guinevere is his mother. However, Lohot (or Loholt) was said to be Arthur's son, not by his wife Guinevere, but more frequently by a woman named Lisanor [Chretien de Troyes' Erec [from Arthurian Romances, translated by William W. Kibler, p. 58]. Lohot was one of the Round Table knights. Lohot was also one of the knights captured by the lord of Dolorous Guard, where he fell ill during the imprisonment.

    According to Malory, the son was named Borre (Boarte in Suite du Merlin) and the mother was named Lionors [le Morte d'Arthur, book I ch. 17] (or Lyonors in Suite du Merlin). The similarity between the two women's names - Lisanor and Lionor, suggested that Lohot and Borre is one and the same person.

    According to the ninth century historian, Nennius, Arthur had a son named Amr, as well as a dog, called Cabal. Nennius say that Arthur had killed his own son, but doesn't state why he had done so. Arthur had set up tomb near the spring called Licat Amr, in the region of Ercing. What was marvelous about this tomb is that it change in length in various days. Amr could be the prototype to Mordred. As for his dog, the mound was called Carn Cabal, located in Buelt. Cabal was killed when they went hunting against the wild boar Troynt (possibly Twrach Trwyth in Culhwch and Olwen?).

    In Culhwch and Olwen (c. 1100), Arthur was the father of Gwydre, possibly by Gwenhwyvar (Guinevere). Gwydre was killed by a wild boar known as Twrach Trwyth. At the end of the Dream of Rhonabwy, Arthur had a different son named Llacheu. While in the beginning of the Welsh romance "Gereint and Enid", the story mentioned that Arthur had a son named Amhar. Amhar could be the same as Nennius' "Amr", but I am not certain about this. None of these tales gave any indication that they were the sons of Gwenhwyvar (Guinevere).

    Also in the Welsh myth, the Welsh Triad listed three queens of Arthur. All three queens were named Gwenhwyvar. They were called Gwenhwyfar daughter of Gwent (Cywryd), and Gwenhwyfar daughter of Gwythyr son of Greidiawl, and Gwenhwyfar daughter of Gogfran the Giant. This reminded me of the triple war-goddesses Morrigan or triple mother-goddesses Danu in Irish myths. In some cases, Guinevere or Gwenhwyfar was seen as a goddess, just like Morgan le Fay.

    The Welsh Triad also listed Arthur of having three mistresses – Indeg daughter of Garwy the Tall, and Garwen ("Fair Leg") daughter of Henin the Old, and Gwyl ("Modest") daughter of Gendawd ("Big Chin").

    In Irish literature, Arthur appeared as Artúir (Artuir), the son of Benne Brit ("of the Britons"). In the Acallam na Senórach, the Irish hero, Cailte reminisced how he and nine other Fian warriors recovered the hounds of Finn Mac Cumaill. Artuir had stolen Finn's hounds, called Bran, Sceolaing and Adnúall.

    In Irish myth, Arthur was not a hero at all. He was nothing but a thief.

    However, his most famous son was Mordred. Normally, in the early tradition, (by Geoffrey of Monmouth and others), Mordred was Arthur's nephew, because Mordred was the son of King Lot and Anna or Morgawse, the sister of Arthur. But as early as the Huath Merlin and the prose Merlin (Vulgate version), it was implied that Mordred was his son by Arthur's half-sister, Morgawse. In the Suite du Merlin (a continuation of the Vulgate Merlin), Arthur had unwittingly slept with Morgawse, because he did not know that she was his half-sister. Some even say that Morgan le Fay was Mordred's mother.

    In the Mort Artu (Vulgate Cycle), Gawain did not know that Mordred was only his half brother until Mordred had seized power during their absence in the wars against Lancelot and the Romans. The only person who knew of Arthur relationship with Mordred was Morgawse and Merlin.

    In the tenth century Annale Cambriae, Arthur and Medraut (Mordred) fell in battle at Camlann. The ambiguous statement did they fought against, or if they against each other as enemies, or what their relationship to one another. But in the Dream of Rhonabwy (Mabinogion), Medrawd (Modred) was his nephew and only his foster-son.

    Sources Father Mother Sisters Wife Sons
    Mabinogion &
    other Welsh sources
    Uthr Bendragon Eigyr Gwyar Gwenhwyfar or Gwenhwyvar Llacheu, Gwydre, Amhar
    Historia regum Britanniae
    Geoffrey of Monmouth
    Uther Ygerne Anna Guinevere
    Chretien de Troyes' romances Utherpendragon Igerne Morgan le Fay Guinevere
    Perlesvaus Uter Ugerne unnamed Guinevere Loholt
    Wolfram von Eschenbach
    Utepandragun Arnive Sangive Ginover Ilinot
    Diu Krône Uterpandragon Igern Orcades or Jascaphin of Orcanie Ginover
    Vulgate Cycle romances Uther Ygraine or Igerne Morgawse, Blasine, Brimesent, unnamed, Morgan le Fay Guenevere Loholt (by Lisanor)
    Suite du Merlin
    Uther Igerne Morgawse, Morgan le Fay Guenevere
    De ortu Waluuanii Uther Igraine Anna Guendoloena
    Le Morte d'Arthur
    Sir Thomas Malory
    Uther Igraine Morgause, Elaine, Morgan le Fay Guenivere Borre (by Lionors)

    Rise and Fall of Arthur

    According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, in the Historia regum Britanniae, Arthur was a great warrior king, unsurpassed in prowess and diplomacy. Arthur was seen as a world conqueror, whose empire comprised of Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Brittany, Normandy and Gaul (France). His reign only ended when his nephew Mordred tried to deposed him as king of Britain and forced his wife Guanhumara (Guinevere).

    To Geoffrey of Monmouth, Arthur was brought up in Brittany, until he succeeded his father at age fifteen. In later legend, Arthur was brought up by his foster-father named Antor (Ector), who was the father of Kay (Kai).

    Though he possessed the magic sword Caliburn (Excalibur) from Avalon according to the early tradition, it wasn't until Robert de Boron wrote Merlin (c. 1200) that the author introduced into the legend, on how young Arthur drew the sword Excalibur from a rock. The sword proved that Arthur was the true and rightful king of Britain. Arthur other weapons were also given name. The lance was called Ron, while his helmet was named Goosewhite and his shield was called Pridwen, which depicted the Virgin Mary. His horse was called Passelande.

    Normally, Arthur's symbol is that of the Red Dragon, like that of his father Uther, who had a nickname Pendragon attached to his name. (Though, in the Prophecies of Merlin, the Red Dragon also symbolised the Britons, while the White Dragon represents the invading Saxons.) However, Arthur's symbol was also that of Boar of Cornwall, mainly because Cornwall, particularly the castle Tintagel was his birth place. The warcry of Arthur and the Round Table was "Clarence!".

    By the time of the 13th century, Arthur became more like a typical king and less of a hero. Medieval romances was about the actions of the hero in the story (a knight in this case). To the writers of that time, a king can't just leave his court to seek out adventure. A king had duties that tied him to the throne and to his kingly functions.

    As early as the French author Chretien de Troyes in the second half of the 12th century, the legend began to focus away from the king himself and more on his knights from the Round Table. These heroes became the central characters of various tales, while Arthur began to take a less active role in the tales. His character became more weak and ignoble, rather than the great warrior king of the early tradition.

    The Vulgate Cycle introduced a different ending for Arthur and his kingdom. The cause of the death of Arthur, was the adultery of Lancelot and Guinevere, the disappearance of the Grail from Britain and the betrayal and treason of Mordred, his son by his half-sister Morgawse. Sir Thomas Malory followed these similar patterns and structures of the French Vulgate Cycle, rather than those of Geoffrey and Wace.

    Related Information
    Artus (French).
    Arthurus (Breton).
    Arto (Latin – "Bear".

    Artorius (Romano-British).

    Artúir, Artuir (Irish).

    Related Articles
    Uther Pendragon, Igraine, Gorlois (or Hoel), Morgan la Fay, Anna, Morgawse, Merlin.

    Guinevere, Lancelot, Gawain, Kay, Bedivere, Mordred.

    The Life of King Arthur.
    Legend of Excalibur (Vulgate),
    Death of King Arthur (Vulgate).

    Historical Background.

    House of King Arthur.
    House of Arthur & Culhwch (Welsh).

    King Arthur

    King Arthur
    Round Table in Winchester Castle. Winchester


    Would the real Arthur, please step forward

    There has been centuries-old debate on whether there was ever a real Arthur. Archaeological evidence proved fruitless. Historical literary sources have been scant and totally unreliable. Distinguishing history from legend is like trying to find a needle in a hay-sack.

    Geoffrey of Monmouth's so-called history of the British kings (titled Historia regum Britanniae) was nothing more than an inventive history.

    Geoffrey of Monmouth (Galfridus Monemutensis) claimed thar he got his sources from an old book from Archdeacon, was also pure fabrication.

    Geoffrey's Historia was based on three central figures:

    Brutus, the first British king and the great-grandson of Aeneas, a Trojan hero in Greek mythology. Brutus fled to the isle that was named after him.

    Then, there's Belinus, the so-called British king, who sacked Rome about 390 BC.
    Though, Rome was sacked in 390 BC. It definitely wasn't from Celtic Britons. The Celtic tribes who defeated the Romans were from the Gauls, who migrated into Italy from France about fifth or fourth century BC. Therefore, Geoffrey was mixing history with his own invention.

    And of course, King Arthur, himself. Geoffrey portrayed Arthur as a world conqueror, who established an empire that comprised of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and France.

    With these sorts of people in his Historia, it really can't be taken seriously to be history. It was Geoffrey who made the legend of King Arthur, popular in Britain and the Continent. Its influences were tremendous; its inspirations would cause later medieval authors to further enrich the legend.

    Those who take the Geoffrey's Historia or another part of the legend as history, I believed had misunderstood the nature of literary art. As I see it, Geoffrey had used some elements of history in his compositions but in general his works were purely fictional.

    You may have wondered where Geoffrey got his sources from. Arthur appeared to be an early Celtic hero, particularly among the Welsh. There are a number of Welsh literature that could have inspired Geoffrey to write his History.

    Arthur seemed to have connection with a British victory over the Saxons at the battle or seige of Mons Badonicus or Badon Hills, possibly in Wessex.

    The earliest account of this battle come from the Celtic monk-historian named Gildas, who died in AD 570, recorded in his De excidio et conquestu Britanniae, about the battle in Mons Badonicus (Badon Hills, in Wessex). Though Gildas did not mention Arthur, the monk had indirectly associated the victory to the leader Ambrosius Aurelianus in the earlier paragraph.

    ...that they might not be brought to utter destruction, took arms under the conduct of Ambrosius Aurelianus, a modest man, who of all the Roman nation was then alone in the confusion of this troubled period by chance left alive. His parents, who for their merit were adorned with the purple, kind been slain in these same broils, and now his progeny in these our days, although shamefully degenerated from the worthiness of their ancestors, provoke to battle their cruel conquerors, and by the goodness of our Lord obtain the victory.

    After this, sometimes our countrymen, sometimes the enemy, won the field, to the end that our Lord might this land try after his accustomed manner these his Israelites, whether they loved him or not, until the year of the siege of Bath-hill, when took place also the last almost, though not the least slaughter of our cruel foes, which was (as I am sure) forty-four years and one month after the landing of the Saxons, and also the time of my own nativity.

    The Ruin of Britain
    by Gildas (c. 6th century)
    Edited by J. A. Giles
    Six Old English Chronicles
    Henry G. Bohn, London, 1848

    St Bede the Venerable wrote in his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum ("Ecclesiastical History of the English People"), in AD 731, about the arrival of the English people (Saxons and Angles). Bede recorded that the Saxons and Angles were led by Hengist (Hengest) and Horsa, arrived in Britain (AD 449) at King Vortigern's invitation. Bede also recorded that Ambrosius Aurelianus, a Roman warlord, won his first decisive battle against the Angles at Badon Hills, in AD 493. Once again, Ambrosius Aurelianus appeared as the Briton resistance leader against the invaders, not Arthur.

    According to the Welsh historian Nennius, who flourished in the early 9th century, this victory (at Badon Hills) was associated with Arthur. Nennius wrote in his Historia Brittonum that eleven other victories were ascribed to Arthur, but he was more of British warlord or general, than a king. Nennius pushed the date of the battle of Mons Badonicus, to a later time, in AD 516. This was the first mention of Arthur in the historical (psuedo-historial) source.

    Then it was, that the magnanimous Arthur, with all the kings and military force of Britain, fought against the Saxons. And though there were many more noble than himself, yet he was twelve times chosen their commander, and was as often conqueror. The first battle in which he was engaged, was at the mouth of the river Gleni. The second, third, fourth, and fifth, were on another river, by the Britons called Duglas, in the region Linuis. The sixth, on the river Bassas. The seventh in the wood Celidon, which the Britons call Cat Coit Celidon. The eighth was near Gurnion castle, where Arthur bore the image of the Holy Virgin, mother of God, upon his shoulders, and through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the holy Mary, put the Saxons to flight, and pursued them the whole day with great slaughter. The ninth was at te City of Legion, which is called Cair Lion. The tenth was on the banks of the river Trat Treuroit. The eleventh was on the mountain Breguoin, which we call Cat Bregion. The twelfth was a most severe contest, when Arthur penetrated to the hill of Badon. In this engagement, nine hundred and forty fell by his hand alone, no one but the Lord affording him assistance. In all these engagements the Britons were successful. For no strength can avail against the will of the Almighty.
    Historia Brittonum
    by Nennius (c. AD 796)
    Edited by J. A. Giles
    Six Old English Chronicles
    Henry G. Bohn, London, 1848

    Nennius had later also recorded that Arthur had a carn built at Buel for his dog Cabal, which had used in his hunt for the boar Troynt. On top of this stone pile is the pawprint of Cabal. Could this wildboar Troynt be Twrch Trwyth in the tale of Culhwch and Olwen? And he also mentioned the burial site of Anir, the son of Arthur. It was Arthur who had killed his own son.

    Nennius also recorded the episode of Vortigern and Hengist, but added a new person associated with Vortigern, Ambrosius. This Ambrosius is not the same Ambrosius Aurelianus mentioned in the works by Gildas and Bede. No. This Ambrosius was another name for the boy prophet, whom Geoffrey called Merlin. The story of Vortigern and Ambrosius (Merlin), the falling wall and the two sleeping dragons influenced Geoffrey's own work (see Vortigern in Life of King Arthur).

    From the Annales Cambriae (the Annals of Wales) from 10th century, Arthur won the battle in Mons Badonicus (Mons Badon) and some other victories as well. The Annales also mentioned in a short passage that Arthur and Medraut (Mordred) falling in the battle of Camlann (537).

    AD 516 The Battle of Badon, in which Arthur carried the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ for three days and three nights on his shoulders and the Britons were the victors.
    AD 537 The battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell: and there was plague in Britain and Ireland.
    Annales Cambriae
    Translated by Ingram, James
    The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
    Everyman Press, London, 1912

    As it can be seen, Geoffrey had derived his sources, mainly from Nennius, but also from the Gildas, Bede and the Annales Cambriae. However, Geoffrey set the year of Arthur's fall a little later on 542. Also, Geoffrey had cleverly turned Ambrosius Aurlianus into Aurelius Ambrosius, an uncle of Arthur.

    Most of the earliest legends of Arthur, before Geoffrey, come from Welsh sources, between the 8th and 10th century.

    So, whether Arthur exist or not, still remain in doubt.

    If there was ever a true Arthur in history, he would probably be Romano-British warleader, probably named Artorius, which is a Roman name for Arthur. Though the Roman legions may have left Britain in AD 410, the general population of mixed Romans and Celts, would have had generations of Roman law, education, culture and way of life.

    The name, Artorius, is similar enough to the Gallic god of the bear, Artaius or Artaios. The Roman had identified this god with their Mercury. In Latin, Arto means "bear". So Arthur like other Welsh characters, could be derived from ancient Celtic god in Gaul (France). The female form of Artaius is Artio, the bear-goddess.

    Possibly the earliest reference about come from Y Gododdin written by the Welsh poet, Aneirin, c. 6th century. Here, the poem only mentioned his name, once, referring to a warrior in the poem as being brave "but he was no Arthur".

    He charged before three hundred of the finest,
    He cut down both centre and wing,
    He excelled in the forefront of the noblest host,
    He gave gifts of horses from the herd in winter.
    He fed black ravens on the rampart of a fortress
    Though he was no Arthur.
    Y Gododdin
    by Aneirin (c. 6th century)
    Translated by A.O.H. Jarman

    This extract is not actually talking about Arthur, but another warrior who couldn't match Arthur in prowess in battle. There is no detail of who this Arthur was. Though, the poem was attributed to have existed in the 6th century, Gododdin was actually preserved as extant work, in the manuscript called Book of Aneirin, in c. 1250.

    The earliest tale where Arthur had more active role in early Welsh literature come from Culhwch and Olwen (before AD 1100), one of eleven tales found in the Mabinogion.

    Other tales found in the Mabinogion were composed of later date from Dream of Rhonabwy and the three Welsh romances: Geriant, Owein and Peredur. The last three mentioned parallel to those tales found in Chretien de Troyes' three Arthurian romances – Erec, Yvain and Perceval, which were may have been composed earlier than the Welsh versions.

    So why did Geoffrey of Monmouth composed the warrior king of Britain? At the time, there was a change of order in Britain. Earlier, the Saxons and Angles had invaded Britain, driving the Britons (Romano-Celts) into Wales, Scotland and Brittany between the 5th and early 7th century. But in his time, the Normans from Normandy became the new masters of England, since the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Geoffrey was writing at the time of turmoil after the death of Henry I and in the reign of King Stephen (1135-1154), a period of anarchy and civil war.

    It could have been that Geoffrey wanted to give them a British hero, an identity to their pasts, like that of Charlemagne (768-814) in France and Germany.

    Charlemagne was the king of the Franks and the first Holy Roman Emperor, who had gained legendary status through a large collection of French epic poems or songs, known as the chanson de geste ("song of deeds"). But unlike Arthur, Charlemagne was a true historical figure.

    These epic poems were written between 1100 and 1500, and dealing with barons who fought for or against Charlemagne and his son Louis the Pious. Charlemagne had formed a group of heroes, known as the Twelve Peers (Twelve Paladins), which were almost as famous as the Knights of the Round Table. They were formidable knights who excelled in combat. The best knight was Charlemagne's nephew, Roland. Roland and his sword Durendal were often mentioned in other texts. And even in Geoffrey's History, he had mentioned Gerin of Chartes as one of heroes of the Twelve Peers, who had fought in Arthur's army against Rome.

    The earliest chanson was that of Le Chanson de Roland (Song of Roland), c. 1100, was also the masterpiece in the chanson de geste, recorded the Battle of Roncesvalles (Roncevaux) in 778. It was the Saracens, not the historical Basques, who ambushed the rearguard force, led by Roland. The force was annihilated from numerically superior forces, but Charlemagne avenged their death by defeating a Saracen army.

    Though, Geoffrey was neither the earliest nor the best writer of the Arthurian legend, his contribution had at least sparked creativity among later writers so that the Arthurian legend had surpassed the legend of Charlemagne.

    While there are still people seeking the mysterious light of the elusive Grail and with champions like Lancelot and the knights of the Round Table defending the kingdom and the damsels, Arthur appeared very much alive today as he did in the Middle Ages.

    Related Information
    Historia regum Britanniae ("History of the Kings of Britain") was written by Geoffrey of Monmouth (1137).

    Historia Brittonum was written by Nennius (8th century).

    De excidio et conquestu Britanniae ("The Overthrow and Conquest of Britain") was written by Gildas (died c. AD 570).

    Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum ("Ecclesiastical History of the English People") was written by St Bede in AD 732.

    Annales Cambriae (The Annals of Wales) was written in 9th century.

    Culhwch and Olwen (before 1100) was one of eleven tales found in the Mabinogion.

    Y Gododdin was written by 6th century bard Aneirin, which was preserved in the Book of Aneirin (c. 1250).

    Le Chanson de Roland (Song of Roland), c. 1100.

    Related Articles
    Arthur, Aurelius Ambrosius, Mordred.

    The Life of King Arthur.
    Legend of Excalibur (Vulgate),
    Death of King Arthur (Vulgate).

    Historical Background.

    Mosaic of Arthur

    Mosaic of King Arthur
    Detail from The Life Tree in Otranto's Cathedral, Lecce (Italy)

    King Arthur and Emperor Charlemagne

    King Arthur and Emperor Charlemagne
    From the Castle of La Manta, Saluzzo (Piamonte)




    1. King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who ... In the view of historian Thomas Charles-Edwards, "at this stage of the enquiry, one ...
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Arthur - Cached
      More results from en.wikipedia.org »
    2. Charlemagne (c. 742 – 28 January 814), also known as Charles the Great, was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans (Imperator Romanorum) from 800 to ...

    This will be the last of informamtion given  unless I discover something better.



    Middleton Family Tree: Does Kate Descend from King Arthur?

    A 15th Century French manuscript depicts King Arthur and the Holy Grail - French National Library / Wikimedia Commons
    A 15th Century French manuscript depicts King Arthur and the Holy Grail - French National Library / Wikimedia Commons
    The Middletons can trace their royal lineage to King Edward III, Eleanor of Aquitaine, William the Conqueror and Viviane del Acqs, Dynastic Queen of Avallon

    Born 9 January 1982, Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, now HRH the Duchess of Cambridge, seems to descend from a working-class family of miners, clerks, solicitors and flight attendants.

    That, at least, is the spin on the Middleton kin by the BBC, the Daily Mirror, and the Sun. They have published videos, charts and stories about the Middleton Family on their websites, and the evident goal is to persuade the public that the Middletons are "just plain folks."

    The truth is much more amazing.

    The Middletons not only descend from kings; their family tree contains the very best of English royalty: King Arthur and the family of the Holy Grail.

    A Descendant of King Edward III

    On her father's side of the tree (deliberately ignored by the Beeb), the new Duchess of Cambridge can trace her Middleton lineage back to King Edward III, the Plantagenets, Eleanor of Aquitaine, William the Conqueror, the Kings of Scotland, the High Kings of Ireland and just about any King or Queen of ancient France one cares to name.

    It's quite easily proven. One traces her father back to Francis Martineau Lupton and Frances Elizabeth Greenhow, and the rest of one's homework is already done at Peerage.com, an online family tree for the royals and nobles of Europe.

    Genealogists have even shown that Kate is a 14th cousin of Ellen Degeneres and an eighth cousin of George Washington seven times removed. Once one has her hooked into the Peerage, it's a romp. One simply zigs and zags until one reaches a person worth noting.

    Bloodline of the Holy Grail

    Perhaps the most interesting branch of the Middleton Family tree, the one most worth noting, leads from King Edward III back to the ancient kings of Scotland and their "old alliance" with the royal families of France. Among these branches of the family tree, one finds names taken straight out of the legends of King Arthur and the Holy Grail.

    A great deal of research has been done, during the past 20 years, to track down the "real" King Arthur and trace his family tree, and the results are surprising. King Arthur may have been a Scottish prince named Arthuir Mac Aidan, (ca 554 - 584 AD) the son of Scottish King Aidan mac Gabhran of Dalriada.

    That is the assertion of a best seller by Sir Laurence Gardner titled Bloodline of the Holy Grail (Boston: Element Books, 2000). On page 145 of the illustrated edition of Gardner's book, there is a family tree titled "Arthur and the House of Avallon del Acqs" which coincides perfectly with the royal Scottish (Dalriada) line of the Middleton family's tree.

    If Gardner's research is correct, then the Middleton family are related to

    • Arthuir's father, King Aidan MacGabran (d. 608), Pendragon
    • Arthuir's mother, Queen Ygerna del Acqs (Ygraine), and
    • Ygerna's mother, Viviane del Acqs, Dynastic Queen of Avallon, also known as the Lady del Acqs or the Lady of the Lake

    Very royal, very romantic, and not bad at all for a family that is supposedly made up of nothing but miners, clerks, toy store owners and the peddlers of fish 'n' chips.

    Let the snobs of Knightsbridge and Sloane Square ponder that a while before they try to disrespect the Middletons again.


    • Hennig, Kaye D. King Arthur, Lord of the Grail. (DesignMagic, 2008) Google Books
    • Neville, Simon. "What do Kate Middleton, George Washington, and Ellen Degeneres have in common? They're all cousins, new research claims," Daily Mail (London), 1 April 2011
    • New England Historic Genealogical Society, "Kate Middleton's Family History"
    • Shernick, Mark. "Kate Middleton's Royal Line: Descent from Viviane del Acqs, the family of King Arthur and the Bloodline of the Holy Grail" (April 2011).
    • Ziegler, Michelle. "Artur Mac Aedan of Dalriada," The Heroic Age, Issue 1, Spring / Summer 1999.

    FROM:  http://mark-shernick.suite101.com/middleton-family-tree-does-kate-descend-from-king-arthur-a368190





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