Showing posts from September, 2022

Roman Britain for the Visitor

Introduction Antonine Guard   In AD 43 a force comprising some 45,000-50,000 men comprising four legions (II Augusta, IX Hispana, XIV Gemina and XX Valeria) successfully invaded what is now Southern England, an event which was the precursor to the Roman domination of mainland Britain which lasted until AD 410. Overall, Britain was subject to Roman influence for a period of some 450 years. Despite the long period of time, Britain was always at the edge of Roman influence and never achieved the wealth, status and sophistication of countries at the heart of the Empire. However, in Britain the Romans left a massive physical legacy as manifested in roads, towns, cities, villas, palaces,   hoards of coins   and valuables and engineering feats that we can still appreciate today. Towns in Roman Britain:   Londinium   (London) , Durovernum (Canterbury), Verulamium (St. Albans), Camulodunum (Colchester), Venta Icinorum (Norwich), Calleva (Silchester), Regnum (Chichester), Venta Belgarum (Winches

Mossyard Beach, Castle Douglas

  Tonight, I am reporting on the holiday location of Mossyard Beach near Auchenlarie Holiday Park, about 5 miles SW of Gatehouse of Fleet in Galloway, southern Scotland. Hopefully, the images speak for themselves. I came across this pleasant spot by chance when looking for suitable landscapes to photograph during a drive along the A75.  Clearly, there is a good expanse of sandy beaches combined with the placid water conditions of Wigtown Bay which in turn is part of the Solway Firth, a border between England and Scotland.  This is a popular holiday destination albeit on a modest scale which looks very inviting, especially for paddle boards and the like. A quiet spot with no commercial razzamatazz. May return next year. MORE INFORMATION FOR THE VISITOR The publication, Visitors’ Guide to Scotland extends to some 800 pages.This book is heavily illustrated and contains a wealth of information. The ISBN is 978-1-9161332-0-4. Also available via Kindle.

The Newt, Somerset

This evening, I am reporting on a superb country estate and park in Somerset, southern England which is located about 135 miles SW of London.                                                        Family group of Red Deer As far as I am aware the name has no connection with amphibians. The site is owned by a super-rich south African businessman who has lavished huge amounts of money entailing: Construction of a replica Roman Villa dating to around the mid 4th century AD. This seems to have been inspired by discovery and excavation of an actual Roman Villa on the site. No expense seems to have been spared on the new villa which incorporates forensically accurate detail and thus affords a true connection with a high status home of the period.                                                               Entrance to Roman Villa                                          Excavated remains of original Roman Villa Planting of an extensive vineyard. With global warming seemingly accelerating th

Castle Cary, Somerset

 This evening, I am reporting on a visit earlier today by wife and myself to the fascinating town of Castle Cary in south Somerset, England. Location is 5 miles NW of Wincanton and 8 miles south of Shepton Mallet, at the foot of Lodge Hill  and on the River Cary, a tributary of the Parrett. More information on local directions. This town should not be confused with Castlecary, a small historic village in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. In due course I will have to research the origins of both names to ascertain any similarity in origin. Castle Cary impressed as a clean and prosperous town with a wide variety of shops with multiple examples of architecture which help to tell the story of the town's development over the last 1000 years. Castle Cary's name owes it's origin to (a) a local Norman castle which no longer exists and (b) the River Cary. Walking through this town (in very favourable weather conditions) brought back memories of Chipping Campden , a similar prosperous tow

Reconstructed Roman Villa

This evening, I am reporting on my visit earlier today to a meticulously reconstructed Roman Villa in Somerset, England.   Funding for the project was provided by a South African billionaire. Specific features of the reconstruction project which is known as 'Villa Ventorum': Employed hundreds of architects, builders, archaelogists, mosaic makers, fresco painters and experts on ancient plumbing. The new build was built close to the remains of the original villa which dates from AD351. Incorporates the only working hypocaust system in Europe to create authentic Roman underfloor heating. Thne system also provides heating for the internal baths. Designed to appear to visitors as though still in use. Mosaics and frescoes have been made below the top standards of the time (e.g. Chedworth ) to reflect the social rank of the resident family. Incorporates a Roman 'fast food bar' allong the lines of that found in Pompeii . (Core of above information sourced from the Times newspap