My Illlustrated Travel Journal with Essays about Roman and Mediaeval History and some Geology


26.10.13
  Northumbrian Castles - Malcolm III and the First Battle of Alnwick

This is getting really big, so I’ll post the history of Alnwick Castle in several parts; that way you’ll at least get a new post occasionally. *grin* Since the posts extend to the overall history of Northumbria, there will be some photos of other historical sites as well.

One should think that the beginning of a huge and important castle like Alnwick would be better documented than the obscure keeps dotting German hills, but unfortunately, information about the beginnings of the castle is nonexistant, though it may have predated the first evidence in 1096 where it is mentioned as in possession of one Ivo (Yves) de Vescy, who built part of the castle still in existence.

The castle guards the crossing of the river Aln and since it is so close to the Scottish border, it saw a fair deal of action during history. The first owner may have been Gilbert de Tesson (Tyson) who was the standard bearer of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. But in 1095, he - or his descendant - participated in a rebellion against William Rufus and lost the fief which was then given to Yves de Vescy, together with the title Baron of Alnwick.

View to Alnwick Castle from the gardens

Alnwick had come into focus already two years earlier, when King Malcolm III Canmore and his oldest son and heir Edward were killed in a battle or ambush; the sources are not clear about the details. The relationship between King Malcolm III of the Scots and William the Conqueror and his successor William Rufus, was always uneasy as we will see, and the battle of Alnwick not the only military action in Northumberland during Malcolm’s reign.

Malcolm, the son of King Duncan of Macbeth fame, was still a child when his father was killed in 1040, and he and his brother Donald Bán spent many years in exile. It has long been assumed they went to England to the court of Edward the Confessor, but recent research opens the possibility that Malcolm went to Orkney and found shelter with its earl Thorfinn Sigurdsson. There certainly was a connection with Orkney since Malcolm later married Thorfinn’s widow Ingibjorg with whom he had a son, Duncan, but he also had a keen interest in AngloSaxon culture and administration and was fluent in English. Donald Bán may have spent part of his exile in the Isles.

The details of Malcolm’s rise to power are contradictory and obscure, so I’ll spare you a lengthy discussion. But by April 1058, Macbeth and his stepson Lulach were dead and Malcolm was crowned king. He conducted a raid into Northumbria in 1061 but this was likely a border conflict caused by some Northumbrian nobles and not an attempt at expanding power.

Alnwick Keep seen from the inner bailey

After the death of Edward the Confessor in 1066, Scotland became a place of exile, first for the deposed Earl Tostig Godwinson of Northumbria, a sworn friend of King Malcolm, though Malcolm did not partake in the Battle of Stamford Bridge where Tostig and King Harald III Hardrada of Norway were killed by Harold Godwinson of England. Two years later, the widow of Edward the Confessor’s nephew and her children, among them Edgar Ætheling and Margaret, fled to Scotland in the aftermath of the Battle of Hastings. In the group of exiles accompanying them was Earl Gospatric of Northumbria.

The sources can't agree when Malcolm married Edgar's sister Margaret, 1068 or 1070 (the date of Inigibjorg's death is not documented, either), and neither is it clear whether or not he supported the 1069 rising in Northumberland. We also get two different shipwrecks, and sources that - because of their anti-Celtic Church stance - present Margaret as the queen who basically introduced civilisation to 'barbarian' Scotland. Several chronicles were also written long past the events. For me, the more likely scenario is that the shipwreck that brought Edgar and his family to Scotland happened in 1068, because at that time they may indeed have planned to return to Hungary where they had spent their exile prior to 1057. The events from 1070 are more likely a flight to the nearmost shelter.

The AngloSaxon Chronicle presents Edgar as having but reluctantly agreed to the marriage to some obscure king, but I'm not sure Malcolm was as obscure and uneducated as the Chronicle describes him. It can well be Edgar saw the advantage of becoming the brother-in-law of a king who at least lived north of England (instead of Flanders, Hungary or wherever) and who already was acquainted with the English culture and language. Margaret's dowry was Malcolm's right to Cumbria.

Malcolm was careful, it seems, but he also was ambitious, and with the moral backing of restoring Edgar, and by this his own future offspring with Margaret (who were to bear AngloSaxon, not Celtic, names), to kingship, he may have put his weight behind a Northumbrian invasion in 1069, when he did not risk to support his - obviously unpopular - friend Tostig a few years earlier.

Alnwick Castle, the ramparts in the inner bailey

The events are a bit of a mess in the sources as well as the - often contradictory - secondary literature, so I'll present a version I think plausible:

In January 1069, the Northumbrians killed the earl King William the Conqueror had foisted upon them, and soon there was a major rebellion. Edgar Ætheling and Gospatric went to join the fun and managed to conquer York (probably with some of Malcolm's troops involved; I don't think there were enough English exiles and disgrunteld Northumbrians to make an army) which Edgar intended to turn into a basis for further conquest. But King William rushed north with an army, retook the town and built a castle; Edgar had to flee back to Scotland.

But the Northern Alliance had made a pact with the Danes under Sveyn Estridson who had a claim to the English crown, too, and who came with a fleet in August. Luck turned towards Edgar and his supporters, and by October of the year William's position looked pretty uncomfortable. Edgar held York, Gospatric was again earl of Northumbria and sat in Bamburgh Castle, King Malcolm held Cumbria in the west, the Danes patrolled the east coast, and the Earls Edwin and Morcar of Mercia were negotiating an alliance.

But William didn't play by the rules and launched a winter campaign. The Danes had set to winter in Lincolnshire and left York to the AngloSaxons. So William surrounded the Danes, cutting them off supply, and reconquered York, forcing Edgar's army to retreat further north.

Next spring William gave Sveyn a bag full of shiny coins and merry farewell banquet, at which point the Danes packed their axes and returned home. Then he pushed further north all the way to Hexham, and forced Gospatric to surrender. William then reinstalled him as Earl of Northumbria and sent him harrying Cumbria to keep Malcolm busy. Edgar Ætheling had no choice but to flee back to Scotland. I don't think a flight to the continent would have proven easy at that point, with no access to ships or harbours not controlled by his enemies.

In June 1070, William could leave a subdued Northumbria behind and return south. Malcolm plundered the lands of Gospatric in retaliation for his changing sides. Not a nice thing to do in a land already harried by war, but it was a point of Medieaval honour. An attempt to gain Northumbria on his own seems not likely. While Malcolm had the army Edgar lacked, he could not have hoped to achieve more than his brother-in-law without further support.

Inner bailey; view towards Ravine Tower

We can only speculate how the Norman lord of a castle like Alnwick fared in such unruly times, but at least Gilbert seems to have kept his hold on it, or was able to return from a period of exile. At that time, its strategic position and likely also its defenses were inferior to places like Bamburgh or York, so Edgar, Gospatric or whoever may not have had a very great interest in it.

After Edgar also got involved with Hereward and a fugitive Morcar of Mercia in Ely, and William had to subdue another rising, the Conqueror finally had enough of what he considered as nest of rebels at the Scottish court. In 1072, he invaded Scotland from both land and sea, much like Æthelstan did in 934 against Constantine. Malcolm did not want to risk the loss of Lothian or Fife and opened up negotiations pretty fast.

At the Treaty of Abernethy (September 1072) Malcolm 'became William’s man' as the AngloSaxon Chronicle says, a rather undifferenciated expression that surely did not imply a feudal relationship to Malcolm and his successors (nor did it mean much to Constantine who had made the same agreement with Æthelstan in 934), though it may have meant more to the Norman William. Malcolm also gave his eldest son Duncan as hostage. But he was not forced to deliver Edgar Ætheling to William; Edgar and Gospatric, whom William meanwhile had replaced as Earl of Northumbria, fled to Flanders.

Two years later, Edgar and Gospatric returned to Britain after a failed attempt to win the French king’s assistance and another shipwreck (seriously, what sort of sailor was Edgar?). Edgar made his peace with William and gave up his claim to the English throne, while Gospatric got land in Dunbar from Malcolm. In 1079, Malcolm used the quarrel between William and his eldest son Robert for another push into Northumbria which was countered by Robert; negotiations ended with the status quo ante.

Robert erected a castle at Tynemouth / Newcastle, though. There would be peace for several years until the death of William the Conqueror in 1087.

Newcastle upon Tyne, the main gate

The Conqueror’s death changed the political landscape, because his sons weren’t really happy about the succession plans: The oldest son, Robert Curthose, was to get Normandy, the second, William Rufus, England; and the youngest, Henry, was left with some minor bits of land. But Robert wanted to inherit the whole cake. Edgar Ætheling, who seems to have spent at least part of his time in Normandy, supported him, whereof his lands in Normandy were confiscated by William Rufus. Edgar fled once again to Scotland, and that would bring Malcolm into the fray as well.

In May 1091, Malcolm used the chance that William was busy putting Robert on a potty in Normandy, and marched south to besiege Newcastle (or Durham, as other sources say, but I think that less likely since Malcolm venerated St.Cuthbert). William Rufus took the threat seriously enough to return from Normandy in September, after he made peace with his brother. So Malcolm withdrew and William followed all the way to Falkirk. Thanks to negotiations led by Robert and Edgar, a reconciliation was reached between William and Malcolm (where Malcolm likely became William Rufus’ 'man'). Can we detect a pattern here, lol?

The clashes between William Rufus and Malcolm were not only caused by both sides’ interest in Northumberland and in Cumbria but also by the Irish/Norse/Gaelic/Welsh alliances that kept forming along the west coast and isles; and whose leaders wanted neither a Norman nor a Scottish overlordship if they could get away with it. It seems that William feared a possible alliance of these unruly lords with Malcolm and invaded Cumbria in 1092, building the castle at Carlisle. He also set up some powerful nobles in castles in Northumbria and endorsed their raids northward.

Malcolm considered that as breach of the 1091 agreement. A second reason to add to the grievances could have been a planned marriage between William and Malcolm’s daughter Edith that William went back on. Moreover, Robert thought that William was slow to honour their agreements made in Normandy and returned back to the continent. Edgar went with him.

Alnwick Castle, the keep from the other side

Malcolm, who was in his 60ies by now and who may have realised that a military action would not achieve anything, was willing to discuss the question with William Rufus. He even travelled to Gloucester to meet the king there in August 1093. But William refused to negotiate, maybe interpreting Malcolm's actions as weakness; he asked for Malcolm's full surrender as vassal, and the matter to be judged by his barons right there. Malcolm wanted a court of the barons of both England and Scotland, situated at the border of their realms. William didn't give in and Malcolm left Gloucester in a very sour mood.

Whether or not William intended to provoke war (the AngloSaxon Chronicle is a bit optimistic if it seriously thinks Malcolm would have swallowed those insults), war came. And like the Conqueror earlier, Malcolm too, decided not to care about the proper seasons for a war and started one in late autumn. He was accompagnied by his sons Edward, the oldest and tanaiste (designated heir), and Edgar.

They took to the usual harrying tactics for the most, but the details are not clear. The Earl of Northumbria, Robert de Mowbray, didn't manage to call upon a sizeable host in a short time to counter the Scots, and William Rufus was still in the south. Malcolm seems to have avoided to get near Bamburgh Castle which may have withstood a siege, but if he laid siege to Alnwick Castle instead or was just camped near the town is not sure. What we do know is that the steward of Bamburgh Castle, Arkil Morel (possibly a nephew of Robert de Mowbray), caught up with Malcolm's army at Alnwick on November 13, 1093, either to relieve a siege or to lay an ambush. He succeeded in cutting Malcolm and his sons - and probably their personal guards - off the main host and killed Malcolm and Edward. Edgar escaped to Scotland wounded, and the rest of the army snuck back as well.

Queen Margaret, who had been ill for a time, died at Edinburgh Castle when she heard the news. Scotland was left with an inheritance struggle between the surviving sons of Malcolm and Margaret, Malcolm's oldest son (with Ingibjorg) Duncan, and his brother Donald Bán.

Edinburgh Castle, St.Margaret's chapel

Robert de Mowbray, a powerful Norman nobleman, had joined Robert's rebellion against William Rufus in 1088, but was pardoned and given - or restored to - the position as Earl of Northumbria. He joined another conspiracy in 1095 which aimed to hand the crown to Stephen of Aumale, a cousin of William Rufus and Robert Curthose. Gilbert de Tesson, likely a vassal of Mowbray, must have been involved in the conspiracy as well, and if it is correct that Malcolm had laid siege to Alnwick Castle in 1093 when he was killed, we can assume there was a Norman motte and bailey construction of some sort at the time.

It is difficult to say who far-spread the rebellion was in the beginning (comparable to the 1088 one?), but when push came to shove, most barons abandoned Robert de Mowbray and his ally Guillaume d'Eu, which makes the final events look more like a local quarrel gone bad. Mowbray seized four Norwegian vessels anchoring in the Tyne; the merchants complained to the king, William Rufus called Mowbray before court, but the earl refused to attend. When William led an army into Northumbria, Mowbray took shelter in Bamburgh Castle. But at some point he broke through the siege with a small following of knights, William in hot pursuit. Mowbray, wounded in the leg, came as far as Tynemouth (Newcastle) but was captured after a short siege and taken back to Bamburgh. His wife surrendered the castle when William threatened to blind her husband.

Robert de Mowbray forfeited his estates and spent the rest of his life in prison. The date of his death is unsure (1106 or 1125). Guillaume d'Eu fared even worse; he lost the trial by combat, was castrated and died.

Bamburgh Castle, view to the keep

We don't know what happened to Gilbert Tesson, but it is likely he got executed as traitor. William gave Alnwick and the baronial title to Yves de Vescy. Yves was likely responsible for expanding the castle and giving the older part of it its shape until today. Alnwick Castle also appears more frequently in the sources.

Next time we'll look at King David of Scotland who continued the Into Northumbria Out Of Northumbria-game, with Alnwick playing a larger role than under Malcolm.


Main Sources
Frank Barlow: The Feudal Kingdom of England 1042-1216. 5th edition, Edinburgh 1999
Richard Oram: David, The King Who Made Scotland. Tempus Publishing Ltd, 2004
Richard Oram: Domination and Lordship, Scotland 1070-1230. The New Edinburgh History of Scotland, Edinburgh 2011
Frank Stenton: AngloSaxon England. 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 1971
Ian W. Walker: Lords of Alba, The Making of Scotland. Sutton Publishing, 2006

 
Comments:
Wow, Alnwick Castle certainly is impressive. And in such good shape for its age. I love the grassy inner bailey - although I know it probably was mud in ancient times.
 
Constance, it's still inhabited and I suppose the Duke of Northumberland doesn't want the roof come crashing on his head. :-)
 
Really informative post and lovely pics! :)
 
Gabriele,this is fascinating! I'm looking forward to the next part :-) Hopefully featuring William I the Lion :-)
 
Thank you, Kathryn and Kasia.

Kasia, the next post will deal with King David, and the third one with William the Lion. There's just too much material.
 
Wonderful, Gabriele! I've always had a soft spot for David, and I highly admire him and his grandson, the Lion. And I think Malcolm is underestimated. Can't wait to read the next part.

P.S. I hope you don't mind, but I recommended your post on Henry's FB page.
 
"Too much material" sounds really promising :-) Now you have whetted my apetite ;-)
 
I visited St Margaret's chapel in Edinburgh castle in August - have learned far more here than I did there. Looking forward to more Scottish history links!
 
Kasia, I'm developing a soft spot for that unlikely king (6th son of Edgar and not high up in the succession line) myself, who then had such a long and prosperous reign.

Thank you, Anerje. Northumbrian history is a big chapter by itself, I've realised.
 
Very informative post - thank you. I agree with you that Malcolm was probably not an obscure figure, although Edgar could possibly have been reluctant to agree to the match for other reasons. Could Malcolm have spent part of his exile in England and part in Norse Orkney?

Great photos, too. Alnwick Castle and its history will probably keep you in posts for a while :-)
 
Carla, I think that's well possible which is why I pointed at arguments for both. You've dealt with exiled kings, too, and they may outstay their welcome or political situations may change, so they move elsewhere.
 
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The Lost Fort is a travel journal and history blog based on my travels in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and other places. It includes essays on Roman and Mediaeval history, as well as some geology, illustrated with photos of old castles and churches, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.
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Location: Germany

I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who hasn't yet gotten an Instagram account. :-)



Illustrated travel essays: Roman remains, Mediaeval buildings and ruins, other places; sorted by country


Roman Times

The Romans at War

Different Frontiers, Yet Alike
Exercise Halls
Mile Castles and Watch Towers
Reconstructed Fort Walls
Soldiers' Living Quarters
Cavalry Barracks

Roman Ships
Transport Barges

Life and Religion

Religious Sites
The Mithraeum of Brocolita
Mithras Altars in Germania
A Roman Memorial Stone


Germania

The Limes and its Forts

Limes Fort Osterburken
The Discovery
The Cohort castellum
The Annex Fort
The Garrisons

Limes Fort Saalburg
Introduction
Main Gate
Shrine of the Standards
The Walls
The vicus

Romans in Bavaria
Overview: Aalen, Weissenburg, Regensburg
The Fort in Aalen - Barracks

Romans at Lippe and Ems
Anniversary Exhibitions in Haltern am See
Varus Statue, Haltern am See

Romans at the Rhine
Boppard - A 4th Century Roman Fort
Villa Rustica Wachenheim
Wachenheim Villa, Baths and Toilets
Wachenheim Villa, Cellar

Romans at the Weser
The Roman Camp at Hedemünden
Weapon Finds

Roman Towns

Augusta Treverorum (Trier)
The Amphitheatre
The Aula Palatina
The Imperial Baths - Roman Times
The Imperial Baths - Post Roman
Porta Nigra - Roman Times
The Roman Bridge

Colonia Ulpia Traiana (Xanten)
History of the Town
The Amphitheatre in Birten

Moguntiacum (Mainz)
The Temple of Isis and Mater Magna


Gallia Belgica

Roman Towns

Atuatuca Tungrorum
Roman Remains in Tongeren


Britannia

Frontiers, Fortifications, Forts

The Hadrian's Wall
Introduction / Photo Collection
Fort Baths
Fort Headquarters
Building the Wall
The Wall as Defense Line

Wall Forts - Banna (Birdoswald)
The Dark Age Timber Halls

Wall Forts - Segedunum (Wallsend)
Introduction
The Museum
The Viewing Tower
The Baths

Signal Stations
The Signal Station at Scarborough

Roman Towns

Eboracum (York)
Bath in the Fortress
Multiangular Tower

Romans in Wales

The Forts in Wales
Overview

Roman Forts - Isca (Caerleon)
The Amphitheatre
The Baths in the Legionary Fort


Mediaeval Times

Living Mediaeval
Dungeons and Oubliettes
Pit House (Grubenhaus)
Medical Instruments

Mediaeval Art
The Choir Screen in the Cathedral of Mainz
The Gospels of Heinrich the Lion
Mediaeval Monster Carvings
The Viking Treasure of Hiddensee - The Historical Context
The Viking Treasure of Hiddensee - The Craftmanship

Mediaeval Weapons
Swords
Trebuchets
Combat Scenes


Mediaeval Germany

Towns

Braunschweig
Medieaval Braunschweig, Introduction
Lion Benches in the Castle Square
The Quadriga

Erfurt
A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Erfurt

Magdeburg
Magdeburg Cathedral
St.Mary's Abbey - An Austere Archbishop
St.Mary's Abbey - Reformation to Reunion

Paderborn
Town Portrait

Speyer
The Cathedral: Architecture
Cathedral: Richard Lionheart in Speyer
Jewish Ritual Bath

Xanten
Town Portrait
The Gothic House

Towns in the Harz

Goslar
Town Portrait

Quedlinburg
Town Portrait
The Chapter Church

Towns of the Hanseatic League

Lübeck
St. Mary's Church, Introduction

Stralsund
The Harbour

Wismar
The Old Harbour

Castles and Fortresses

Castles in Bavaria

Coburg Fortress
The History of the Fortress
The Architecture

Castles in the Harz

Ebersburg
The Architecture
Power Base of the Thuringian Landgraves
The Marshals of Ebersburg

Harzburg
The Harzburg and Otto IV

Hohnstein
Origins of the Counts of Hohnstein
The Family Between Welfen and Staufen
A Time of Feuds (14th-15th century)

Regenstein
Introduction
The Time of Henry the Lion

Scharzfels
Introduction
History

Hidden Treasures
The Stauffenburg near Seesen

Castles in Hessia

Castles in Northern Hessia
Grebenstein
Reichenbach
Sichelnstein

Kugelsburg
The Counts of Everstein
Troubled Times
War and Decline

Weidelsburg
The History of the Castle
The Architecture
The Castle After the Restoration

Castles in Lower Saxony

Adelebsen / Hardeg
The Keep of Adelebsen Castle
The Great Hall of Hardeg Castle

Hardenberg
Introduction

Plesse
Rise and Fall of the Counts of Winzenburg
The Lords of Plesse
Architecture / Decline and Rediscovery

Castles in the Solling
Salzderhelden - A Welfen Seat
Grubenhagen

Castles in Thuringia

Brandenburg
The Double Castle
Role of the Castle in Thuringian History

Castles in the Eichsfeld
Altenstein at the Werra
Castle Scharfenstein

Hanstein
Introduction
Otto of Northeim
Heinrich the Lion and Otto IV
The Next Generations

Normanstein
Introduction

Wartburg
A Virtual Tour

Castles at the Weser

Bramburg
River Reivers

Krukenburg
History and Architecture
Outbuilding 'Shepherd's Barn'

Polle
The Castle and its History
Views from the Keep

Sababurg / Trendelburg
Two Fairy Tale Castles

Churches and Cathedrals

Churches in the Harz

Steinkirche near Scharzfeld
Development of the Cave Church

Walkenried Monastery
From Monastery to Museum

Churches in Lower Saxony

Königslutter
Exterior Decorations
Cloister

Wiebrechtshausen
Nunnery and Ducal Burial

Churches in Thuringia

Göllingen Monastery
Traces of Byzantine Architecture

Heiligenstadt
St.Martin's Church
St.Mary's Church

Churches at the Weser

Bursfelde Abbey
Early History

Fredelsloh Chapter Church
History and Architecture

Helmarshausen
Remains of the Monastery

Lippoldsberg Abbey
History
Interior

Vernawahlshausen
Mediaeval Murals

Reconstructed Sites

Palatine Seat Tilleda
The Defenses

Viking Settlement Haithabu
Haithabu and the Archaeological Museum Schleswig
The Nydam Ship

Miscellanea

Other Mediaeval Buildings
Lorsch, Gate Hall
Palatine Seat and Monastery Pöhlde

Miscellanea - Along Weser and Werra
Bad Karlshafen
Hannoversch-Münden
Uslar
Treffurt
Weser Ferry
Weser Skywalk


Mediaeval England

Towns

Chester
A Walk Through the Town

Hexham
Old Gaol

York
Clifford Tower, Part 1
Clifford Tower, Part 2
Guild Hall
Monk Bar Gate and Richard III Museum
Museum Gardens
Old Town
Along the Ouse River

Castles

Castles in Cumbria

Carlisle
Introduction
Henry II and William of Scotland
The Edwards

Castles in Northumbria and Yorkshire

Alnwick
Malcolm III and the First Battle of Alnwick

Scarborough
From the Romans to the Tudors
From the Civil War to the Present

Churches and Cathedrals

Hexham Abbey
Introduction

York Minster
Architecture


Mediaeval Scotland

Towns

Edinburgh
Views from the Castle

Stirling
The Wallace Monument

Castles

Central Scotland

Doune
A Virtual Tour
History: The Early Stewart Kings
History: Royal Dower House, and Decline

Stirling
Robert the Bruce and Stirling Castle

West Coast Castles

Dunollie and Kilchurn
Castles Seen from Afar

Duart
Guarding the Sound of Mull

Dunstaffnage
An Ancient MacDougall Stronghold
The Wars of Independence
The Campbells Are Coming
Dunstaffnage Chapel

Abbeys and Churches

Inchcolm Abbey
Arriving at Inchcolm

Other Historical Sites

Picts and Dalriatans
Dunadd Hill Fort
Staffa


Mediaeval Wales

Towns

Walks in Welsh Towns
Aberystwyth: Castle and Coast
Caerleon: The Ffwrwm
Conwy: The Smallest House in Great Britain

Castles

Edwardian Castles

Beaumaris
The Historical Context
The Architecture

Caernarfon
Master James of St.George
The Castle Kitchens

Conwy
The History of the Castle
The Architecture

Norman Castles

Cardiff
History

Chepstow
History: Beginnings unto Bigod
History: From Edward II to the Tudors
History: Civil War, Restoration, and Aftermath

Manorbier
The Pleasantest Spot in Wales

Pembroke
Pembroke Pictures
The Caves Under the Castle

Welsh Castles

Criccieth
Llywelyn's Buildings
King Edward's Buildings


Baltic States and Poland

Towns along the Sea Coast
From Tallinn to Gdansk


Flanders / Belgium

Towns

Antwerp
The Old Town

Bruges
A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Bruges

Ghent
A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Ghent

Tongeren
Roman and Mediaeval Remains


Scandinavia

Norway

Castles and Fortresses

Defense over the Centuries
Akershus Fortress: Middle Ages
Akershus Fortress: Architectural Development
Vardøhus Fortress


Other Times

Ages of Stone and Bronze

Development of Civilization
European Bread Museum, Ebergötzen
Open Air Museum Oerlinghausen

From Stone to Bronze
Paleolithic Cave 'Steinkirche' in the Harz mountains
Gnisvärd Ship Setting on Gotland

Pre-Historical Orkney
Ring of Brodgar - Introduction
Ring of Brodgar - The Neolithic Landscape
Skara Brae
Life in Skara Brae


Post-Mediaeval

Thirty Years of War
The Vasa Museum in Stockholm

The Splendour of St.Petersburg
Isaac's Cathedral
Smolny Cathedral
Impressions from the The Neva River

Steampunk and Beyond
Fram Museum, Oslo, Part 1
Fram Museum Oslo, Part 2
Historical Guns
Raising a Wreck, Now and Then - The Vasa Museum
Vintage Car Museum, Wolfsburg


Tours and Cruises

Travelling in Germany
Hanseatic Towns at the Baltic Sea
At the Coast of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Quedlinburg and Surroundings
Halberstadt and Surroundings
In the Land of Saale and Unstrut
Interesting Sites in Thuringia
Some Castles in Thuringia (2017)
Teutoburg Forest and Paderborn
Towns, Castles and Churches in Bavaria
Summer Tours 2016

Travelling in the UK
Castles in Northumbria and Eastern Scotland
Abbeys and Churches in Northumbria
From Edinburgh to Oban - A Visit to Scotland
Neolithic, Pictish and Viking Remains on Orkney
Castles in Wales

Cruises
Cruise on the Baltic Sea
The Hurtigruten Tour / Norway


Beautiful Germany

The Baltic Sea Coast
From the Bay of Wismar to Hiddensee
The Flensburg Firth
A Tour on the Wakenitz River

Harz National Park
Arboretum (Bad Grund)
Bode Valley, Rosstrappe and Devil's Wall
Cave Dwellings in Langenstein
Harzburg and the Ilsetal
Oderteich Reservoir
Views from Harz mountains

Nature Park Meissner-Kaufunger Wald
Sea Stones, Kitzkammer, Heldrastein
'Hessian Switzerland'
Karst Dolines and Kalbe Lake

Nature Park Solling-Vogler
The Hutewald Forest
The Raised Bog Mecklenbruch

Rivers and Lakes
The Danube in Spring
Edersee Reservoir
A Rainy Rhine Cruise
River of the Greenest Shores - The Moselle
Vineyards at Saale and Unstrut

Parks and Palaces
Botanical Garden Göttingen
Forest Botanical Garden, Göttingen
Hardenberg Castle Gardens
Junkerberg Cemetary
Wilhelmsthal Palace and Gardens

Other Landscape Sites
Oberderdorla and Hainich National Park

Seasons and More

Spring
Spring on my Balcony
Spring at the Kiessee Lake
Spring in the Rossbach Heath

Summer
Memories of Summer
Summer Hiking Tours 2016
Summer Thunderstorms

Autumn
Autumnal Views from Castle Windows
Autumn Photos from Harz and Werra
Autumn in the Meissner
Autumn at Werra and Weser

Winter
Advent Impressions
Christmas Decorations from the Ore Mountains
Winter at the Kiessee Lake
Winter Wonderland
Winter 2010

Wildlife
Birds at the Feeder
Harz Falcon Park
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The Baltic Sea Life
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The North Sea Life

Experimental
Alien Architecture
Carved Monsters in Cathedrals
Llama, Llama
Odd Angles
Spectacular Sunset
Carved Animals


Across the Channel - United Kingdom

Mountains, Valleys, and Rivers
Sheep Grazing Among Roman Remains
A Ghost Cruise on the Ouse River
West Highland Railway

The East Coast
By Ferry to Newcastle
Highland Mountains - Inverness to John o'Groats
Some Photos from the East Coast

Scottish Sea Shores
Crossing to Mull
Mull - Craignure to Fionnphort
Pentland Firth
Staffa
Summer Days in Oban
Summer Nights in Oban

Wild Wales - With Castles
Hazy Views with Castles
Shadows and Strongholds
Views from Castle Battlements

Wildlife
Sea Gulls


Shores of History - The Baltic Sea

The Northern Coast
From Gotland to St.Petersburg

The South-Eastern Coast
Beaches at the Curonian Spit
From Tallinn to Gdansk


Land of Light and Darkness - Norway

The Hurtigruten-Tour
Along the Coast of Norway - Light and Darkness
Along the Coast - North of the Polar Circle
A Voyage into Winter
Culture and Nature in Norway
The Farthest North

Norway by Train
Winter in the Mountains

Wildlife
Bearded Seals
Dog Sledding With Huskies
Eagles and Gulls in the Trollfjord




Illustrated Essays about historical themes, events, and persons - mostly Roman and Mediaeval


Roman History

Wars and Frontiers

Maps
Romans in Germania

Traces of the Pre-Varus Conquest
Roman Camp Hedemünden
New Finds in 2008

The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
Museum Park at Kalkriese

The Battle at the Harzhorn
Introduction

Along the Limes
Limes Fort Osterburken
Limes Fort Saalburg

Roman Frontiers in Britain
Hadrian's Wall

Rebellions
The Batavian Rebellion

Roman Militaria

Armour
Early Imperial Helmets
Late Roman Helmets
The Negau B Helmet

Weapons
The pilum
Daggers
Swords

Other Equipment
Roman Saddles

Life and Religion

Religion
The Mithras Cult
Isis Worship
Curse Tablets and Good Luck Charms

Everyday Life
Bathing Habits
Children's Toys
Face Pots
Styli and Wax Tablets

Public Life
Roman Transport - Barges
Roman Transport - Amphorae and Barrels
Roman Water Supply

Roman villae
Villa Rustica Wachenheim

Miscellaneous
Legend of Alaric's Burial


Mediaeval History

Feudalism
Feudalism, Beginnings
Feudalism, 10th Century
The Privilege of the deditio
A Note on handgenginn maðr

The Hanseatic League
Introduction and Beginnings
Stockfish Trade


Germany

Geneaologies

List of Mediaeval German Emperors

Geneaology
Anglo-German Marriage Connections
Heinrich the Lion's Ancestors

Biographies

Kings and Emperors
King Heinrich IV
Emperor Otto IV, Introduction

Princes
Otto the Quarrelsome of Braunschweig-Göttingen
The Dukes of Braunschweig-Grubenhagen
Otto of Northeim
The Ludowing Landgraves of Thuringia
Albrecht II and Friedrich I of Thuringia

Counts and Local Lords
The Marshals of Ebersburg
The Counts of Everstein
The Counts of Hohnstein
The Lords of Plesse
The Counts of Reichenbach
The Counts of Winzenburg

Famous Feuds

Local Feuds
The Lüneburg Succession War
The Thuringian Succession War - Introduction
The Star Wars

Royal Troubles
Otto IV and Bishop Adalbert II of Magdeburg


Scotland

Scottish Kings

House Dunkeld
Malcolm III and Northumbria
Struggle for the Throne: Malcolm III to David I
King David and the Civil War (1)
King David and the Civil War (2)

Houses Bruce and Stewart
Robert the Bruce and Stirling Castle
The Early Stewart Kings

Scottish Nobles and their Quarrels

Clan Feuds
MacLeans and MacDonalds
A Scottish Wedding


Wales

The Princes of Gwynedd
The Rise of House Aberffraw

The Rebellions
From Llywellyn ap Gruffudd to Owain Glyn Dŵr


Scandinavia

Kings of Norway
King Eirik's Scottish Marriages

Famous Nobles and their Feuds
Alv Erlingsson of Tønsberg

Post-Mediaeval

Explorers
Fram Expedition to the North Pole
Fram Expedition to the South Pole


Miscellanea

Maria Padilla - Mistress Royal
The Siege of Calais in Donizetti's Opera
Otto von Guericke


Geological Landscapes

The Baltic Sea
Geology of the Curonian Spit

The Harz
Karst Landscape
Karst - Lonau Falls
Karst - Rhume Springs

Meissner / Kaufunger Wald
Blue Dome near Eschwege
Diabase and Basalt Formations
Karst Formations

Solling-Vogler
Raised Bogs
The Hannover Cliffs

The Shores of Scotland
Staffa

Paleontology

Fossils
Ammonites


Novels in Progress / Planning

Roman Novels
(Historical Fiction)

The Saga of House Sichelstein
(Historical Fiction)

Kings and Rebels
(Fantasy)

Poetry Translations

Historical Ballads by Theodor Fontane
Archibald Douglas
Gorm Grymme
Sir Walter Scott in Abbotsford
The Tragedy of Afghanistan

Poems by Theodor Storm
From Heaven into Valleys Deep
The Grey Town By the Sea
The Seagull Flies Ashore Now

Other German Poems
Kästner, Progress of Mankind
Hebbel, Summer Picture
Rainer Maria Rilke, Autumn Day


Not So Serious Romans
Aelius Rufus Visits the Future Series
Building Hadrian's Wall
Playmobil Romans

Royal (Hi)Stories
Kings Having a Bad Hair Day
The Case of the Vanished Wine Cask

Historical Memes
Charlemagne meme
Historical Christmas Wishes
New Year Resolutions
Aelius Rufus does a Meme
Rules for Writing Scottish Romances

Funny Sights
Tourist Kitsch in St.Petersburg


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Links leading outside my blog will open in a new window. I do not take any responsibility for the content of linked sites.

History Blogs - Ancient

Roman History Today
Ancient Times (Mary Harrsch)
Bread and Circuses (Adrian Murdoch)
Following Hadrian (Carole Raddato)
Mike Anderson's Ancient History Blog
Mos Maiorum - Der römische Weg
Per Lineam Valli (M.C. Bishop)
Judith Weingarten

Digging Up Fun Stuff
The Anglo-Saxon Archaeology Blog
Arkeologi i Nord
The Journal of Antiquities (Britain)
The Northern Antiquarian
The Roman Archaeology Blog

History Blogs - Mediaeval

Þaér wæs Hearpan Swég
Anglo Saxon, Norse & Celtic Blog
Casting Light upon the Shadow (A. Whitehead)
Norse and Viking Ramblings
Outtakes of a Historical Novelist (Kim Rendfeld)

Beholden Ye Aulde Blogges
A Clerk of Oxford
Historical Britain Blog (Mercedes Rochelle)
Magistra et Mater (Rachel Stone)
Michelle of Heavenfield (Michelle Ziegler)
Senchus (Tim Clarkson)

Royal and Other Troubles
Edward II (Kathryn Warner)
Henry the Young King (Kasia Ogrodnik)
Piers Gaveston (Anerje)
Lady Despenser's Scribery
Simon de Montfort (Darren Baker)
Weaving the Tapestry (Scottish Houses Dunkeld and Stewart)

A Mixed Bag of History
English Historical Fiction Authors
The Freelance History Writer (Susan Abernethy)
The History Blog
History, the Interesting Bits (S.B. Connolly)
Mediaeval News (Niall O'Brian)
Time Present and Time Past (Mark Patton)

Thoughts and Images

Reading and Reviews
Black Gate Blog
The Blog That Time Forgot (Al Harron)
Parmenion Books
Reading the Past
The Wertzone

Imaginations
David Blixt
Ex Urbe (Ada Palmer)
Constance A. Brewer
Jenny Dolfen Illustrations
Wild and Wonderful (Caroline Gill)

Poets and Photographers (German Blogs)
Alte Steine (Burgdame Eva)
Durch Bücherstaub geblinzelt (Silberdistel)
Insel-Aus-Zeit (Carmen Wedeland)

German Travel Blogs
Good Morning World
Meerblog
Sonne und Wolken
Teilzeitreisender
Unterwegs und Daheim

Highland Mountains
The Hazel Tree (Jo Woolf)
Helen in Wales
Mountains and Sea Scotland

The Colours of the World
Shutterbugs


Research

Archaeology
Past Horizons
Archaeology in Europe
Orkneyar

Roman History
Deutsche Limeskommission
Internet Ancient Sourcebook
Livius.org
Roman Army
Roman Britain
The Romans in Britain
Vindolanda Tablets

Not so Dark Ages
Burgundians in the Mist
Viking Society for Northern Research

Mediaeval History
De Re Militari
Internet Mediaeval Sourcebook
Kulturzeit
The Labyrinth
Mediaeval Crusades
Medievalists.Net

Castles
Burgenarchiv
Burgenwelt
Exploring Castles
The World of Castles

Miscellaneous History
Heritage Daily
The History Files

Post-Mediaeval Sites
Vasa Museets Skeppsbloggen

Mythology
Ancient History
Encyclopedia Mythica

Online Journals
Ancient Warfare
The Heroic Age
The History Files

Travel and Guide Sites

Germany - History
Antike Stätten in Deutschland
Burgenarchiv
Strasse der Romanik

Germany - Nature
HarzLife
Naturpark Meissner
Naturpark Solling-Vogler

England
English Heritage
Visit Northumberland

Scotland
The Chain Mail (Scottish History)
Historic Scotland
National Trust Scotland

Books and Writing

Writing Sites
Absolute Write
TheLitForum.com

Historical Fiction
Historical Novel Society
Historia Magazine

Interesting Author Websites
Bernard Cornwell
Dorothy Dunnett
Steven Erikson
Diana Gabaldon
Guy Gavriel Kay
George R.R. Martin
Sharon Kay Penman
Brandon Sanderson
J.R.R. Tolkien
Tad Williams


*********************


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