Harold and William in animation

An animation of the Bayeux Tapestry, yes really!   Many thanks to our Committee Member, Tony O’Connor, for finding it and passing it on to us.

It has been about since 2009 apparently, but we have only just heard of it.       

The Animated Bayeux Tapestry was created as a student project while at Goldsmiths College.    Just as the historic original embroidery does, the animation depicts the lead up to the Norman Invasion of England in 1066.   It starts about halfway through the original work at the appearance of Halley’s Comet and ends at William’s victory at the Battle of Hastings.   Marc Sylvan redid the soundtrack to include original music and sound effects.

Here’s the link to the video.

Animation by David Newton;                  Music and sound design by Marc Sylvan.

England’s Heroic Age

On this St George’s Day, also called England Day, we were very pleased to find this moving tribute to the great Saxon and Viking heroes of England.

Click here to watch it.

And a Happy St George’s Day to all Englishmen and Englishwomen.

Published in: on April 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Mead Oath

There are probably others, but this is the best known by which the Anglo-Saxon Englisc Fyrdsmen (militia), Thegns (NCOs) and Huscarls (Officers) would swear their oath to fight for their King or Lords;

“I swear before this company that I shall fight to the death for my King. If my King or my Lord shall die, I shall take his place and fight as he would have fought.  If any man here see me taken with weak heart and run away he shall remind me of this pledge made here before my kin.”

Such was the oath that saw the most loyal, the Huscarls, die to a man upon Senlac Hill even after King Harold had fallen.


Published in: on April 7, 2013 at 12:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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Photo of the day – A trader at ease

This mediaeval trader takes her ease at King Harold Day,Waltham Abbey, 13 October 2012.

(Photograph – Jonathan Foster)

KHD2012- (171)_tonemapped (534x800)

Published in: on January 22, 2013 at 2:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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King Harold is Crowned

Yesterday, 5 January, was the anniversary of the death of the long-reigning Harold's Coronation (2)King, Edward the Confessor.   His new Abbey at Westminster, although not completely finished, was sufficiently ready to be used for his funeral.

Today, 6 January, is the anniversary of the Coronation of his successor, King Harold II, the last Anglo Saxon King of England.   Formerly Earl of East Anglia and Earl of Wessex, Harold Godwinesson was crowned in Westminster Abbey. 

Hedgehogs, Urchins and Igls

Here’s a good piece about how hedgehogs got their name and how they wereilluminated page with hedgehog (2) viewed in Anglo Saxon days.   It’s on the Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog of the British Library.

We learn that  the word comes from the hedge where the little animal lives and its hoglike snout, but this name can only be traced back to the mid 15th century.   The Normans used the term “urchin”, and this is still used in some places, but before 1066 the Anglo Saxons called it by the Germanic name “igl”.

hedgehogs collecting fruit on quills (2)The website has a great story about how hedgehogs were said to creep into vineyards when the grapes were ripe, climb the vines and shake the fruit down to the ground.  They didn’t eat it, though;  they turned on their backs and rolled around, impaling the grapes with their sharp quills.  Then they carried the grapes on their spines back to their burrows as a meal for their young. 

Here’s the link to the article.