Showing posts from April, 2017

St Georges Day and Its Meaning

So today is St Georges Day, but if it wasn't for the pubs hanging out the flags and bunting, who would really have known? The trouble with St Georges Day is that no one really knows what they should be doing to celebrate it. St George's Day hasn't been officially recognised as a National Holiday since the British Act of Union, and this fact is a pretty telling detail. England has long suffered an identity crisis. The reason why no one really knows what we should do on St Georges Day is because English culture has been suppressed for such a long time.

In order to make the Act of Union a success in 1707, Westminster has waged a silent war on anything English, with a faux romanticised political Britishness identity supplanted in its stead. You can still see the effects of this today in the political system whereby the Welsh, Scottish and Irish identity (and Nationalism) is promoted and even funded by English tax payers, whereas those who deem themselves English are made to f…

The Battle of Benfleet

Over the centuries the wild coasts of Essex have been so tamed and subdued, that I doubt the local inhabitants from even a hundred years ago would recognise where they were if they were to travel forward to the present day. Over the last few centuries, flood defences turned the old marshes to pasture, and in more recent times from pasture, to the scars of urban sprawl. It seems strange to think that thousands drive through the site of a Viking fort on their way on and off Canvey island every day, and whilst I'm sure most are aware of the memorials placed by the side of road, I suspect few really know how important the battle of Benfleet really was to our history.

The Context For H├Žstan's Invasion
England in the ninth century had yet to be coalesced into a single kingdom, and was at that point still broken up into various sub-kingdoms known as the heptarchy. Essex for example had for a long time been an independent kingdom in its own right until it had been absorbed into Wesse…

The Ancient Mounds of the Crouch Valley

Despite having lived in the Rochford borough for most of my life, I've never once heard anyone speak of the ancient earthen mound situated in the town of Hockley. The mound in question, called Plumberow Mount, stands three to four meters proud of an already high vantage point overlooking the river Crouch to the north and the town of Hockley to the south. It always amazes me that local history as interesting as this could remain almost hidden in plain site. Despite the council having put up signs at the site explaining possible theories on its purpose, a part of me wonders whether the reason as to why these monuments do not receive greater publicity is in an attempt to try and preserve them - and given the local area's growing population (and encroaching urban spread) that's probably not a bad idea.

Of course officially the site is protected under law, and is a scheduled monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaelogical Areas Act of 1979, having being recognised as be…