Thursday 12 August 2010

Dig uncovers Wales’ first Saxon ‘palace’

ARCHAEOLOGISTS yesterday unearthed the first Saxon building found in Wales, and said it may have been the ancient palace of a prince.

A team from Cambrian Archaeological Projects have started a month-long excavation on what appears to be a fifth-century Saxon palace or timber hall on farmland close to Offa’s Dyke at Forden, near Welshpool.

Bulldozers have stripped off the top soil at the Gaer Farm site and revealed evidence of what experts claim is the first of its kind in Wales.

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Tuesday 10 August 2010

Domesday Book reveals the rise of a Norman Abramovich after 1066

Within 20 years of the Norman conquest, England was dominated by "a new class of super rich Frenchmen gorging on their success". So said an academic who has used the Domesday Book to trace the rise and rise of William the Conqueror's barons.

Stephen Baxter, a historian at King's College London, is one of the authors of a database, which goes live tomorrow, making it possible to trawl through figures from the Domesday Book and map the landholdings of those for whom 1066 became a licence to coin money. To take one example, Earl Hugh's estates, more than 300 scattered across 19 shires, generated an income of about £800 a year, over 1% of the nation's entire wealth. "Hugh was an Abramovich-scale billionaire," said Baxter, who presents a programme on Domesday tomorrow on BBC2 in the Normans series.

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Lincoln Castle dig uncovers Saxon homes

Evidence of ruthless land clearance by Norman knights has been found in Lincoln.

Archaeologists working in the castle grounds have discovered remains of Anglo-Saxon houses.

When William the Conqueror decided to build a castle inside the old Roman fort, he swept away 166 homes - more than 10% of the existing town.

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