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The Anglo-Saxon Avon Valley Frontier: A River of Two Halves

The Anglo-Saxon Avon Valley Frontier: A River of Two Halves (Paperback)

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Synopsis

This ground-breaking exploration of the Anglo-Saxon 'Avon valley frontier', combines archaeology and documentary sources, to present a case for remarkable continuity during the Dark Age and Anglo-Saxon period. Based on research in the department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic History at Cambridge University, this study explores the evidence of archaeology, chronicles, charters and place-names to analyse the history of the 'Bristol Avon' as a frontier from the 4th to the 11th century. The result is a regional history that mirrors the history of Anglo-Saxon England. It also reveals a striking continuity in the use of the Avon valley as a frontier; the roots of which are discernible in the Late Iron Age. Yet this continuity tells two different 'stories', either side of Bath, which influenced the actions of successor kingdoms over hundreds of years. In this history, Offa, Alfred, Guthrum, Edward the Elder, Athelstan, Edgar and Cnut all played their parts. Even the legendary Arthur and the semi-legendary Vortigern have walk-on parts. What is surprising is that 21st century civil and Church boundaries still reflect this history, which is over 1,500 years old.

Hannah Whittock: graduated with a First in 'Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic' (ASNC) from Cambridge University in 2011 and completed her MPhil at Cambridge University in 2012 (analysing the Bradford on Avon charter of 1001 and its role in the development of the cult of Edward King and Martyr), supervised by the internationally famous Anglo-Saxonist, Professor Simon Keynes. She reads Old English, Old Norse and Insular Latin. She is currently working for the devolved Welsh Government. Martyn Whittock: graduate of Bristol University; an experienced historical author and communicator of history, having taught history for over thirty years. He has acted as an historical and educational consultant to English Heritage and the National Trust. His specialist period of study is Anglo-Saxon England and the early medieval period in Britain generally. He is currently Curriculum Leader for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development at a Wiltshire secondary school.

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