Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Conserving the Devil’s Dyke

I came upon a post on Ancient Origins about conservation issues in respect of the Anglo-Saxon Devil’s Dyke in eastern Cambridgeshire - not to be confused with the natural phenomenon of the same name in Sussex not with the eponymous Iron Age earthwork in Hertfordshire.  The article can be seen at Stunning ‘Devil’s Dyke’ Under Threat in Britain

The origins, history and nomenclature of the Devil’s Dyke are discussed in the Wikipedia article about it at Devil's Dyke, Cambridgeshire

What is always striking to my mind is how features such as this from the Anglo-Saxon period or earlier ones such as that in Hertfordshire reveal the existence of local or regional leaders able to commission or sanction such works and their ability to carry them out with the engagement of the local population. It does not have to have necessarily been based on compulsion, but it does indicate social organisation and social structures, and understanding that helps us to understand our history.

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