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.

Monday 18 September 2023

Accidents of history

Medievalists.net has an interesting little article about a number of international boundary curiosities that originate in the medieval era. It can be seen at Strange Borders with Medieval Origins

There is more about the delightfully intertwined towns of Baale Nassau and Baale Hertog on the Dutch-Belgian frontier at Europe's strange border anomaly

The history of Ceuta is also set out in a recent article at The curious slice of Spain in Africa

The Franco-Spanish condominium of Pheasant Island, which changes its national administrative allegiance twice a year is not included, presumably because its status was codified in the mid-seventeenth century. There are online articles about it at Pheasant Island and Europe's island that swaps nationalities

At a local level in this country the nineteenth century had an unfortunately strong tendency for to tidy such oddities in county boundaries up, and those which survived tended to be casualties of the dreadful 1972 Local Government Act. One such was Dudley - a detached part of Worcestershire surrounded by Staffordshire, with Dudley Castle at its centre as a detached part of Staffordshire. Similarly York Castle was a detached portion of the North Riding in the City and County of the City of York, and similarly the Nottinghamshire County Hall in the middle of Nottingham, and was constituted a civil parish in its own right.

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