In Search of Scotland by Gordon Menzies

By Gordon Menzies

Background is the place we come from, historical past is who we're. From the Stone Age to the current, this publication charts the effect of Celts, Picts, Romans, Irish, Vikings, and English, of battles, wars and empire. the nice and the great determine prominently, in fact, however the tale of Scotland can be approximately usual humans, who lived and enjoyed, labored and died, in general leaving no list in any respect. lower than the management of Gordon Menzies, the BBC sequence manufacturer, Scotland's top historians have mixed to supply a piece that's revealing and authoritative. strong humans determine prominently within the ebook: St. Columba, Queen Margaret, David I, Wallace, Bruce, James III, James IV, James V, John Knox, the Covenanters, the Jacobites, the philosophers and scientists of the Enlightenment, the Victorian marketers, and the power-brokers of the 20 th century. yet traditional everyone is definitely very important to the tale: infantrymen, farmers, ship-builders, metalworkers, and plenty of others.Accompanied all through through extraordinary full-color images, illustrations, work, and maps, the book's trenchant perspectives and evocative descriptions will front all people with an curiosity in Scotland and the Scots.

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Conall gave Columba the small island of Iona in the far north-west of his kingdom on which he and his twelve followers could found a monastery. It was also during Conall’s time that another group of people first came to Scotland looking for land: but they were not monks. The kingdom of Bernicia had been founded a little after 500 by Eosa, an Angle chieftain who had probably migrated from Lincolnshire or Norfolk, though he may perhaps have come directly across the sea from southern Jutland. His first settlement was around B I RT H O F A NAT I O N 35 Image Not Available Hunterston brooch: manufactured by a Celtic goldsmith, circa 700 AD the eastern end of Hadrian’s Wall, but in 549 his grandson , Ida, captured the royal fortress of Bamburgh and established dominion over the lower Tweed basin.

In the west they did reconquer at least some of Ayrshire but the kingdom of Dumbarton, the last of the British kingdoms, held out in Renfrewshire and the Lennox. The Pictish 38 IN SEARCH OF SCOTLAND kingdom of Fortriu had gained both self-confidence from its victory over the Bernicians and inspiration from its time as a Bernician ally. From Bredei’s time onwards the kings of Fortriu pursued a project of uniting all the Pictish tribes as far as the islands of the ocean. By the 720s this supremacy in Pictland was assured and although the more distant provinces may still have had sub-kings ruling them, the kingdom was established as a regional superpower and the king of Fortriu was commonly called ‘king of the Picts’.

Much of what we know about the northern Britons comes from later Welsh literature, which presented the Old North as the home of heroes whose martial exploits provided a model for the young men of medieval Wales. It is often hard to separate legend from history. The Old North was divided into a number of kingdoms – perhaps chiefdoms would be a better word – for the most part developed from the Roman period tribes. Each chiefdom had a royal fortress at its centre. The medieval castles at Edinburgh, Stirling, Dumbarton and Dundonald (in Ayrshire) were all built on the sites of earlier British royal centres, other centres remained undeveloped in later times like the magnificent hillfort of Tynron Doon in Dumfriesshire.

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