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Wychbury Hill
The strange atmosphere of Wychbury.
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Apologies to Alchemilla, Wychburyman, Hedgerider and morfe --- I've only just found your responses re: my original weblog. The atmoshere aspect does seem to be a common thread, and although i like speculating about the historical reality, in the final analysis this is pretty un knowable. Recently i wrote a short song about all this stuff, and i've been surprised at the reverberations that caused. My psychic impressions (for what they are worth) are of a desperate last stand, with no quarter for the losers, of loss, of a culture that may have been prosperous and unbroken for hundreds of years, maybe longer. I was told that every tree of the grove, was where a warrior chief had been interred, as a boy. Does anyone else know this story? The battle is the key event, i think, and if it was contemporary with the Arthurian/Ambrosian resistance, that sublimation of the culture into poetry and myth, may be all the more pertinent to the site. To lose here, was a death blow to the British hopes of holding together any federation of British Kingdoms, and they must have known that the War was lost too. The conquered population would have been either exterminated or enslaved, and a harsh regime would probably have followed, although this view of the invasion is contested by modern academics. What seems to be the consensus is that the English became more pragmatic about these things as the moved west, so that in Herefordshire, "Waelisc" were spared to work the land as bondmen in a puppet statelet called "Arkenfield". In the east however, there is little evidence of British blood having survived in modern DNA surveys, so this means that either they massacred the (male) population, or, the two peoples are too similar to be differentiated bt the DNA (chromosone) method. Perhaps if we think of the way the English have traditionally behaved to peoples they have conquered, we may guess which of these two is correct, but my own view is that peace 'n love were probably not in vogue! The other problem, is that the English were not very sophisticated back then, and so instead of an historical record, the people had recourse to legend and myth about a defeat they had sustained. Over a few generations the facts get lost, and in a few hundred years all you have left is a shadowy memory, where truth has become conflated with legend, leaving a feeling of exposure to some mighty event, but with nothing tangible to grasp. Thats why i'd be interested in kicking around what we do know together, and I think i know just the place to do it in!!

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Posted by Forrester
15th April 2005ce

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