I’ve been away from blogging for more than a year and a half, my longest period of absence since the launch of Senchus ten years ago. Distractions of various kinds have caused me to drift off the radar, but now I’m gradually making my way back. All three of my blogs have lain dormant since the autumn of 2016. Returning after such a long break means oiling their wheels, kick-starting their rusty engines and clearing the cobwebs off my WordPress dashboard.

Although absent from the ‘Blogosphere’ I’ve still kept in touch with history and archaeology. In April 2017, the Stove Network invited me to their headquarters in Dumfries to give a talk about Dark Age Galloway. The event was part of a cultural heritage project called Our Norwegian Story which looked at links between Scandinavia and South-West Scotland, so the Vikings featured prominently in my presentation. On a similar note, I was honoured to give the 2018 Oddveig Røsegg Memorial Lecture to the Scottish Norwegian Society a couple of months ago. My topic was ‘Strathclyde and the Vikings’, with an emphasis on the Norse aspect. A nice souvenir of the evening was a Society badge incorporating the Scottish and Norwegian flags (see below).


Also in 2017 I wrote a book, my seventh on early medieval history and the first without a Scottish focus. It’s a biography of Æthelflæd, the eldest daughter of King Alfred the Great of Wessex. Æthelflæd ruled the neighbouring kingdom of Mercia in the early tenth century and led her armies against the Vikings. Her death in June 918 is being commemorated 1100 years later at a number of places in what was once her domain. My book is scheduled to appear around the time of the anniversary and is being published by Birlinn of Edinburgh. The front cover shows a sculptured portrait of Æthelflæd from a public artwork at Runcorn in Cheshire, the site of one of her fortresses.


I’ll be posting about Æthelflæd at my other blog Strathclyde and the Anglo-Saxons in the Viking Age, which seems the most relevant venue, but occasional updates on the book will also appear here at Senchus.

Those of you who keep an eye on news about Dark Age Scotland will know that there have been some interesting developments in the last year or so. I hope to report on these as I slowly get back to blogging.

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26 comments on “Cobwebs

  1. itreeman says:

    Welcome back Tim. My computer has been waiting for you. I am anticipating your coming offerings. I am still attempting to collect the Galbraiths. About 97% fall into one of our 13 Groups according to DNA, arising from the usual events. Maybe 6 groups are ancient, pre 1400. One, remarkably cohesive, persevered, being at the mouth of Rhine for several centuries post AD, before making for the Isles. We have their semi-history from 7 participants in the Big-Y. The line is absent successful spurs since BC. Bill

  2. ritaroberts says:

    Well welcome back Tim ! and thanks for bringing us up to date. I think you deserved the break from blogging anyway as you seemed to have been very busy. I shall look forward to your future posts.

  3. Gerri Bowen says:

    Good to see you’re back!

  4. Andy Winter says:

    Rita beat me to it, but welcome back Senchus! I missed your posts so much I bought most of your books in the meantime!

  5. Welcome back Tim! I was just wondering where you were the other day. I look forward to your book on Aethelflaed.

  6. Stanley Shannon says:

    Welcome back. I trust you emphasized Galloway’s proud Brythonic heritage before the pesky Vikings came prowling around. I wager many Scots are unaware of it.

    • Tim says:

      Thanks Stanley. Yes, the Britons got their fair share of the limelight in my Galloway talk, with one of them (Merlin) featuring in the title..

  7. Ian Malcolm. says:

    Hello Tim. Good to hear from you once again. I will buy your latest work when published!


  8. Clas Merdin says:

    Tim, it’s been too long. Good to see you back.

  9. What a nice bit of news, high-quality blogging on these subjects is always welcome!

  10. Bob Hay. says:

    Thanks Tim for Senchus. Really missed it.
    Re Norwegian Vikings and their ‘sunstones’. Just read this.

  11. Jo Woolf says:

    Good to hear from you again, Tim! Welcome back. I look forward to your future posts.

  12. Welcome back, Tim.
    Please take a look at my comments to “Clan Galbraith: Part 4 – Viking Britons (again),” about Y-DNA genetics and the Galbraiths.

  13. dearieme says:

    As you probably know Dumfries was host to part of the Norwegian Army during The War. When I was a boy I was told that the Norwegians had been popular (unlike the Quebecois based in Hawick).

    There was girl in my school who was allegedly a memento of their presence: the Norsemen, that is, not the Quebecois.

    Because I grew up on the edge of a small town that was also a port I was bounced on Norwegian and Dutch knees before ever I met an Englishman. Or so my father used to say.

    • Tim says:

      I think the heritage project at Dumfries was set up mainly to commemorate this Norwegian presence in WW2, with a bit of Viking history added on. I didn’t know about the French-Canadians billeted at Hawick.

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