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Phil Carradice Phil Carradice Delve into the rich history of Wales – from ancient myths and legends right up to the present. Blog posts in total 408

  1. The first eisteddfod - Christmas 1176

    Wednesday 22 December 2010, 13:07

    These days we are used to our main or major eisteddfodau being held in the summer months - the Urdd in the week of the Whitsun holiday, the International at Llangollen in the first week of July and the National Eisteddfod in the first week of August.

    It hasn't always been like that and, even now, in...

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  2. Welsh Christmas and New Year traditions

    Monday 20 December 2010, 10:15

    Like most other parts of Britain, Wales has long had its own Christmas and New Year traditions, practices and superstitions that have now largely died out - which is something of a shame as they are fascinating examples of social history.

    In the days before...

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  3. John Dee, magician to Queen Elizabeth

    Thursday 16 December 2010, 10:00

    Of all the many Welsh men and women to have undoubtedly influenced the course of British life over the centuries, none is more mysterious than John Dee.

    A mathematician and teacher of navigation, an astrologer and astronomer, an alchemist and...

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  4. The Celtic Manor

    Tuesday 14 December 2010, 10:46

    The Ryder Cup of 2010 has been over for some months now, the cup safely tucked away in the trophy cabinet of the R&A - at least for the next two years.

    There is no doubt that it was a fantastic occasion, for...

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  5. The Last Prince of Wales

    Friday 10 December 2010, 14:44

    On 11 December 1282, a small skirmish took place close to the River Irfon in Mid Wales.

    The battle - if it can be called that - was fought between a party of mounted English knights and a group of unarmoured Welshmen who were clearly travelling on foot - an uneven contest if ever there was one.

    The...

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  6. The Welshman who gave London clean water

    Monday 29 November 2010, 10:21

    On 10 December 1631 Sir Hugh Middleton, a truly unsung Welsh hero, died quietly at his home in London. He came from Galch Hill outside Denbigh in North Wales.

    Sir Hugh was the sixth son of Richard Middleton, MP...

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  7. The great snows of 1947, 1962 and 1963

    Friday 26 November 2010, 11:33

    Most of us have an idealised version of our childhood years. In our memories the sun shone all summer long and it was always light until 10 or 11 at night.

    It rarely rained apart from when there were thunderstorms, the intensity of which have never...

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  8. Welsh pirates

    Monday 22 November 2010, 09:57

    Our image or impression of pirates has, in the main, been shaped by our reading or film watching. Say "pirate" and you immediately think of Long John Silver from Treasure Island or one of Errol Flynn's dramatic film creations.

    Reality, however, is far removed from these idealized versions...

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  9. Ernest Willows, Welsh aviation pioneer

    Tuesday 16 November 2010, 11:51

    There is a pub named after him at the bottom end of City Road and even a High School in the Splott area of the capital. But how many of us know anything else about Ernest Thompson Willows?

    He was an amazing man but these days has been rather overlooked in the pantheon of early aviation heroes.

    Ernest...

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  10. The Battle of Mametz Wood

    Thursday 11 November 2010, 12:56

    With Armistice Day today and Remembrance Sunday approaching, it is important to consider the effects and consequences of World War One.

    Over eight million men were killed in the conflict, 37 million wounded, and nowhere was the slaughter greater than on the Somme battlefield...

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  11. The Rebecca Riots

    Monday 8 November 2010, 10:35

    Mention the words Turnpike Trusts or the Rebecca Riots and most people immediately think of agrarian distress in the middle years of the 19th century. It's hard to believe but the last turnpike toll gate in Britain, where money was charged to pass along the road, actually remained in use almost to the...

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  12. The Tonypandy Riots of 1910

    Wednesday 3 November 2010, 14:32

    This November sees the 100th anniversary of the Tonypandy Riots. These short-lived but seminal series of events have always held a special place in the memories of most Welshmen, attracting legends and stories, truths and half-truths in equal number - Churchill sent in the troops, Churchill held back...

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  13. Welsh cowboys

    Wednesday 27 October 2010, 13:32

    When we think of America most of us will immediately conjure up an image of the Wild West, of cowboys and gunfighters and the US 7th Cavalry. What most people don't realise is that Wales and the USA are more intimately connected than might be supposed, particularly where soldiers and gunfighters are...

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  14. Murray the Hump, Welsh gangster

    Monday 25 October 2010, 11:18

    Say the words "American gangster" and your mind invariably turns to criminals like Al Capone, Pretty Boy Floyd or John Dillinger. But one of the most successful of all gangsters - perhaps because he lived to a ripe old age - was actually a man of Welsh descent.

    His real name was Llewellyn Morris Humphreys...

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  15. Frongoch Prison Camp

    Thursday 21 October 2010, 09:41

    In the wake of the Easter Rising in Ireland in 1916, when Irish republicans, many of them members of the Irish Volunteer Army, seized the General Post Office in the centre of Dublin and held it for five days, the British government was frightened into the worst type of knee-jerk reaction.

    Hasty courts...

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  16. Snowdonia 1890: a new series

    Thursday 14 October 2010, 11:16

    Following the phenomenal success of the two Coal House series, BBC Cymru Wales has recently launched a new 'back in time' programme, Snowdonia 1890.

    Produced by the same team that recreated life in Blaenavon in the 1920s and '40s, this...

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  17. American GIs in Wales

    Tuesday 12 October 2010, 12:02

    During World War Two nearly three million American soldiers and airmen were sent to Britain, most of them arriving in the years 1943 and 1944, prior to the D-Day landings in France.

    Wales housed more than its fair share of these exuberant and sometimes...

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  18. Prince Madoc and the Discovery of America

    Monday 11 October 2010, 09:25

    Who discovered America? It's a simple question and one that usually brings the standard response - Christopher Columbus. But here in Wales we have our own theory. And that theory says that America was actually discovered 300 years before Columbus sailed "the ocean blue" in 1492 - and more importantly...

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  19. Welsh-American place names

    Friday 1 October 2010, 09:26

    A census taken in 2008 revealed that there were approximately 1.98 million Americans with a surname that had Welsh origins.

    Many of these, incidentally, were African Americans. There are hundreds of black Americans with names like Evans, Jones and Thomas and these are usually...

    Read more about Welsh-American place names

  20. By train to Wales - and the Ryder Cup

    Thursday 30 September 2010, 13:41

    Many people travelling to watch this year's Ryder Cup golf matches between the USA and Europe will be coming to Wales for the very first time. Many will be arriving by train and for many that journey will begin at Bristol Temple Meads railway station.

    The original...

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Behind the scenes on our biggest shows, the stories you won't see on TV & highlights from Welsh history, arts and music.

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