New castle scene in version 1.2Ad Gefrin"Place of the Hill of the goats"
as it is known today, is the best-known excavated example of a royal centre of the kings of Northumbria;
at the foot of the Iron Age hill fort Yeavering bell.
For many years Ad Gefrin was a meeting point for the high and mighty with the great palace/hall at the centre.
It is here in the year 627 King Edwin
asked his savior (his life was literally saved) the missionary Paulinus
to preach Christianity to the population. Paulinus spends 36 days baptising the locals in the nearby River Glen
From about 627 onwards, Edwin was the most powerful king among the Anglo-Saxons, ruling Bernicia,
Deira and much of eastern Mercia, the Isle of Man and Anglesey: The imperium
King Edwin defeats his (supposed) foster-brother Cadwallon
who goes into exile, leaving King Edwin supreme - a Brytenwalda
But time is running out for both King Edwin and Ad Gefrin.
Cadwallon has joined pagan King Penda
and in 632-33 they meet in a battle: the Northumbrians under Edwin on one side
and an alliance of the Welsh of Gwynedd under Cadwallon and the Mercians under King Penda on the other.
King Edwin is killed leaving Northumbria divided, and in 633 archaeology shows Ad Gefrin burned to the ground.
It was later rebuilt but burned again. In time, the power base of the Anglo-Saxon kings was moved eastwards
to the Milfield Plain where another township was built, known as Maelmin
But that is, as they say, "another story"...Reference
. Great hall: also known as the 'royal palace'. 2
. Great Enclosure: No traces of buildings were found inside, and it was probably used for keeping in livestock and keeping out wild animals.
In times of war it might have been used as refuge for the population.3
. Totem & graves: an interesting combination of a pagan totem pole and Christian crosses were found on a small burial mound.
Old and new beliefs might well have coexisted to ease the transition to Christianity.4.
An amphitheater: Most likely not used for the plays of Shakespeare's grand-grand-grand-grand... father; but for preaching the new religion,
and perhaps also for important announcements by the king to his court, or the surrounding population.5
. Temple complex: a series of buildings different from the buildings surrounding the great hall; such as sunken houses - or 'Grubenhaus'.
Many animal bones were found and it could well be an area for ritual activities.6
. River Glen in which Paulinus baptised the local population. The river has changed its course through time
and I've just imagined it closer so it could be in the scene Lord's hallOverviewGreat enclosureGreat hallBesieging Ad Gefrin