Bevis in Southampton

I had a most enjoyable morning being filmed talking about Bevis among the medieval buildings and sites in Southampton in preparation for the Medieval Weekend at Manor Farm Country Park on July 30th.

We began at Canute’s Palace (the medieval King’s Custom House) and ended up at Catchcold Tower via the western walls.It was the most delightful experience to be able to talk about the Bevis story in such evocative settings in spite of the fact that Southampton in the medieval story is hardly more than a geographical name. Nevertheless, Canute’s Palace, even in its current ruinous state, but close to the (equally ruinous) Watergate, eas the kind of prestigious stone building in which one or more episodes from Bevis ‘might’ have been told as evening entertainment.

Catchcold Tower of course once looked down on the Strand, where Saracen slave galleys ‘could’ have drawn up. However, in reality any slave ships calling at Southampton would have come long before the Bevis story was written in the Auchinleck MS. The slavers would have been Vikings, and they are more likely to have pulled up on the shores of the Itchen.

A special thank you to Chandler Divers who did the filming today. It was a pleasure working with her. Details of the Medieval Weekend event and a link to the website follow:

Medieval Weekend to celebrate the launch of a new interactive walkway, The King’s Great Ships Trail. This trail leads down from Manor Farm & Country Park to the spot on the River Hamble where the wreck of the Grace Dieu lays.

The weekend (taking place on July 30 & 31) will feature medieval re-enactments, a medieval village, storytelling, and guided walks along the trail.


We also have several historical writers who will be giving short talks about their work and selling their books at the event. These are Dr Ian Friel, Will Gill (author of graphic novel Agincourt) and Cassandra Clark (author of the Hildegard of Meaux Medieval Mystery series).


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