John Penry and Christopher Marlowe: A Case of Mistaken Identity? | Mel Hopkins

John Penry was a key figure in the religious tensions during Elizabeth I’s reign. One of the lesser known stories about John Penry is that to some he is linked with one of the greatest mysteries of the time, the death of Christopher Marlowe. The mystery would make a fascinating novel. Penry entered Cambridge University’s […]

Beethoven and His Welsh Compositions | Mel Hopkins

It is just after the 250th anniversary of the birth of the composer, Ludwig van Beethoven. Perhaps one of the lesser-known facts about the world-renowned German composer was his adapting of a number of Welsh folk airs. Twenty-six Welsh folk songs were arranged by him. The story also connects two of Scotland’s greatest writers and […]

The Prince Who Was Not Allowed to Grow Up | Mel Hopkins

One of the most tragic stories of the history of these islands is the fate that befell a Welsh prince who was imprisoned as a child and was never given an opportunity to grow up. It is a story that reflects the cruelties and realities of 13th century politics. One of the last Princes of […]

The Welsh and English Tsunami of 1607 | Mel Hopkins

Many of you may have travelled along the M4 between Cardiff and Newport. As you travel, one of the lesser-known areas of Wales meets the sea: the Gwent Levels. The lowland area stretches between the two Welsh cities. Archaeologist Stephen Rippon describes some of the unique features of this amazing landscape. Megalithic footprints were found […]

The Visit of the Grand Master of the Knights Templar to England

A depiction of Jacques de Molay.

Possibly everyone has heard of the Knights Templar. As Umberto Eco’s character Casubon in his novel Foucault’s Pendulum announces, ‘the Templar’s have something to do with everything.’ Ranging from lost treasures, guardians of great secrets and possession of the Turin shroud it appears a case for any conspiracy or lost fortunes can be linked to […]