Welcome to the blog

The village of Churton in West Cheshire is a terrific base for exploring many different aspects of life and landscape on the edge of the Cheshire Basin, along the Dee Valley and further afield into north and mid Wales.  I bought the house in late 2019 and moved here in February 2021, and although I am unquestionably a Londoner, I am having fun taking advantage of all that the northwest has to offer.

Having written blogs in the past about both Rotherhithe (London) and Aberdovey (mid-west Wales), it was second nature to start a blog about discovering local walks, learning how to manage a garden and getting to grips with the rich and varied local archaeology and history.

Both house and garden, each requiring a serious amount of restoration work, are keeping me very busy.  It is often difficult to abandon the house and garden when so much remains to be done, but West Cheshire’s co untry walks and villages lure me away.  A visit to find the path of the Roman road known as Watling Street West that runs to the east of Churton was one of my first walks, and a long stroll along the Dee to visit the Telford iron bridge at Aldford followed a couple of days later.  In their own very particular ways, both were revelations.  From the point of view of a blogger, this whole area is full of future things to talk about.

I trained as an archaeologist a long time ago.  In my university vacations I spent my time digging up most of Britain from the earliest prehistory to the Roman period, including the Cuppin Street site in Chester in the mid 1980s.  Since then I have done all sorts of things, both within archaeology and beyond it.  Some years ago I decided to go back to archaeology to do a PhD (if you are feeling reckless, my PhD thesis about prehistoric  livelihoods in today’s deserts of Egypt has been organized as a website, which you can find here).  Although I am not a historian, I have done a lot of work on local history in my former homes in southeast London’s Surrey Docks  and Aberdovey on the midwest Wales coastline.  Even so, most of my historical posts are based on secondary research and if you are here for a serious research purpose, please check the sources I list on each post to find out where they are sourcing their information.

A blog is organized by date, like a diary.  In many ways it is not an ideal format for what is essentially magazine content.  However, a list of labels at the right will help you to find topics of potential interest, and under each of the page headings to the right (Walking, Heritage, Garden) you will find links to the main posts on each topic.

If you choose to follow the blog by clicking on the Follow by Email button just underneath the Search This Blog field (my thanks if you do) you will receive an email whenever I post anything.  No spam/junk mail or other unsolicited email will be sent to you from here.

In the photo to the right, on a superb day with my parents at the temple of Abu Simbel in Nubia, I’m the untidy one on the left.

If you would like to get in touch, it would be great to hear from you.  Please use the contact form on the Contact page.  I don’t list my email address on the site to prevent an inundation of junk mail, but the contact form simply routes any messages to my email address, from which I will reply.



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