Albion, ancient sites, Archaeology, Art, Books

Dear Don: Romans…

scotland trip jan 15 247Dear Don,

Seems a bit daft writing when I will probably see you before you get this, but you know what my memory is like… except for ‘useless’ information.

We really are going to have to go back up north… and this time via Hadrian’s Wall. If it hadn’t been for the snow we could have gone that way on the Scottish trip. Still, I’d like to show you the Mithraeum up there. Miles from nowhere and very little to actually see, of course… but you will feel it. The landscape wraps around it somehow.

Carrawburgh: image source
Carrawburgh: image source

There are other Roman remains all the way along… now, now… we are going to have to look at some Roman stuff at some point, you know. Just to put everything else in context. But I promise we won’t go looking for non-existent roads again like we did in North Yorkshire.

It’s weird really. The Romans, just like the Normans, the Saxons… all invaders, yet there seems to be a separateness about the Legions. They marked the land by imposition, cutting through it rather than embracing it, I suppose. Even though the others imposed their will on the people, they do seem to have been more in sympathy with the land itself. Perhaps that is why we don’t ‘feel’ their relevance in the same way as we feel the ghosts of the others. They came, they saw, they conquered… then left again. And that’s without the whole Anglesey massacre…

Anyway, if we do go up to the Temple of Mithras, we could always call at a few of the other sites we have mentioned… there are a couple more crosses we need to see, including the one with Loki. And that’s not so far… only at Kirkby Stephen… And there is the Loki at Middleton too. You know, the church that was closed outside Pickering?

Image: Geograph
Kirkby Stephen – Image: Geograph



I keep getting the urge to go to the British Museum too… though I’m not sure why. I keep finding good reasons to visit, but what is really pulling me I’m not sure. But it is ages since I was there…

By the way, the Beast hopes you enjoyed the copy of the new book anyway. Whether you liked it or not.

The Beast further asks me to mention who amongst us gets all theani 001 fan mail…

The Beast may be in big trouble… (even if it is perfectly true…)


Wen and Anu x



I had been living in the area for years. I was aware of the hillfort hidden in the woods, could have pointed out the chalk-carved figures, shown you where the burial mounds were and explained how the Ridgeway had traversed these hilltops for the past five thousand years. Even so, the land had never come to life for me.

I am a Yorkshire lass. The moors of home were alive and calling. I needed millstone grit and bracken, peat-gold streams and a sea of heather before the land would sing to my soul.

Until, that is, my friend came to visit.

It was a day of pure magic and the land, no matter where we found ourselves, would never again be silent. By simply paying attention, it was as if the earth was illuminating itself from within, whispering secrets it had been longing to share for millennia and laying before us so many layers of history, story and myth that we were as excited as children in a sweet shop.

That journey would become the basis for The Initiate and all the ‘Don and Wen’ books that followed…


Joining Don & Wen

Stuart France & Sue Vincent

Don and Wen, two friends living hundreds of miles apart embark, all unwittingly, upon a quest through the ancient and sacred landscape of Albion…

The two share a passion for these prehistoric sites, seeing that their potential has not been erased by time, making them as vital and relevant in today’s society as they always were.

Through Don and Wen’s correspondence, learn how to read the clues hiding within the landscape and in the symbols of faith left by our forefathers in the mediaeval churches, stone circles and ancient monuments.

This is the second book in the series, ‘Finding Don and Wen’, but can stand alone. The book may act as a guide to show the reader how to engage with the land in a meaningful way… and how that engagement opens you wide to life in all its glory.

Available for Kindle and in Paperback

via Amazon UK, and worldwide

8 thoughts on “Dear Don: Romans…”

  1. I remember reading about Hadrian especially. He was one ruler in Rome who actually built some good things, or so I read anyway, But we can’t always believe all that we read. It is strange how so many cultures wanted to rule the world so to speak, and they set out to conquer everything and everyone, but where are all those “powerful” kings or other rulers today? What remains, as ever, is the poor fellow who had little but his small plot of land, and who ekes out a living toiling and little more through his life, perhaps participating in the rituals of the land and of the sky, and the woman who sits patiently creating cloth from her weaving. Seems to me that these are the folks that we need to take a stronger look at, for they hold the keys to the kingdom. They remain steady year after year, century after century, eons after eons. . .What is that saying? “Blessed are the poor, for THEY shall inherit the earth.” And it certainly seems to hold true, doesn’t it?


    1. I agree, Anne, that it is the small folk who really write human history…but the ‘great’ folk leave behind more durable memories of their time. Romans? Not really keen on them in Britain…they invaded us, after all, stamped their presence on ours, then packed up and left. Other invaders settled here and shared th life of the land…the Romans chose to remain ‘outsiders’ on the whole.


  2. Hadrian Wall country is one of mu favourite parts of the world and relatively close to me as I live in Dumfries, just over the border. Vindolanda, Housteads and Walltown Crags are wonderful, evocative places. I still marvel at the organisation and sheer vision to come up with such a scheme.


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