Hot on the heels of last week’s addition to Tancred’s England, my historical guide to the kingdom as it was c.1066, I present to you another potted history for your delectation, this time focussing on the city of Durham.

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral, standing on the promontory above the River Wear. Construction of the Norman cathedral began in 1093 and was largely complete by the 1130s.

As readers of Sworn Sword will know, Durham is where Tancred’s story begins in January 1069, being the scene of an ambush by Northumbrian rebels in which his lord and many of his brothers-in-arms are killed. Controlling the north-east of England proved no easy task; even after the construction of the first castle at Durham in 1072 the Normans were faced with repeated risings as well as a devastating raid led by the Scottish king, Malcolm (Máel Coluim) III.

As you’ll be able to see by following the links above, the article on Durham is now one of five exploring some of the key places featured in the Conquest Series. In time I’m hoping to expand Tancred’s England to include not just location entries but also features on other aspects of the world in which the novels are set, and articles on various historical topics connected with 1066, the Normans and Anglo-Saxon England. Feel free to get in touch if you have any ideas that you’d like to share!

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