More history than we can handle.
One of the problems of living in a part of the world that has been cultivated, squabbled over, invaded, fought over and loved for several thousand years is that sometimes it’s difficult to decide which bits are most important. Here on the Welsh Marches traces of former inhabitants abound. Just examine a map – here is a mill, there a moated manor house, a castle, a motte which is all that remains of an early wooden defensive structure. There are Celtic forts on the tops of our soft green hills, often identifiable by the ring of earthworks surrounding the summits. That line of that old road, cutting plumb line straight across the country was laid out by the Romans.
Years ago I lived in the top floor flat of a very old building. The front of it was Georgian with those lovely big symmetrical windows, but the rest of it was chaotic with enormous beams and changing floor levels all over the place. We thought the back of the building was probably Elizabethan which makes it 400 years old and some change. But when my husband was leaving one morning he fell through the floor into an unused-for-decades stone cellar that’s probably fourteenth century. (He was OK, just a bit startled). The building is still going strong and is now a rather nice restaurant. With so much history under our feet it stands to reason that when we try to build something new it tends to be on old foundations.
All across the UK, previously unknown archaeological finds are so common that it is a requirement that developers hire an archaeologist to keep an eye on projects in case anything turns up unexpectedly. The service used to be provided by the county, who had an archaeologist on staff, but that is no longer funded. Instead the planning department refers them to suitably qualified museum staff or gives them a list of freelance archaeologists who can provide the reassuring oversight.
But time is money and developers dread finding a substantial piece of history under their site and having to halt work in order to deal with it. There have been occasions, thankfully quite rare, when “oops, sorry, there was a terrible accident and the dumper truck ran away and demolished that 16th century tithe barn”! A tragedy but what inspiration for a story!
Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.
Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?
Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart.
Elin Gregory lives in South Wales and works in a museum in a castle built on the edge of a Roman Fort! She reckons that’s a pretty cool job.
Elin usually writes on historical subjects, and enjoys weaving the weird and wonderful facts she comes across in her research into her plots. She likes her heroes hard as nails but capable of tenderness when circumstances allow. Often they are in danger, frequently they have to make hard choices, but happy endings are always assured.
Current works in progress include one set during the Great War, another in WW2, one set in the Dark Ages and a series of contemporary romances set in a small town on the Welsh border.
|Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions|