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Hér géara ástód a eardrice...

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Joe 90

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Mearcgræf might be the biggest city in Æscgeard, but it is not the capital, or even the capital of its province, Ealdoresmearc. But it can claim to be a capital of sorts, even though it lost that status over 1100 years ago.<br/>

In the Cimbric invasions of the 5th century, the people of Earcon settled the coastal regions under the shadow of the Dæccan Mountains. As the Æscings extended their influence across much of what is now Ealdoresmearc, the Earconings made peace with them, and pledged to defend both peoples from western raiders. So it was that the Kingdom of Arconsæt survived, and Fréawald, the first king, established his fortress on the hill where the Citadel of Mearcgræf currently stands. Little now remains of the early settlement, but an astounding number of historical artifacts and monuments have survived through de facto protection from the church.<br/>

The Earconingas National Historic Site, situated just across Lake Arcon from the Citadel hill, contains the ruins of several early Earconing churches, and the remarkably preserved Arconsæting royal burial grounds, within a traditional ditch-and-bank enclosure. All of this lay for centuries under the control of the Priory of Earcon, whose church and chapel occupied the site of a former meeting hall. The first church, a small wooden structure of which nothing now remains, was built by King Fréawulf around the year 640, and appears to have been periodically rebuilt over the next few centuries until King Fréabrand constructed a stone church in honour of St. Cehha on the site in 806, the ruins of which are clearly visible today.<br/>

Records tell us that as many as 15 kings of Arconsæt were buried in the church grounds, although only nine of the distinctive burial mounds remain. Of these, only four have been identified with any certainty as belonging to Kings Fréawine (reigned 696-704), Fréawald (809-814), Fréaric (836-840), and the last king, Fréastan (884-892). After the death of Fréastan, Arconsæt was annexed into the Æscing kingdom.<br/>

The site and surrounding land and village of Arworth were vested in the church by royal proclamation in 931, and the Priory was well established there by 1000. The Priors held the land in the name of Earcon, St. Cehha, and the King for over 900 years, until the priory church and outbuildings burned down in 1959, at which point the priory elected to move to a new location, and the land was gifted to the Historic Monuments Office.<br/>

Although now administered as a Category I National Historic Site, the Priory retains guardianship of its spiritual home, and it is not uncommon to see Priors tending the grounds to this day. The Kingdom of Arconsæt is also remembered in the name of the scír surrounding Mearcgræf, which comprises the eastern half of the old kingdom.</td></tr></table><br/>

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Built in 806, St. Cehha's Old Church, also known as Fréabrand's Stone Church, is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Arthuria.

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The ruined Priory is as well cared for now as it was when it was in use.

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Mound 5 (lower left) has been identified as probably belonging to King Fréaric (reigned 836-840); while the occupant of Mound 6 (upper right) is as yet unidentified.

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The Priory once considered building a wall to keep the Varings out, but it was never finished and, fortunately, never needed.

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"Here once stood a nation..."

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Built on a corner of the former Priory grounds, outside the ruins proper, to replace the burnt down church, stands St. Cehha's New Church. This makes it the eighth church dedicated to St. Cehha on this site that we know of.

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The oldest area of Arworth is covered by a separate HMO category listing.

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Wes þú hál fram Arworth!


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5 Comments


I love the huge park and the old tudor buildings. Very fantastic!! Although some of the American-style houses don't seem to fit in with the whole theme.

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Thanks once more folks :)

[b]kakado[/b]: Who's to say I'm even going for that very clichéd European look? ;)

[b]panther[/b]: I consider that one of the perks of rewriting 1600 years of history - things we know and are comfortable with might not be quite the same here. :P That and Maxis houses fit suburbia nicely anyway.

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