British Forts in the Age of Arthur

British Forts in the Age of Arthur

By Angus Konstam; Peter Dennis (Illustrator)

Osprey Publishing (UK), Paperback, 9781846033629, 64pp.

Publication Date: November 18, 2008

When the Romans left Britain around AD 410 the island had not been fully subjugated. In the Celtic fringes the unconquered native peoples were presented with the opportunity to pillage what remained of Roman Britain. By way of response the Post-Roman Britons did their best to defend themselves from attack, and to preserve what they could of the systems left behind by the Romans. The best way to defend their territory was to create fortifications. While some old Roman forts were maintained, the Post-Roman Britons also created new strongholds, or re-occupied some of the long-abandoned hill-forts first built by their ancestors before the coming of the Romans.
Packed with photographs, diagrams and full color artwork reconstructions, this book provides a unique examination of the design and development of the fortifications during the Age of Arthur, analyzing their day-to-day use and their effectiveness in battle. It closely describes the locations that are linked to the most famous warlord of the Dark Ages, the legendary Arthur - Tintagel, Cadbury and "Camelot." Although these great bastions were to eventually fall, for a few brief decades they succeeded in stemming the tide of invasion and in doing so safeguarding the culture and civilization of Post-Roman Celtic Britain.

About the Author
ANGUS KONSTAM is a widely published and respected military and naval historian, with numerous books to his credit. A former Royal Naval officer, maritime archaeologist and museum curator, he holds degrees from three universities, including a Masters degree from St. Andrews. Before that he studied Scottish Medieval history in Aberdeen University. He is the author of several major books, including Historical Atlas of the Medieval World, Historical Atlas of the Crusades, books about pirates, Renaissance ships and the Scottish soldier. He has given numerous public lectures in Britain, as well as in Europe and North America, and his work has been translated into several languages.He is frequently interviewed by the press in his capacity as a maritime historian, and has appeared live on both television and radio. He also made frequent appearances in television documentaries screened by the BBC and ITV, as well as the History and Discovery Channels.1.

Peter Dennis was born in 1950. Inspired by contemporary magazines such as Look and Learn he studied illustration at Liverpool Art College. Peter has since contributed to hundreds of books, predominantly on historical subjects, including many Osprey titles. A keen wargamer and modelmaker, he is based in Nottinghamshire, UK.

Praise For British Forts in the Age of Arthur

"This books makes the most of a period about which little is conclusively known. It will be of value to those interseted in this era of British history." -Bolling Smith, The Coast Defense Journal (March 2009)

"For any person interested in the time period when Britain hung in the balance between Briton and Saxon, this is a must-have book." -Jeff Grim, Collected Miscellany

"The book covers the fortifications of England and Wales during the early period of the English Dark Ages through the Anglo Saxon invasions. The author examines possible abandoned Roman fortifications the Celtic Britons may have used and the more traditional hill top forts with earthen defenses and wooden walls. A more detailed view of South Cadbury is presented since for many years it had been considered the site of legendary King Arthur's Camelot (or at least the real king the legend grew out of). The site of Dinas Emrys in Wales, associated with Merlin and the myth of the underground pool with two dragons is described with the legend. This work also relates the Arthurian legend to many of the sites presented. The author also explains the use of the long dykes thought to be fortifications. For those interested in the period and the legends, this work helps reveal the reality." -JE Kauffman, SiteO Newsletter (January 2009)

"King Arthur. Few things capture the essence of romance, chivalry, mystery, and our imaginations the way that Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table do. Most wargamers are aware that the origins of Arthur are shrouded in mystery. Perhaps less well known (or at least less well discussed) is the question as to whether Arthur even existed at all. Readers wishing for a quick introduction into both the debate and the archeological evidence that exists during the “Arthurian” period would do well to pick up a copy of Angus Konstam’s British Forts in the age of Arthur." -Mike Dorn, The Wargamer (January 2009)