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At the edge of the world - A history of the peoples of the British Isles


At the Edge of the World is a history of the peoples of the British Isles from the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West (AD410) to the death of King William the Conqueror (1087).


Written and presented by Robert Smith, Chairman of the Manorial Society of Great Britain -






Written and presented by

Robert Smith


Voice over

Rebecca Cooper


Music production &

Original music

Simon Roberts

(Lyric media group)


Original film footage

Ian Phillips


Picture editor

Roberto Ekholm


Asst picture editor

Guilfre Jordan



Ian Phillips



Picture sources:


William the Conqueror - Source: British School, 1618-1620. Description: William the Conqueror. Painting. Oil oak panel. 57.2 x 42.5 cm. Current location: Dulwich Picture Gallery. Image location: Wikipedia Commons


King Arthur - Source: N. C. Wyeth. Title page of The Boy's King Arthur: Sir Thomas Malory's History of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, Edited for Boys by Sidney Lanier (New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922).


King Cnut - Source: Canute, c.995-1035. Illuminated manuscript, Liber Vitae, 1031, Stowe Ms 944, folio 6, The British Library. Scanned from the book The National Portrait Gallery History of the Kings and Queens of England by David Williamson, ISBN 1855142287. Image location: Wikipedia Commons


Thor - Source: Wikipedia user Leirisset. Thor and his legendary hammer;, Location: Wikipedia Commons


Woden - Source: Doepler, Emil. ca. 1905. Walhall, die Gotterwelt der Germanen. Martin Oldenbourg, Berlin. Page 14. Photographed and cropped by Haukurth


Freya - Source: Doepler, Emil. Freya. The goddess Freyja, in the woods. Wägner, Wilhelm. 1882. Nordisch-germanische Götter und Helden. Otto Spamer, Leipzig & Berlin. Page 214.


All other pictures/photography – Ian Phillips




Episode transcript:


'At the Edge of the World' is not a blog, but a documentary in a hundred episodes that describes the history of the peoples who

comprised the British Isles starting one thousand five hundred years ago - from the fall of the Roman Empire in AD410 to the death of William the Conqueror in 1087.


Everyone has heard of Alfred the Great and King Arthur. Even King Cnut is still known because was said to have had his throne set on the beach and commanded the tide to turn back. What is myth and what is fact?


Who were the original Britons, or the Kelts, or the Picts, or the Welsh, or the Irish? What happened to them after Roman rule, and the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons, then the invasion of the Vikings, the Danes, and the Normans?


They brought their own pagan gods - Thor, Woden, Freya - but the people of the islands at the edge of the world all became Christian. How?


It has been written and will be presented by Robert Smith, Chairman of the Manorial Society of Great Britain, who will trace the story of nations in the making, drawing out the many strands that continue to this day, which may surprise.


There will be a forum for your input, and if you have a particularly interesting idea you may be asked to take part in supplementary filmed Episodes to run concurrently.


Copyright Robert Smith, Manorial Society of Great Britain



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