“Roman roads were actually built by the Celts”


A new book by biographer and historian Graham Robb claims ‘Roman’ roads were in fact built by the Druids, the Celt’s scientific and spiritual leaders. Calling into question two millennia of thinking about Iron Age Britain and Europe, Robb claims Celts developed straight roads in the 4th century BC.


Army of volunteers needed to investigate vulnerable buildings 

English Heritage is appealing for volunteers to help survey 345,000 Grade II buildings at risk from neglect or decay. In a bid to identify buildings in need, heritage fans are being called upon to investigate both rural and urban areas all over the country.

Letter tells of capture of Australian outlaw Ned Kelly in 1880 Glenrowan shoot-out

A letter containing an eyewitness account of the capture of Australian outlaw Ned Kelly in the 1880 Glenrowan shoot-out is to go on display at the State Library of Victoria. Written by bank clerk Donald Sutherland, who was working nearby, to his parents in Scotland, the letter describes the armour Ned Kelly wore, and his calm demeanour after being shot many times. 

18th-century Jewish manuscript found in garage

A 300-year-old manuscript found in rubbish during a house clearance is expected to fetch a six-figure sum at auction next month. The 18th-century handwritten Jewish religious text was discovered in a cardboard box in a garage in Bury.

Painting ‘reveals Walter Ralegh’s secret desire for Elizabeth I’

Conservators have uncovered a small painted sea in a portrait of 15th-century adventurer Sir Walter Ralegh, which they believe reveals the depth his devotion to Queen Elizabeth I. Underneath centuries of old over paint, a team at the National Portrait Gallery has discovered a small section of wavy blue water at the top left-hand corner of a 1588 painting, by an unknown English artist ,of Elizabeth I’s courtier, Ralegh.

How Britain ‘helped win the 19th-century battle of Leipzig’

A tiny British unit played a crucial role in the 1813 Battle of Leipzig, new research suggests.  Among the 600,000 combatants was a 145-strong unit from the Royal Horse Artillery, armed with a revolutionary weapon that allowed them to play an influential role in the battle that was entirely disproportionate to their size.

Bletchley Park wartime hut restored by donation

A wartime hut that housed the first Enigma code-breaking machine at Bletchley Park has been restored thanks to a £250,000 legacy from a former worker. The prefab building held a team of mathematicians who used electro-mechanical Bombe machines to intercepted German military orders.

Paxman: teaching history through Blackadder is ‘stupid’

Journalist and broadcaster Jeremy Paxman has hit out at the “astonishing” trend of teaching history through episodes of Blackadder. Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, he said the war was now understood through a “prism” created by poetry and television, with generally-accepted theories about hopeless military generals just wrong.

First World War warship HMS Monitor M33 to open to public for first time 


Members of the public will soon be able to step aboard one of the UK’s most significant surviving First World War warships, HMS Monitor M33. The ship, built in 1915 as a coastal bombardment vessel, will be restored and arranged to look as it would have done when it was in service.