Doomster Hill - ever heard of it? Why would it matter?

Perhaps because Doomster Hill was levelled and the current, global alternative to putting a stop to actions comparable to what happened at Doomster Hill in the 1850s is a one-size fits all bland, corporate culture that serves neither the populace nor any 'elite'.

The focus here is on Scotland, but the concerns seem to apply to any nation where accounts of achievements, challenges and failings are neither preserved nor fully evaluated. In the case of Scotland and Britain the following details certainly look like they expose a clear pattern of on-going fragmentation and destruction aimed at authentic Scottish and British culture.

Edward I

When war broke out between Scotland and England in 1296 and Edward I of England had all the symbols of Scots nationhood - the regalia, the national archives and the Stone of Destiny taken to London. The Treaty of Edinburgh - Northampton in 1329 promised the return of the records, but they stayed in London where most disappeared and the remains, sent back in 1948, amounted to only about 200 documents.

Cromwell

During the reign of Robert I (1306-1329) Scottish archives accumulated and by the mid-sixteenth century they were housed in a 'register house' inside Edinburgh Castle. The castle was captured by Cromwell's army in December 1650. The Scots were then permitted to remove the archives and they were taken to Stirling Castle. However, it also fell to the English in August 1651 at which point some records were carried off, while others went to London.

Charles II

Administering Scotland without the records was a nuisance and the legal registers were returned in 1657. The rest was sent back after the restoration of Charles II in 1660, but one of the two ships carrying them, the Elizabeth, sank during a storm and more of the records were gone.

 

Doomster or Moot Hill in Govan to the left in 1757. Now a car park.

Doomster Hill

As well as writing some of the most dreadfully imperialistic history ever the Victorians had an utter disregard for other nations' history and monuments. In Govan, Glasgow this attitude went so far as to result in flatten Doomster Hill - the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde. Yeah, an industrialist was allowed to utterly destroy a whole royal Scottish site, (quite possibly sitting on a much earlier Bronze Age or Neolithic mound or barrow, and equally possibly an ancient site of inauguration/ Moot Hill).

The Lewis Chess Men

"The Lewis chessmen (or Uig chessmen, named after the bay where they were found) are a group of 78 12th-century chess pieces, along with other gaming pieces, most of which are carved in walrus ivory. Discovered in 1831 on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. they may constitute some of the few complete, surviving medieval chess sets, although it is not clear if a set as originally made can be assembled from the pieces. They are owned and exhibited by the British Museum in London, which has 82 of the original pieces, and the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, which has 11 pieces."

"In 2007, the Scottish Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture, stated that "it is unacceptable that only 11 Lewis Chessmen rest at the National Museum of Scotland while the other 67 (as well as the 14 tablemen) remain in the British Museum in London."

"Margaret Hodge, the UK Minister of State in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, writing "It's a lot of nonsense, isn't it?"

Source - Wikipedia

Bannockburn

A Scottish Labour MP seems to have claimed Scots who celebrate the battle of Bannockburn only do so because "hundreds of thousands" of English people were murdered. Except:

  • The English king had invaded Scotland - again.
  • The number of English soldiers at the battle came to about 20,000.
  • The exact number of English casualties is not known, but estimates range from 4,000-11,000 men.
  • The famously combative National Trust martial the commemoration every year.
  • At the time hundreds and thousands of English people would have been much of the population of England.
  • Most of the population of England were at home at the time.

 

Looks impressive in this digital image based on a familiar shot - the reality appears below.

Ness of Brodgar - Ring of Brodgar

The temple complex at Ness of Brodgar is seen by many archaeologists as the single most remarkable and highly sophisticated ancient landscape in Britain. However, it gets little of the attention lavished on sites like Stonehenge or Avebury. Quite the opposite, funding is very limited and it will take countless years to uncover the site as archaeologists have to rely on short dig seasons, student archaeologists and fundraising efforts to make progress.

And what happens when the scientist have put in the effort and it's time to conserve monuments? The nearby Ring of Brodgar is thought to have had as many as 60 megaliths at one stage. Each possibly representing a clan or widely extended family. Whatever the exact original total it's down to 27 - and it's among the best protected and preserved sites in Scotland.

 

Glasgow School of Art

As one the Glasgow Four, Henry McNair, put it - everything was symbolism. Each piece and part of the furniture and fittings in the Glasgow School of Art was steeped in interlocking symbolism and even the most precise, and unbelievably expensive, reconstruction will not replace what was destroyed and never recorded with sufficient exactness to allow a total reproduction.

How can a unique, world renowned site have it's very heart torn out while awaiting the fitting of new fire dampening equipment. I'm guessing that kind of accident would not be allowed to happen to the British Library, the Tower of London or Hampton Court nowadays.

The BBC

The media organisation most directly involved in undermining Scottish history is probably the BBC, which has an appalling habit of handing history over to production teams that present misleading versions of events. Whether through political bias or commercial dilution this is particularly obvious in the 'flagship' History of Scotland series, which apparently saw two academic advisors leave during the development stage and resulted in respected historian Sir Tom Devine making these comments:

"A History of Scotland is but a mediocre B-movie, inferior even to several of the cheaper, humdrum documentaries on satellite history channels.

The project has been emasculated by its flaws. Instead of focusing on the few big themes that have fashioned the modern nation, the producers elected to go for a narrative, blow-by-blow account from earliest times to the present, of the kind that used to bore schoolchildren of my generation to death.

The result was predictable: old-fashioned narrative description without the full-blooded clash of ideas, argument and analysis — the very qualities that make history so vibrant as a subject."

Source

The BBC's production values are laid all the more bare as Sir Tom continues:

"Then there is the hapless, long-haired presenter, who must have been signed up because he is in the visual tradition of Braveheart and the Highlander movies.

He does, to be fair, try his enthusiastic best, but sheer effort cannot conceal the sad lack of personal authority or presence."

The concern here lying in the BBC's alternative description of the presenter of the TV series as a historian, which he is not. He's a TV presenter reading from a producer's script.

Britain

And this is the really twisted part. Prior to the arrival of the Romans Britain had many shared cultures stretching back over thousands of years. Not in the manner of a single political entity, but in the form of societies which shared common concerns and were thoroughly diverse and regional while also trading and collaborating.

Sadly, the very sense of working to hang on to an authentic culture and to build on the sense of community that underpins the civic nationalism of modern Scotland has been stolen from the English. They had a marvellous, (at one time Celtic influenced, but distinctly British), series of sophisticated cultures, which clearly connected to Wales, Scotland and, to some extent, Ireland. However, the Romans did such a through job of subjugating England that the country's history and sense of community has never really been able to move on.

Instead the Roman values of imperialism, propaganda, cultural devastation and the one true Roman way so completely overwrote and erased early English culture that many English people live in denial of their own cultural heritage. All the more so with the Norman Invasion, which set out to and achieved another layer of subjugation.

The plain fact that much of the Romans' 'history' of England has been discredited through a lack of supporting archaeology is kept firmly in the background. Instead, the myth of a Romanised and Normanised England as representative of overall English values and culture is reinforced by each successive generation of imperially minded politicians brought up on the same misconceptions.

Consequently, instead of celebrating the richness and broad reality of English culture the English are funnelled towards celebrating their 'culture' as a succession of imperial conquests. Agincourt, Trafalgar, Waterloo and the Charge of the Light Brigade are about as representative of England's broad experience as the Braveheart movie is of Scotland's

If anyone's in any doubt, I believe the BBC makes TV about how helpful the Romans were in bringing underfloor heating and filthy baths to a tiny minority of the British population. They're roads are also lavishly praised, but it now appears good quality roads were already in place before the Romans turned up. Perhaps more with some sort of network in place. So, if you wish to genuinely identify with English, Scottish or British culture - time to lose the Romanisation.