Archive for July, 2015

Joseph T Dutton, signed-up to the Grenadier Guards in November 1915 (Cannock Library)

Joseph T Dutton, signed-up to the Grenadier Guards in November 1915
(Cannock Library)

Joseph was a collier when the War started. While he was old enough, he was neither in the Territorial Service or one of Kitchener’s Army that joined the fray in fear of missing the show that would be all over by Christmas. Saying that, he didn’t wait until conscription; he signed-up for whatever motives on 17 November 1915. He served, and wasn’t the only local chap to do so, in the Grenadier Guards… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/great-wyrleys-fallen-wwi/joseph-dutton-here-come-the-grenadiers-my-boys/

A palstave with ring, the description of the now lost axe-head from 1726. (J-M B Alvarez)

A palstave with ring, the description of the now lost axe-head from 1726. (J-M B Alvarez)


This is the third in a series of articles that ultimately together will make make-up my undergraduate degree dissertation from back in 1999/2000. The first article dealt with the introductions followed by the location, extent, topography and the origins of Pennocrucium as a place-name. The second dealt with the road system, known and suggested. This third part is a short article on the unidentified, possibly pre-Roman, cropmarks in the studied area, as well as the prehistoric finds – and it will act as a prequel to the examination of the Roman forts, camps, settlement and villa in the forthcoming articles… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/other-places/pennocrucium-roman-penkridge/pennocrucium-roman-penkridge-pt3/

Watling St - through the settlement site, across the River Penk to where the Chester Rd once split. WA Baker 1970.

Watling St – through the settlement site, across the River Penk to where the Chester Rd once split. WA Baker 1970.


This is the second of a series of articles. The first article dealt with the introductions followed by the location, extent, topography and the origins of Pennocrucium as a place-name. In this section I want to look at the communication system that surrounded the civil and military installations at Pennocrucium. So, after a basic introduction to roads, I want to look at the several known roads and the several ‘possible’ roads in the area. After, a brief comparison will also be made between the settlement at Pennocrucium and that at Wall (Letocetum, near Lichfield); Wall was the neighbouring settlement, around 15 miles to the east, which also grew-up around a road junction – in this case Watling St and Icknield St.
https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/other-places/pennocrucium-roman-penkridge/pennocrucium-roman-penkridge-pt2/

Just thought I would post this on Wyrleyblog as well. I know John and have a copy of the book – which obviously covers areas that this blog covers. Definitely worth a look for the horse-racing fans.

Walsall Life

It has been ten years since I self-published the first edition of A Complete Record of Walsall Races & The Hednesford Training Grounds and almost from day one I regretted the fact that I never registered it with the British Library…….in other words, it didn’t have an ISBN. At the time it seemed like a good idea as it added to the cost of producing the book. In the ten years that have passed I have produced many books for local history societies and individual authors and quite a high percentage of them have been registered with the British Library, it one was of these authors that allowed me to register this revised edition.Walsall Races new cover

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Pennocrucium settlement site and Watling St (WA Baker 21/7/70)

Pennocrucium settlement site and Watling St
(WA Baker 21/7/70)

The choice in covering a Roman site for this dissertation was probably inevitable: not only am I from Italian extract, but I was born within a stones throw of the Roman site at Wall (Letocetum, near Lichfield). The area I chose for this study is located some 3 miles south-west of the modern town of Penkridge in Staffordshire. The Romans named the area Pennocrucium. According to the Staffordshire Sites and Monuments Record, the 6 km square area that I chose to investigate houses a Roman settlement, three forts, several camps, a villa and a number of roads, as well as a pre-historic barrow and other possible cropmarks of pre-historic origin.
https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/other-places/pennocrucium-roman-penkridge/pennocrucium-roman-penkridge-pt1/