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Photos from Owen's and beyond...

Alan Longmire

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It has taken me a while to get time, but finally I can post pictures from the last two weeks. First, of course, photos from the International Axe-n-Seax-in. However, my wife and I took the next week to tour across south central England, visiting Oxford, Glastonbury, and Tintagel, and ending up in the furthest depths of Cornwall. Hopefully you won't mind a few vacation shots as well.


Setting up the display room on Friday, some of the Czech contingent checking out my pipe hawk.


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Hloh and Owen's assistant Ed with some of Hloh's wonderful knives.


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Eli (Elias Sideris) with a handful of Hloh knives.


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Jim Austin comparing axe sizes while Jake Cleland looks on.


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Josh Burrell talking axes with Dave Stephens.


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Back in the display room, Owen, jake Powning, Petr, and Peter Johnsson set up.


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Axey and seaxy goodness on the table. Dig those bronze socketed axes by Jeroen!


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Eli takes a smoke break while Nate talks to Tod.


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Hloh laying out some wares.


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Part of the western display wall.


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Did somebody say Axes?


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And a fine seax blade I think is Owen's, but I'm not sure...


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Part of the eastern display wall, work by Peter, Jake, Petr, and Owen.


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The rest of the east wall.


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Owen's tiny little anvil in the main shop.


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The crowd watching Jim's Dane axe demo.


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Mick Maxen with his beautiful pattern-welded pipe hawk head.


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What's this? A visit from King Raedwald?


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The full view. A most excellent replica of the Sutton Hoo sword. Blade by Vince Evans, Hilt and fittings by someone whose name unfortunately escapes me. This is a MOST impressive bit of work, one of those things that make me think of giving up, until I remember I want to do this one day...


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The scabbard:


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Scabbard detail:


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Yes, it has the belt as well!


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And the shield...


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Finally, Jake, Peter, and Dave preparing for the costume party which I had to miss.


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Next stop: Oxford!

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As any good fiery-bearded fellow must do when visiting Oxford, I had to have a pint in J.R.R. Tolkein's seat at the Eagle and Child. The plaque over my head explains this is where the Inklings writer's group met every Tuesday evening from 1936 to 1962. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, and others. An excellent atmosphere indeed.


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Then it was off to the greatest anthropological museum in the world, the Pitt Rivers:


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The next day we took the train to Bath, rented a car, and drove to Glastonbury. The ruins of the abbey are magnificent in their gaceful destruction.


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When in Glastonbury, you must stay at the George and Pilgrim, the oldest purpose-built inn in western England. Built ca. 1430, Henry VIII watched the abbey burn when he dissolved the monasteries from the upstairs bedroom in front. We had the next room back with a view of the neighboring courtyard.



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Of course one must also climb Glastonbury Tor...


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The view from the top. To the immediate right is Chalice Hill, at the foot of which is the Chalice Well, a reputed resting place of the Holy Grail. The low ridge past the town is Wearyall Hill, where Joseph of Arimithea supposedly landed with the Grail and Lance and planted his staff, which grew into the holy blackthorn tree. Some religeous nut cut it down in 2010.


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Next day we drove to Tintagel (yes, we were on a pilgimage ourselves...)


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Unfortunately we got rained out, but it is still a lovely and powerful landscape. Here is the 12th century baptismal font in St. Michael's church, Tintagel.


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Next day we drove to Marazion, Cornwall, which is a little village from which one can access St. Michael's Mount, a former Benedictine Priory. At low tide you can walk across. That's Penzance in the background across the bay.


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Inside the castle on the mount, there is of course an armory. Here's a nifty basket-hilted backsword from the English Civil War:


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I don't remember what these three-bladed yari-type things are called, but they've got one...


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They also have a lovely shamshir, too bad about the glare from the glass.


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The blade is not wootz, but it is finely damascened.


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Then off to Land's End peninsula to visit some stone circles. This is the Merry Maidens.


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A nice sign in St. Buryan. I just liked it, sorry.


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Then off to the circle of Boscawen-ûn. This is the only circle with a slanted central stone. Quite powerful, especially when viewed from the little hillfort to the north called Creeg Tol.


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Note to Mick: made it to Mousehole (pronounced mouzle)! Difficult road to share with a bus...

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We had intended to stay in Exeter after dropping off the car, but it was Sunday before a Bank Holiday Monday and the town was closed down. That meant we got to take the train back to London in time to catch the Museum of London before our flight out of Heathrow. I strongly recommend this museum if you're ever in London with some time. All the stuff is from excavations in London or dredged from the Thames, everything from Acheulean handaxes (the flint versions of the damascus one dave gave Owen) to the present.


Roman knives from Londinium.


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Ceremonial priest-castrating (!) tongs from the temple of Mithras.


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A lovely Saxon brooch:


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And the Fetter Lane pommel the grip panels of the Heptiseax by Petr and Owen were based on.


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Everyone who was there, feel free to add your photos to this thread! I'm still a little jet-lagged. :wacko:

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Really cool pictures and narrative! Thanks Alan!

To become old and wise... You first have to survive being young and foolish! ;) Ikisu.blogsot.com. Email; milesikisu@gmail.com mobile: +27784653651

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Yes, wonderful pics. Alan!!!!

That is a Jumonji yari.

One day!!

Mark Green


I have a way? Is that better then a plan?

(cptn. Mal)

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Thanks for posting pics! Looks like you had a great time, I'd love to see all those axes seaxes and swords in person!

Edit to add: I didn't realize the heptisax was so huge until I saw that picture, it dwarfs Galdgrimm and everything else on the display!

Edited by Collin Miller

“If you trust in yourself. . . believe in your dreams. . . and follow your star. . . you will still get beaten by the people who have spent their time working hard and learning things, the people who weren't so lazy.” ~ Terry Pratchett


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Mick: Indeed. Had a pint almost every stop where there was cask ale. Can't get the good stuff here. :( Those of you in the west of England, if you see it, have a pint of Sharp's Doom Bar.


Josh: not mega, in my job I sometimes drive 400 miles per day. Difference in scale of country, that's all. ;)

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We do know how to make ale over here. Funny you mention Sharp's Doom Bar as I discovered that about a month ago and its my favorite ale at the moment. Our local Off Licence must have about 200+ different makes of bottled beer and Doom Bar. I do call in there every now and again.



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OMG I'm so jealous Alan! The blade porn was great, the culture and the sites make me want to go so bad. Also, I thing you should die your beard to match you fiery beard avatar. Salt and pepper is cool, but I think you could pull off the orange and yellow lol. Thanks for sharing

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Thanks for sharing those Alan, I'm still somewhat unhappy (to put it very mildly) that I wasn't able to be there too... the pictures help to ease the pain a little.

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."

view some of my work

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