the

Where is the country wales will be available soon

[Music]

[Music]

from the land of storytellers this is

the story of the land itself and of the

peoples who've shaped it

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it's majestic it's thrilling it's a

story that tells us who we are where

we've come from and where we're going

it's a tale that's been thirty thousand

years in the making it shows our country

in ways we've never seen it before from

the Ice Age to the Information Age this

is our story the story of Wales

[Music]

to begin at the beginning we need to

come here to the western end of the

Gower Peninsula and we need to take a

walk along the cliff top we're following

a path taken by a geologists back in

1823 William Buckland scrambles down to

a cave you can only get to at low tide

inside he finds the bones of a single

human being stained by a red tint he

thinks they may be those of a Roman

prostitute and he gives her a name a

name that sticks the red lady of pavulon

but the real tale is a little different

and it starts 30,000 years ago our story

begins in a time when these cliffs are a

ridge above a river plain and the sea is

more than 50 miles away

[Music]

the earliest truly human occupants of

the land we know as whales are burying

one of their dead with the body they

place ivory rods that they've carved

from the tusks of mammoths and other

treasures that will lie undisturbed

until Buckland finds them thirty

thousand years later a mammoth skull and

a necklace of seashells but the person

they're laying to rest isn't a woman as

Buckland thought he's a young man in his

twenties his is the earliest known human

burial in Western Europe

[Music]

the loss of a single human life counts

for something

even back then the red lady of pavulon

does seem very distant from the story of

Wales and the Welsh as we've come to

know it and yet the way we think of that

single life and death can set the tone

for the whole of our history of Wales

one version of our past would see these

people as sad and isolated in a dark

space of their own but I'm determined to

remind us that they're much more

connected than that

sharing a whole way of life with others

across an entire continent that's how

they know that this special pigment red

ochre will stain the bones of the Dead

and that's how they know that this is

the way to one of the Dead burying them

with beautiful things they've made these

people are tough soon they'll be facing

the challenge of huge climate change

[Music]

surrounded by mammoths and rhinos hyenas

and lions these Stone Age hunters know

how to fight to survive

[Music]

so as we trace our ascent from cave

dweller to modern citizen I want us to

keep in mind that Wales has always been

home to people who take their chances at

the cutting edge of change people who

are open to new ideas and find ways to

move forward without forgetting to honor

those who've gone before the story of

Wales is the experience of each and

every one of us in Wales of anyone who's

ever lived in this country from the red

lady of pavol and buried in this cave on

the Gower Peninsula tens of thousands of

years ago to you and me today we are all

part of the story of ways

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the climate changes people are driven

away from Pavel and and everywhere else

in ways a wall of ice 40 meters thick

comes as far south as the Gower

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for thousands of years the whole of

Britain is deserted

eventually the melting ice begins to

shape the coastline we know today

the great four brings back plants and

animals people follow slowly

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the trees grow an ancient forest

stretching across much of what we know

as Wales there are just a few gaps in

the woodland where the deer eat out

glades or people set fires to make

clearings

about 6,000 years ago agriculture

reaches Western Britain the farmers

begin to clear parts of the forest to

grow primitive wheat and to keep sheep

and goats cattle pigs and dogs gradually

over the course of a thousand years the

people who live on this land the land we

called ours today start to adapt they

start to cut through this vast natural

forest and start to tackle the

challenges of the world around them

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this is the age of the great religious

monuments like Petra even in

Pembrokeshire they bear witness to cults

of the dead and fertility rituals these

people are farming and thinking about

the meaning of their lives

[Music]

brynne Cassidy on anglesey

the tombs passage and chamber are

perfectly aligned to receive the first

rays of the midsummer Sun so these are

people who understand the changing

seasons and the spinning earth they live

on and we know because of the

distinctive way that they decorate this

monument but they're trading goods and

ideas with communities as far away as

Orkney and Portugal the people who

inhabit this land are making some big

statements here in Wales we've

discovered the largest timber

construction anywhere in Europe from

that age thousands of trees are cut down

in order to build it and it tells us

that these are people with complex needs

people want to make their mark on the

world

[Music]

the hind well enclosure is long gone but

from the post holes left behind in the

soil we can imagine how it dominates the

stone-age landscape

it covers almost the whole valley floor

you could fit the Millennium Stadium

inside eight times over the wooden posts

more than 1400 of them stand six meters

tall

and it's all built with stone and wood

tools

[Music]

there are other signs of ancient human

settlement all over the Walton Basin but

it's the enclosure which sends a message

far and wide here are people who've

organized themselves on an epic scale

[Music]

the enclosure isn't a defensive wall

under space this big isn't for penning

animals experts believe it's used for

feasts and celebrations a hundred

generations later you can still see the

curved footprint of its perimeter

determining the path of this country

road as it crosses the basin

[Music]

just a few centuries after the building

of the Walton Basin enclosure the world

changes

[Music]

humanity emerges from the Stone Age

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these days this is what Llandudno is all

about it's about relaxation and

enjoyment and this great tramway which

takes us all the way up the Great Orme

tells us so much about the Victorian

heyday Shan did not is all about leisure

this is where people come to escape the

grime of heavy industry and what a

contrast to the world of 4000 years ago

when the heavy industry is right here

underneath this mountain there's a

revolution going on I'm talking about

metal and the Great Orme is where it's

happening

[Music]

the arm pan ago Garvin Welsh is still

one of the great vantage points on the

North Wales coast but what lies under my

feet is even more impressive than the

view and that is saying something

because under here we have something

that is world-changing it is copper now

copper is a very beautiful very valuable

metal but it's not very hard-working

it's quite soft and here's the magical

part if you mix copper with tin you end

up with something that is harder and

much more useful and that is bronze

[Music]

less than 30 years ago we knew nothing

about the copper mines of the Great Orme

and their place in the Great Leap

Forward of the Bronze Age they were

discovered by chance when a new car park

was being excavated Sean James began

work as a tour guide here and found the

mines so fascinating that she's gone on

to make a full study of them as an

academic archeologist well that's quite

breathtaking what are we looking at

we're in one of the large chambers and

this used to be full of malachite of

copper ore but the miners are digging

out dig it out with little tools little

implements bone tools stone hammers

nothing really more sophisticated than

that about 30,000 animal bones have been

discovered from the mine is a huge

number it is originally these are all

thought to be food waste probably with

other miners but I'm not sure you'd

actually want to be eating down here my

research over the past few years

suggests that these are all linked in

with the mining itself I'm sure people

will be interested in what exactly

they're digging out because I know that

we've got an example here yeah just tell

us what we've got here this is malachite

this is the main copper ore people think

a copper today is this lovely orange

metal but this is how they'd have

probably first seen it if you smelt it

to a charcoal thousand degrees

centigrade and suddenly you get this

wonderful orange metal so you've got

five miles of tunnels what does this

represent worldwide this is the largest

per start copper mine anywhere in the

world and we've probably only discovered

about 10 percent of it so far

you see some of the little tunnels going

off which are terrifyingly small what

kind of working conditions would there

have been are people in there digging I

think possibly children are in some of

those areas we're talking maybe five or

six year olds

[Music]

just surprises everywhere you look one

of the most exciting things shown is to

think that this place was making a

product which wasn't for sale locally it

was going much further afield enough cop

that came out of here to make about 10

million axes so we're not talking

domestic trade this is meeting some sort

of demand maybe internationally we're

saying the fund did not copper was being

exported and used as weapons thousands

of miles away yes four thousand years

ago four thousand years ago but that is

an eye-opener

it is the industrial scale of the Great

Orme enterprise demands a really

sophisticated support network to feed

the workforce to smelt the copper and to

ship out the end product by contrast the

basic tools of the trade are ingenious

but very simple this is what this is a

stone hammer that they've just gone down

to the beach picked up for a suitable

stone brought it up here ready for

digging with you know that's a very

basic kind of tool isn't it simple but

very effective you've got something

there which is a little more delicate it

is more delicate but still very

effective these are two cattle bones

that we found from the mind they're both

tools this one's a rib bone rounded on

the end and would you be news for sort

of chiseling out digging out the

malachite and then this one

it's a humerus bone so that's the front

leg and that is the perfect shape for

just holding and digging out handle

chiseling out the malachite well know

that that chopping action you've done

brings me to this because this for me is

the most surprising thing of all you

think of three and a half thousand years

ago and there's a level of

sophistication here which I have to say

took me by surprise so talk us through

this yeah this is one of the pole stave

axes that they would have used in the

Bronze Age would have been made in a

two-piece mold but this is bronze so

this is the copper which would have come

from here and then tin which would have

to go to coal more probably to get

that's something that was held three and

half thousand years ago yeah that's

quite a thrill it is

[Music]

just one look at this ancient gold cape

will tell you how much industrial wealth

is being generated here discovered in

flincher in the 1830s and beaten out of

a single gold ingot the mold Cape is an

astonishing piece of workmanship fit to

adorn the slender shoulders of a queen

[Music]

it dates from a time when Egypt is

building the pyramids North Wales has

riches to rival the Pharaohs

people here are exchanging goods and

ideas with mainland Europe but who

exactly are their trading partners and

how do they reach them the latest

research points west to the open

Atlantic this is the trading

superhighway of the ancient world

through it we may be able to trace our

Celtic roots much further back than we

ever imagined and one of the pioneers of

this new line of thinking is Professor

John Kok John it's an intriguing thought

as we looked at the sea here today on

the coast of North Wales to think that

this channel this transport by sea which

frankly lots of people would never have

imagined was more sophisticated more

advanced to be ever in my ever thought

it was probably easier to get around by

sea than it was over land the land was

heavily forested before the Romans who

were here there weren't good roads it

was probably easier to maintain and

create long-distance connections by sea

as soon as metals come into the picture

and particularly copper and bronze most

especially you need the long-distance

connections just to keep the new economy

going you're saying we should think of

Wales in a much bigger world that's

right it's always certainly it's always

been connected to the rest of Britain

but there's another sign to it and we're

looking at that other side of it now

it's the western ocean if John is right

which links whales to the Celtic world

of the continent and it's not the story

we used to be told

the idea of hostile forces sweeping in

from the east in a series of sudden

invasions from the continent well that

idea is wrong for professor the

links have always been to do with trade

not invasion they go way way back in

time and all the way down the Atlantic

seaboard his evidence points to Celts

from the West it's a major change of

perspective for those of us who grew up

with a history that talks about whales

and its eastern neighbors and it's it's

something very exciting about the way

we're telling the story now John which

is that it is an outward-looking whales

we're talking about all those years ago

no it's a very different perspective now

you now have evidence for a diversity of

very ancient Celtic languages on the

continent of Europe all of this new

evidence is constantly turning up new

connections with the Welsh language

names of people names of gods and so on

so that there has always been this

long-distance maritime connection

and this goes right back through the

Iron Age the Bronze Age Copper Age right

on back as far as you want to go for

human beings being here

the trading links go deep into history

but the technology is moving forward

there's a big change coming and we can

understand a lot more about it because

of a chance discovery a century ago 100

years ago workmen were here at the foot

of craig earth in ragazze creating a

reservoir for their people are from that

just over the hill and in the course of

clearing Pete's and vegetation they made

the most fantastic of discoveries

what they found was a hoard of weapons

and tools from the Late Bronze Age

two bronze cauldrons so big that you

can't get your arms around them

carpenters tools chisels and gouges and

some of the finest decorative horse gear

ever found in Britain but there's

something else to an iron sword probably

made in eastern France this superbly

grooved it's just part of a sword the

grooves on the blade telling us that hmm

this isn't just the first time

blacksmiths effort with iron because

2700 years ago 2,800 years ago iron was

something really new new and valuable

too valuable to have been left here

without thought

from similar finds in bogs and rivers

and lakes experts believe their

offerings to a local goddess but how do

these gifts to the waters come to be

here in Wales in the first place are

they evidence of trade or war perhaps 50

years ago an archaeologist looking at

this claim file collection might say

that the foreign sort from the continent

meant that an invader carried it here by

today many of us believe it was trade

gifts passing through many hands

[Music]

most intriguing of all there's evidence

here in the L shaped iron sickle and the

short spearhead that local Smiths are

transferring their skills in bronze to

work in this even more useful new metal

[Music]

here is our bronze Smith somehow being

introduced or experimenting with iron

ores that you can find in the geology in

the rocks behind this here of the South

Wales coalfield experimenting with

smelting forging the iron and creating

new metal objects in the old style

we're heralding we're in the cradle of

native ironworking not just in Wales

because these are the oldest native made

iron objects in the whole of the British

Isles an island fantastic story

[Music]

the fein peninsula in the northwest

corner of Wales is another location that

opens our eyes to the nature of life

here in this new age of iron

[Music]

in the centuries before the Romans

arrived the population of Wales may have

been around 80,000 there are no towns

but there are hill forts more than a

thousand of them

just think this entrance has been here

for 2,000 years and it still tells us a

story

we may be on top of an exposed peak 450

meters above the sea but this is a major

Iron Age settlement Trier kiri is one of

the best-preserved and most densely

occupied hill forts in Britain behind

its ramparts you can still see the

shapes of more than a hundred and fifty

stone houses

but he'll fort is a misleading term the

people of trail Kerry are formers not

fighters and from their homes they can

look down on the fertile land below so

what does this mesmerizing place tell us

it tells us that long before the Romans

arrived there was a sophisticated

society here trading not just in a local

area but much further afield and don't

be fooled it may look as if it's been

built to withstand an invasion from a

distant enemy not the case it's all

about local power and local control so

by two thousand years ago a pattern has

emerged the ancient peoples of Wales

have settled into a group of separate

tribes from what's about to happen to

them we can distinguish their

characteristics and even give them names

the fierce allure is in the southeast

the order witches led by the Druids of

Anglesey in the north

[Music]

each tribe is many thousands strong with

its own royal family and priests and

rituals they squabble on the skirmish

but they speak a common language and

they know each other's customs and gods

this is their home

forty-three ad they're confronted by the

most efficient killing machine in the

world

the Roman army sweeps across Britain

many tribes surrender without a fight

others try guerrilla tactics to ambush

and surprise the invaders

[Applause]

across the many straights inspired by

the Druids the order veatch's put up

some of the strongest resistance in the

south the saloon raised take the battle

to the Romans

[Music]

this land rolling down towards the

Severn Estuary

is the power base of the Solaris and

power is the right word they're strong

they're fierce they're not the kind of

fighters who hide in the hills and

launch the odd raid they're in the

business of making full frontal attacks

on the Romans according to one story

they demolished three Roman units in a

single day and then they followed that

success by almost wiping out an entire

Legion

[Applause]

Roman generals come to hate them they

swear to sweep the salaries off the face

of the earth

[Applause]

but that's not so easy particularly when

the salaries are joined by one of

ancient Britain's most skillful warlords

his name is Caractacus or Caradog as

he's known in Welsh it takes an epic

struggle to capture him but he's such a

catch that he sent for trial to the

Emperor himself

when he gets to Rome Caradog is

condemned to death but for some reason

the emperor claudius allows him one

final plea for his life and the Roman

historian Tacitus sets down the words of

that plea what we have is the first

speech in history credited to someone

who's lived in Wales there's quite a

speech

[Music]

noble emperor and people of Rome I face

humiliation while you have glory I had

horses men weapons are you surprised I'm

sorry to have lost them just because you

want to rule the world do you think

everyone else is happy to be made a

slave if I had surrendered without a

fight no one would have heard of my

downfall or your triumph if you kill me

they will both be forgotten but if you

spare me I shall stand forever as a

symbol of your mercy

[Music]

the words work Galactica's is freed but

he never returns to britain and history

records no more of him what we can say

is that the ancient Britons are a bit of

a handful to put it mildly

and that's certainly the case here in

Wales were at the very edge of the Roman

Empire and Rome realizes that it needs a

very powerful military presence if it's

to keep things under control

so what do the Romans decide that they

have to do well they decide to build an

immense fortress here at carillon and

they call this place

ESCA this is where thousands of soldiers

are fed and watered housed and trained

trained to put the locals down and keep

them down

[Applause]

thirty years after the Romans invade

this amphitheater is where a whole Roman

legion is entertained as well as put

through its paces

but iske it turns out isn't just a big

army camp whilst we've been filming this

series archaeologists have been digging

here on a large area between the

military site and the river ask their

extraordinary new findings give us a

completely fresh understanding of this

place

ty de Leon is a Roman city and a major

port

what we can see here is a a new

reconstruction that we've had done it's

still in the development stage but it

shows what this part of Killeen might

have been like at the end of the first

century AD as we imagine it around about

100 you can see a river ship coming up

the Usk

from the seven estuary bringing men and

materials into kellian here we have the

key side which would be an excavating

here where all the materials and the men

would have been offloaded and then we

have a fly-through of the Roman

buildings that we've been uncovering

including the very large courtyard

complex a series of buildings that we

think of the marketplaces that include

bath houses here we can see the

amphitheater and then we fly through the

fortresses Westgate into the center of

Ischia where we can see barak blocks and

store buildings the commanding officers

house and headquarters and client's

famous bath house where the Romans would

have kept themselves clean and then we

flying through the main street out

towards the civilian settlement on the

other side and it really gives a

tremendous sense of how big some of

these buildings were and how imposing an

important they must have looked at the

time

one of the new riverfront structures

discovered by dr. guest is more than 100

meters long and a hundred metres wide

big enough to fit the amphitheater

inside its central courtyard it's just

part of this port complex which is

changing our view of how cuddly on

connects Britain to the rest of the

Roman Empire we're in one of the

excavation trenches that's closest to

the river esk and in this trench we

think we have the remains of the Roman

port here this wall we think is the key

side wall that the Romans would have

constructed outside the fortress of

Killian which would have allowed ships

and boats to more on the river esk and

for men and materials and other goods to

be offloaded and then taken into the

fortress and into the other parts of

Roman Wales one of the things the Romans

brought to Britain nearly 2,000 years

ago was the use of writing this is a

Roman brick that you can see here which

has a stamp on it which records the fact

that this tile was made by the second or

gustan Legion and this is a particularly

special fine than it has parts of three

letters on it and a you can see the

crossbar of the a there a V or a U and

then what is either a C or a G Roman

inscriptions particularly Imperial

inscriptions often record the imperial

titles of the Emperor one of which was

or Gustus the Romans were very keen to

make sure that you knew as you came to a

place like this that it was now part of

the new civilized world and that they

people who had done the civilizing were

the soldiers with a second or gustan

Legion but they were doing it in the

name of the Emperor and presumably if

we're lucky we may well find more of

this inscription which might tell us

which Emperor that was so the

discoveries made by doctor guest and his

team allow us to seek a de Leon in a

much much broader way than we've ever

done before it's the first and only time

that we in Britain became part of a

Mediterranean world

[Music]

Kilian was a major access route so the

wine that Romans like to drink will the

olive oil that they like to put on their

food for example came in an three in

large storage vessels and it's not just

the material things but also the new

gods that Romans brought with them the

new languages the new ways of dressing

and thinking about the world these would

also been brought into Western Britain

presumably at places like this so we now

have a better idea of the true scale and

purpose of iske the Romans clearly want

Cara Leon to be a major city a great

city an integral part of the Empire and

they want all the benefits of Roman

civilization to apply right here in this

new province of theirs so what we're

talking about now is not just a military

battle it's also a battle for hearts and

minds

[Music]

just down the road from carolien at the

door of this church in car went is a

relic of Roman times which shows just

how quickly the native Britons embrace

all that Rome has to offer it's a stone

tablet with the Latin inscription a kind

of operating license for Civitas salut

Rome the self-governing council of the

Solaris the Romans have built a whole

new town for the tribe themselves to

rule and govern just a generation after

fighting to the death to defend their

land

the salary's have accepted Roman rule

and agreed to pay their taxes in return

they're enjoying all the benefits of

Roman civilization they even get their

own Assembly Building you could say it's

the first time devolution comes to Wales

[Music]

[Music]

and it's not just in the south that the

Romans secure their grip the mountains

are no barrier to them

they build a whole network of roads

military camps and towns stretching from

Kalyan and CAD went to commanding in the

West and Carnarvon in the north

the Roman occupation of Britain is a

massive enterprise it ties up the

Empire's military resources and

personnel for decades

just imagine the logistics involved in

building and maintaining this one fort

SIGINT IAM in Carnarvon at the end of

the roman supply chain so why do the

Romans come here and stay here

one reason is prestige conquering

Britannia brings the emperor claudius a

lot of glory it tightens his grip on

power and never discount the importance

of PR in the politics of ancient Rome

but there are good practical reasons to

be here to this island is a breadbasket

and Rome can tax its farmers and enjoy

the fruits of their labor on the land

and then there's the most valuable

resource of all people while some

Britons enjoy all of the benefits of

Roman civilization many more of them are

traded as slaves all living tools as the

Romans call them and they're put to dig

out britannia's mineral wealth like the

gold at dough like coffee in West Wales

many other slaves are shipped off to

Rome to serve its politicians

philosophers and army veterans

life for many is nasty short and brutal

but others do thrive on Rome's bounty

any well speaker will confirm just how

comprehensively the tribes of Wales

adopt the benefits of Roman civilization

the language proves it some of the words

used here at Sur Ghanshyam 2,000 years

ago are still being used on the streets

of Carnarvon today pont for bridge

finished for window these are latin

words which now form some of the nuts

and bolts of the welsh language and

there's something else that rome leaves

behind here christianity

at first the Romans persecute the new

faith but then they embrace it in the

year 306 when he's on a military

campaign in Britain Constantine the

greatest proclaimed Emperor he is the

first Christian to rule Rome

[Music]

the Romans ruled Britannia for 350 years

there are Imperial soldiers here right

up to the Year 400 but in the end with

their empire under threat

the Romans march out of our history and

leave Christian Britain to defend itself

[Music]

towns are abandoned those living in the

ruins of empire have to deal as best

they can with new threats Irish Pirates

and Saxon invaders

David and Bracken yagh are overrun by

the Irish Guinard is invaded probably by

tribes from north of Hadrian's Wall and

then come the angles and the Saxons

from the Year 400 these Germanic peoples

push eastwards from the continent

smothering the old Celtic and Roman

culture in lowland Britain forcing it

back into the hills and the mountains of

the West

the anglo-saxons don't share the

Christian faith that Rome is brought and

it seems that Britain's Roman legacy may

be eclipsed completely these are

mysterious times filled with battles

against the odds something in them

sparks the Celtic imagination the hard

facts are scarce but the struggle to

keep the faith alive inspires some of

the greatest stories of Wales

there is a world of difference between

history and legend but when you come to

a magical place like this deep in the

heart of the Welsh countryside they seem

to come together

[Music]

[Applause]

in this land of mystic waters and sacred

Springs it's a time for tales of heroes

whose exploits have cast spells on the

world ever since I'm thinking especially

of king arthur the great defender of

christian britain and of course of his

resident magician the mighty merlin

[Music]

in one story written down more than a

thousand years ago by a Welsh monk known

as Nennius it is Merlin who predicts

that the red dragon the native Britons

will eventually defeat the white dragon

the invading anglo-saxons

these are tales of conflict and heroism

they set up the notion that this land is

embattled read around by dark forces and

legend has it that Arthur and his

warriors are still waiting somewhere in

the deepest countryside ready to come to

our rescue the fact is that the Arthur

industry if I can call it that built

around Camelot sword in the stone the

knights of the round table all of this

is invented at a much later time but

these inventions are based on some

intriguing fragments of historical

evidence in one account of a great

battle with the anglo-saxons said to

take place in the year 516 Arthur

carries the Christian cross on his

shoulders for three days and nights

before leading the Britons to victory

all over Britain there is an epic

struggle going on

and because the Celts from Cornwall in

the south to Central Scotland in the

North speak a language that's an early

form of Welsh we can still get a sense

of the drama and turmoil if we know

where to look this is the book of an

airing in the National Library in

Aberystwyth and it contains the record

of a battle from around the Year 600 we

arrived catcheth I fry Faithie glass

where they hang Quinn a Gwen win vie the

men who marched a Catterick were a swift

war band their drink was Mead it proved

to be poison they're very famous lines

they're taken from the earliest

surviving Welsh poem written by a poet

living in Edinburgh and what's striking

is that it is still possible for a Welsh

speaker to get the gist it tells the

story of an army of soldiers going into

battle against the angles in the north

of England and what we get in all of

these stories is a gradual recognition

of our identity as a people we are the

Kumari the compatriots the broth on the

8th the Britons the way lass the Welsh

that's the anglo-saxon word for

strangers or more precisely those

strangers who used to live in a Roman

world

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part of Rome's great legacy is

Christianity but now Wales produces its

own Christian leaders

[Music]

they're determined to make the faith on

these shores more rooted and much more

outward looking

[Music]

between the years 400 and 600 they

managed to defend and strengthen

Christianity in the teeth of anglo-saxon

aggression this is the age of the saints

some focus completely on the spiritual

life away from the turmoil of war that's

all around

it's a search for remoteness and

isolation for the kind of spiritual

peace that can still be found along

paths of the Welsh coastline these are

people who want to withdraw from the

world and who take as their example the

Christian Hermits of the Middle East

thousands of miles away we're on the

edge of Europe here but we are in the

mainstream of Christianity other saints

chose a different path engaging with the

lives of ordinary people around them

they build communities which shelter the

faith in the troubled times of

anglo-saxon attack the most important is

the settlement a tannish did vow Santu

it major as dr. Juliet wood explains to

me this is where a remarkable man called

if did turns his back on a soldier's

life and builds what we believe to be

Britain's first-ever center of learning

[Music]

we don't have a lot of written records

from this period but we do have the

saints lives and you do have stories

about mythical figures now these were

always sort of done much after the

historical period you kind of have to be

careful with them but they do tell us

what was important to the culture and

certainly with the interested stories

you're getting this image of a powerful

cent a saint who taught other saints a

saint who carried forward this notion of

the Christian message instead starts out

as a warrior rather than a rather than a

monk he was raised as a Christian he's

not a pagan he was raised as a Christian

Billy decided he was going to be a

warrior and then he becomes converted to

the monastic life the Church of Saint if

did dates from long after the original

monastery but it's built on the

tradition that if did sets up a

powerhouse of learning producing a

thousand graduates some sources claim

that both Saint David of Wales and Saint

Patrick of Ireland are pupils of if did

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the Celtic crosses at the church door

date back almost as far as the age of

the Saints one of them bears the name of

if did himself and several of his chief

followers they are men who cling to

faith and learning in a time of war

prayer and study are their weapons but

the violent times they live in mark them

with a steely determination to fight for

the faith the Welsh Saints are quite

different Bunch there are no martyrs

they're quite touchy

they really blast their enemies there's

strong figures so you get these

wonderful legends which tell you what it

is about a welsh saint that we ought to

emulate if dudes focus is on the world

outside in church terms san twit major

is what we call a class monastery

that's a flexible settlement linked to

the local chieftains who were also

determined to defend their patch it was

a time when Wales was beginning to think

of itself as different but it wouldn't

have been all of Wales in the sense that

we now think of this so when we think of

a story of Wales you're really dealing

with a mosaic which is eventually going

to come together and insted himself

taught a number of very important welsh

saints and they went out and they

founded their own class monasteries

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the mosaic of Welsh life isn't yet

complete but the picture is filling out

in the five hundreds and six hundreds if

ditch disciples build small communities

all over Wales

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the physical evidence of their existence

is long gone but the religious

enclosures the timber churches the small

buildings the cemeteries all inside a

protective wall they've certainly left

their mark in every part of ways

if you want to find lasting traces of

the early Wells Church just look at a

map because the old Welsh word for

enclosure is channel and there are

hundreds of Welsh place names which

combine the word Han with the name of

the saint we've already been defunded

not the Han of Saint tib no destron bad

on the fan of same pattern there's

Llanelli of course the hand of st.

earthly there are slightly more complex

ones

Sancho sent the fan of three Saints

plant pimp site the clan of five Saints

and then of course there's the most

exotic one of them all the one that

talks about Saint Mary and Saint Cecilia

and lots of other things too and yes I

can say it can via Putin get go Garrick

we're in Robotron de Sciglio go go go

how's that

the Welsh st. certainly leave their mark

in every corner of Wales and they do

more surrounded by Saxon enemies who

don't share their faith they managed to

break out to inspire others

their impact is immense

crossing the Celtic seas they nurture

the Christian life of Ireland and

Scotland Cornwall and Brittany

the traditions they establish give us

masterpieces such as the illuminated

manuscripts of faraway Lindisfarne

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but not all of these spiritual Giants

are travelers the best-known figure of

the age stays at home here in Wales and

he builds a wooden church in this

sheltered tranquil spot in the Far West

on the coastline today it is the site of

this magnificent stone built cathedral

which exudes power and certainty it is

of course the Cathedral Church of Delhi

Sant our patron saint Saint David every

schoolchild in Wales knows about the

miracles of Saint David of the ground

suddenly rises under his feet so that a

crowd in plunder we breve can hear him

preach oh I have to say it's a mystery

to me why you'd need to create a hill in

karategi on of all places and then we

learned that this gentle soul on his

death bed urges people to be faithful to

the little things it's a comforting

image it's a reassuring image st. David

emerges as a bit of a softie

don't believe a word of it

David's nickname was aquaticus

the water man people used to think this

was because water was the only thing you

drink

but experts now believe it's because

he's given to testing his faith by

standing for hours

in ice-cold pools

we have very few facts about him but the

way we see Derry is important because

his name is tradition a part and parcel

of a distinctive Welsh form of the

Christian faith one that tries to hold

on to its independence for 500 years to

come

and it's that tenacity that

determination which earns Derry his

place as our patron saint and as a

national figure head

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so people have learned to live and to

thrive in this landscape it's challenged

them and they've left their mark on it

[Music]

they innovate they trade they deal in

objects of fabulous Worth and beauty

[Music]

they faced the armies of Rome and they

benefited from all that mighty Empire

has to offer

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now they're fighting for their place in

the world and for the way they want to

live

so the Welsh have arrived there are

force to be reckoned with and the battle

to strengthen and defend that identity

is about to begin

[Music]

the Open University has produced a free

booklet for you to learn more about the

history of the people of Wales

you can call Oh eight four five three

six six oh two five three or go to BBC

co dot uk' slash story of wales and

follow the links to the Open University

[Music]

and there's more from the story of Wales

here on BBC HD at the same time tomorrow

next this evening stay with us for a

batch of bicky's all fired from the

remaining great british bakers

[Music]

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