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Beacon hill coursework

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Introduction

Beacon Hill Beacon Hill is a mysterious feature that has baffled experts for many years and still no one has found a true answer. In this piece of coursework I am going to investigate why Beacon Hill was built. Beacon Hill is a man made mound which is situated in Wollaston in Northamptonshire. There are 4 different theories for what Beacon Hill could be these are; a Bronze Age barrow, a Roman Specula, a 12th century motte and bailey castle and a signalling station of the time of the Spanish Armada. The Bronze Age barrow is a man made mound of stone, wood or earth piled over the remains of the dead. Roman Specula were fortresses used to protect themselves and their allies. A 12th century motte and bailey castle was a simple castle made out of earth and wood. The signalling station was the way that England could warn the rest of the country that the Spanish Armada was coming. In this piece of coursework I will analyse a series of sources relating to Beacon Hill and what it could be. After analysing the evidence I will reach a conclusion to what I think Beacon Hill is based on the evidence. Bronze Age barrows are man made mounds of stone, wood, or earth piled up over the remains of the dead, especially important people. Often possessions would also be buried. Bronze Age barrows were built between 2000BC and 1000BC. There are 3 sources that support the theory of Beacon Hill being a Bronze Age barrow. ...read more.

Middle

Now I have finished discussing the strengths I will now discuss the weaknesses in the sources. A weakness found in sources 2, 8 and 9 is that there is no clear evidence to support the theory of Beacon Hill being a Roman Specula. Source 7 gives evidence why Beacon Hill is a Roman Specula, the reason why this makes it less reliable is that the evidence given doesn't definitely prove that Beacon Hill was a Roman Specula. Source 8 has a different weaknesses to the one I have just discussed but very similar, the first one is the evidence of the spearhead and knife being found there, no one knows for sure if these are Roman or they could have just been moved there from somewhere else, the other one is that the Roman nettle found growing there could have spread from somewhere else. A lonesome weakness in source 2 is that the local historian is biased against it being Roman, this makes the source extremely unreliable because he has already decided against it being a Roman Specula before evaluating the evidence. Also source 9 has a couple of lonesome weaknesses, these are that it doesn't give actual reference to Beacon Hill and the other weakness is that the Roman road doesn't go through Wollaston, this shows that the Romans were near Wollaston but there is no proof that they were actually in Wollaston. Source 6 and 7 share a common weakness in that both the sources are written by a antiquarian, this makes the source slightly less reliable because they are biased towards it being a Roman Specula. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think it is likely that Beacon Hill was a 12th century motte and bailey castle because there is lots of evidence to support this theory. Three of the sources used to support this theory are reliable because they are from a history book, a local archaeologist's excavation and a recording of events kept by monks. The other source isn't as reliable because it is someone's opinion. Signalling stations were at the time of the Spanish Armada in 1588. When the Spanish Armada (ship) were close to England the signalling stations were ways of sending a warning across the country. A series of large beacons (bonfires) were built on hill tops so that when they were lit the smoke could be seen a long way off. Each beacon was lit in turn as the smoke from its nearest neighbour became visible. There are two sources that support this theory; source 1 which is article from the Wellingborough Evening Telegraph newspaper entitled "It's your village - Wollaston" and source 2 which is from a history book "Wollaston" written by a local historian. These two sources both have strengths and weaknesses of why they are reliable. To start of with I am going to talk about there strengths. Source 1 is reliable because it is by a local resident so he is likely to know the area well and also he gives reasons to support his theory of Beacon Hill being a signalling station in that it is high up. Also source 1 is reliable because it is in a local newspaper so they are sharing local knowledge and are unlikely to lie. ...read more.

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