Professor Handel Morgan arrrived in the estate office this morning in a state of great excitement. Fresh from his field work nearby where he is still engaged in the researches to trace the real final resting place of Owain Glyndwr, he had given himself a day off to visit me with momentous news.
It seems that his colleague from the University of Utrecht, Kurt Nappink, who specialises in tracing the movement of Viking hordes through Europe had uncovered some evidence of an important site here.
HerrDoktorProfessor Nappink claims that the entire area around the Hall was the long lost Viking community of Smegmaark. Traces of this once thriving commercial and cultural centre have been lost for so long that many scholars now believe that it was only ever a legend.
Under the Control of iconic Viking leader Balbaag the Grey, this was a centre of trade and staging post for all the Viking troop movements of the 9th through to the 11th century. Invading Vikings would rest and reprovision here before moving north to settlements such as Jorvik (now York), London and the Isle of Man where the parliament can still trace its history back to the Thing (now Tynnwald) that the Vikings established there.
Balbaag the Grey (later known as Balbaag the Wrinkled) was a close ally, some believe relative of Erik Bloodaxe, a frequent guest at Balbaag court, and much of the Danegeld collected from local communities was stored there, making it a wealthy commercial centre for the invaders. He is believed to come from a very ancient family, largely because there is no rune in the Younger Futhark (rune alphabet) for the letter 'g', so his name must have been drafted in the Elder Futhark. It comprises only four runes, some repeated; taken alphabetically, the rune for 'a' translates to Odin, inspiration and wisdom, the 'b' for birch tree, birth, liberation, the rune for 'l' equates to water, sea, ocean, while the 'g' rune gives us generosity, gift and spear. With the repetitions of 'a' and 'b' in his name, Professor Handel Morgan believes that Balbaag the Grey was revered greatly for his wisdom and a great liberator of man and mind.
Balbaag the Wrinkled was well known for his wise counsel, often sought by Viking leaders, which many believe was what helped their influence grow. Later in life Balbaag converted to Christianity along with Guthrum after his defeat by King Alfred. At least, outwardly so. HerrDoktorProfessor Kurt Nappink believes that it was Balbaag who built the first place of worship on the site of our Church of St Olav the Insignificant, currently presided over by Ivor Parrish, the Apallingvivarbastard of the Farkhams. This is believed to be a master stroke of political hypocrisy, setting the precedent for a great tradition that has been practised ever since.
The name Balbaag does persist to this day, albeit anglicised in the name of Ballibeg Court, a near neighbour of us here at the Hall. Kurt Nappink has requested to bring his team to stay at the Hall while they make some preliminary investigations in the grounds and the churchyard at St Olav's. Watch this space for more news of their findings.
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