HUBBA the Dane, defeated in a bloody battle near Appledore, is being remembered in the estuary village with an historical attraction in the form a Viking-style memorial. The 10-year dream of local historian Terry Bailey is finally coming to fruition with
HUBBA the Dane, defeated in a bloody battle near Appledore, is being remembered in the estuary village with an historical attraction in the form a Viking-style memorial.
The 10-year dream of local historian Terry Bailey is finally coming to fruition with the authentic decoration of a two-and-a-half tonne block of granite, set up on the green at Hillcliff Terrace to overlook the estuary.
Terry originally mooted the idea of the Hubbastone as a Millennium project for Appledore, at a time when other communities were erecting commemorative Millennium stones.
The project draws on the history of Viking invasion, specifically that of Hubba the Dane and his 23 longships and 1,200 men who raided the West Country in 878.
But history has it that he came to grief on Torridgeside when his army was routed at Bloody Corner between Appledore and Northam. Hubba was slain and, by legend, buried under a huge stone on the local shoreline.
Bloody Corner is just one of many local names which bear testimony to the story. Others include Odun Road and Terrace, Bonehill, Boathyde, Kenwith Castle, King Alfred's Cave and Hubbastone itself.
Terry's research revealed the possibility that the retreating Vikings may have regrouped on Lundy and that Lundy granite could have been used to cover the resting place of their leader.
With the financial support of the Appledore charity group West Quay Fund Raisers and the support of the Appledore Pirates, Terry has pursued his quest.
Four years ago the huge granite slab was brought over from Lundy with the aid of the Royal Marines.
A year ago permission was gained and it was set in place.
Now, with the aid of a local stonemason with a remarkably similar name, Gabriel Hummerstone, the village will have its own Hubba Stone.
Research by Terry has revealed inscriptions that the Vikings placed on their own memorial stones and Gabriel has spent the past week re-creating longships, warriors, Hubba's war banner depicting a raven and an encircling dragon or serpent.
They have gained the some surprise support in the form of international broadcaster Kate Adie, one of the speakers at last week's Appledore Book Festival.
"She paid us a visit and revealed that she is an Icelandic scholar," said Terry. "She told us that these monuments were usually inscribed with the maker's name or the reason behind them and said she will try to find more information on the Viking runes or lettering, so we can add an appropriate inscription."
No plans had been laid yet, but they hoped to have some sort of celebration to mark completion of the 10-year project, said Terry.
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