Dumnonia was a Celtic kingdom that existed in Britain from the late 4th to the late 8th centuries CE. It covered the regions of Cornwall, Devon, and parts of Somerset and Dorset. Its name came from the Dumnonii, a tribe that lived in the area before the Roman invasion. Dumnonia was one of the last bastions of Celtic culture and resistance against the Anglo-Saxon expansion. Its rulers claimed descent from King Arthur and maintained ties with Brittany, where many Dumnonian refugees settled. Dumnonia's history is shrouded in legend and mystery, but it remains a fascinating part of Britain's heritage.
ANCIENT ROADS AND TRACKS.
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I had always been fascinated by the Miles Mitchell Estate in Plymouth, a hidden village of bungalows built in 1955 for retired workers of the Sutton Harbour Company. My grandfather used to work there as a dockmaster, and he often told me stories about the estate and its founder, Sir Miles Mitchell, a visionary businessman and philanthropist. He said that Sir Miles wanted to create a peaceful and comfortable community for his loyal employees, where they could enjoy their golden years with dignity and respect.
One day, I decided to visit the estate and see it for myself. I took a bus to the outskirts of Plymouth and walked along Miles Mitchell Avenue, admiring the neat rows of white cottages with colourful gardens and friendly neighbours. I felt like I had stepped back in time, to a simpler and happier era. I reached the village hall, where I saw a sign that said "Miles Mitchell Hub". I entered the hall and was greeted by a cheerful lady at the reception.
"Hello, welcome to the Miles Mitchell Hub. How can I help you?" she asked.
"Hi, I'm here to learn more about the estate and its history. My grandfather used to work for the Sutton Harbour Company and he lived here for a while," I said.
"Oh, really? What was his name?" she asked.
"Arthur Jones. He was a dockmaster," I said.
"Arthur Jones? Of course, I remember him. He was such a kind and helpful man. He used to organise events and activities for the residents here. He was very popular," she said.
"Wow, you knew him?" I asked.
"Yes, I did. I'm his daughter," she said.
I gasped in disbelief. She was my aunt, whom I had never met before. She looked just like my grandfather, with his blue eyes and curly hair.
She smiled and hugged me warmly.
"I'm so glad you came here. I've been looking for you for a long time. Come on, let me show you around and tell you everything about this wonderful place," she said.
She took me by the hand and led me to a room full of photos and memorabilia of the estate and its founder. She told me stories about Sir Miles Mitchell, his vision, his generosity, his legacy. She told me stories about my grandfather, his work, his life, his family. She told me stories about herself, her childhood, her dreams, her struggles. She told me stories about the estate, its residents, its events, its challenges.
She told me stories that made me laugh, cry, wonder, admire. She told me stories that made me feel connected to her, to my grandfather, to the estate, to Sir Miles Mitchell.
She told me stories that made me feel at home.