Taff Roberts recently returned to Winona from his native land of Wales, where he explored the land — and took a closer look at the 1,700 holy wells that were essentially lost after the Romans invaded the British Isles in 43 A.D.
As the old saying goes, “history is written by the victors,” and in the last several years archaeologists, historians, and academic people have been taking a fresh look about what really happened in Wales during the last 2,000 years.
“They’re questioning some of the documentation of the books that have been written in history,” Roberts said. “There is a huge healthy conversation going on” between archaeologists, historians, and academics “over the last five years or so.”
At 7 p.m. Thursday, Roberts will be giving a presentation on his findings from his recent trip at the Winona County History Center. He’ll give a brief summary on the history of Wales — specifically after the Romans invaded — as well as a history and culture of Druids before Christianity washed them out.
The holy wells were common gathering places for the Druids.
“There’s 1,700 holy wells in Wales and the Welsh government are trying to discover these ancient sites and restore them,” he said.
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Roberts will take people on a visual walkabout and connect these holy wells from one to another.
He said experts have been re-piecing history by focusing on the Welsh side of the Roman colonization that started after the invasion.
“They’re looking at it in a different way and looking at things that could have happened in different ways” than what people would conventionally find in textbooks, Roberts said. “They’re putting it all together and seeing a different picture of what might’ve happened.”
Roberts’ presentation is part of a bigger initiative to do “everything he can to support the Welsh language” and keep it alive.
“The Welsh language is what saved the culture of Wales today,” he said. “What keeps that alive is this language ... I want to do everything I can to bring attention to the Welsh language.”