Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Alfred's Meadhall and Wild West Show

I promised a couple of more posts about this article over at Modern Medieval, and this is the second. A few years before it closed, my wife and I stumbled upon the National United States Marshals Museum in Laramie, Wyoming.* We had no idea it was there, and noticed a sign as we were looking for somewhere to get gas and change diapers (my daughter was still quite young). It was a real jewel, hidden out there; we ended up spending the whole day. What really impressed me was the sheer numbers of locals who showed up to work at the thing on a volunteer basis. There were so many passionate volunteers that I assumed we had stumbled onto it during some sort of special event or festival, but when I asked around I learned that it was just a normal day.

Having had that experience, I completely understand why the fellow in this article finds Laramie to be a good site to build a meadhall. Even if the locals don't quite understand the whole meadhall thing, they at least get the basic impulse. For those of you who don't have the patience to read the article, a fellow by the name of Cyning Meadowcroft is building a two-story Anglo-Saxon meadhall in Laramie County, Wyoming, in order to honor Alfred the Great. The Billings Gazette includes this picture of the progress on Angelcynn Hall to date:

Next time I'm out that way, I'll have to go by to talk to this fellow a bit. The two big questions on my mind:

  1. How did you convince your ex-wife to move back to America so you could build a meadhall?
  2. Your name is "Cyning Meadowcroft?" Like, really? Did your parents name you that, or did you change your name?**

*According to the Department of Justice, it's moving to Arkansas.
** "Cyning" means "King" in Old English, and the pronounciation guide in the Billings Gazette article makes clear that he pronounces it in the OE way.


  1. Anonymous3:17 PM

    I would highly recommend making a special trip out to the west to meet Cyning! He is that rara avis - the true rennaissance man. He is a highly contagious, driven man, who (as your question ponders) is terribly convincing. Having met him, I would say it is well worth the journey...he is unforgettable.

    The Heall is it's own beast; fascinating and surreal. Its golden and silver oak is framed marvelously by the intense blue Wyoming sky. Such an odd place to think of an Anglo-Saxon meadhall, and yet, so fitting, nonetheless.

    As for his name, I think you should give him a ring and ask him! I do believe, with his name, he'd be easy to find :)


  2. I knew Cyning well. As for his name, well it was originally Roy, which is French for King. We English do not like the French too much, so Cyning changed his name to the Anglo Saxon or Old English meaning for the same thing. ie Cyning means King.

    Hope this clears up any confusion.