The Age of Discovery – In Search of the Northern Passages


Day course

Mike Shaw

20 May 2023


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From the beginning of our modern age navigators and their merchant backers baulked at the long detours required to round the great Capes of Good Hope and the Horn and determined to find shorter passages in higher latitudes.  Thus began the search for the Northern Passages, the central theme of this day course.

What they found instead were prolific hunting grounds for marine species, which were exploited for 400 years. With the completion of the Suez and later the Panama canals, the world changed shape and interest waned. The race for the conquest of the Poles became a matter of national prestige rather than economic imperative.

All-comers welcome.

Tutor information

Mike Shaw was a regular soldier for over 30 years and has been a keen student of history all his life. A regular contributor to the Dillington programme, he has an interest in the history of the continent as a whole, particularly where western and slavic cultures have been impacted. A frequent independent traveller through the whole continent, he explores how trading networks flourished from the earliest times despite the countervailing demands of religion and tribal security. He offers rare insights into how historical perspectives have influenced more recent events. More importantly however, it is the way he tells the story.

Covid information

Dillington House wishes to reassure everyone that we are working closely with Somerset County Council to ensure every measure is being taken to make Dillington House a safe place for everyone.

All course participants will be sent further guidance prior to the course date.

Dillington House is following Government guidelines and adhering to new guidance including local or national lockdowns.

All places booked can be transferred or refunded in the event this course is cancelled. Individuals who are affected by local lockdowns will be able to transfer to an alternative course. All other terms and conditions apply.