Brutus and the Myth of New Troy

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Fri 06Dec
Sun 08Dec

After the Illiad and the Aeneid

Facilitator: Caitlín & John Matthews and Charles Newington

We explore the mythic foundations of Britain and London, and follow the adventures of Brutus, Aeneas’ grand-son. Caitlín and John will uncover the myths of our beginnings, and the function of the giants, while Charles Newington will reveal the making of contemporary chalk hill figures.  Together we will enact the Masque of Brutus, recreating the giants, and following the myth of Troy to its very British conclusion.

Event time: Fri 6th Dec 2019 at 4:00pm - Sun 8th Dec 2019 at 2:00pm

At a glance

  • Discover one of the forgotten myths of Britain’s foundation
  • Find out what happened after the Fall of Troy and why Britons are called ‘the remnant of Troy’ by Welsh poets.

Participants will gain

  • Enact and learn about the ancient giants in an original Masque
  • Join the legendary Company of Hawkwood for its annual mythic exploration

On this our 34th annual open mystery school, we explore the mythic foundations of Britain and London and follow the adventures of Brutus, Aeneas’ grandson. After Homer’s Illiad and Troy’s fall, Virgil recounts the wanderings of its last survivor, Aeneas in the Aeneid. But the myth did not end there: it was taken up by others and crafted into an origin myth for Britain, revealing how Brutus came to these shores, fought the native giants who lived here and founded Troynovant or New Troy, which today we call London. We explore the Brutus myth and learn more about him and giants. Caitlín and John will uncover the myths of these origins, and reveal the function of the giants, while artist Charles Newington will introduce the making of contemporary chalk hill figures.  Together we will enact a group ritual, the Masque of Brutus, recreating the giants, and following the myth of Troy to its very British conclusion.  This weekend is traditionally one which is only ever given once: all who join us become one of the Company of Hawkwood, to enjoy the myths, songs, stories, meditations and rituals in a way that we present at no other time except here. Our legendary ceilidh invites you to participate in our friendly gathering at a personal level, as we prepare to enter the deepest winter.

Price Options

£340 Residential Single
£300 Residential Shared
£260 Non Residential


26 available

Practical Information

Please bring nibbles and drinks for sharing at our Saturday night ceilidh. A pen and notebook. For our Masque, you are invited to bring a robe, if you have one, or a scarf or shawl.

Please note that prices are listed per person. Residential options are fully inclusive with all meals provided. Non-residential options include suppers, lunches, and all refreshments and exclude B&B.

John & Caitlín Matthews

John & Caitlín Matthews have published over 200 books including The Complete King Arthur, Arthurian Magic, Walkers Between Worlds, and the Storyworld series. Caitlín is a writer and singer, as well as the author of Diary of a Soul Doctor, Untold Tarot: The Lost Art of Reading Ancient Tarots, and The Lost Book of the Grail. She makes frequent appearances on Radio and TV as an expert on Celtic mythology shamanism and spirituality. She teaches internationally. John has produced over 140 books on the Arthurian Legends, as well as many short stories and successful Children’s books. He has been both a New York Times bestseller and has won the Benjamin Franklin Award. John was the historical advisor to the Jerry Bruckheimer movie ‘King Arthur’ in 2003 and has made appearances on both History Channel and Discovery Channel specials on Arthur and the Holy Grail. He is currently working on several new projects, including a series of film on esoteric practitioners.

Together, the Matthews’ passion for mythology keeps them dedicated to the ancient traditions of wisdom. They are the founders of FíOS, the Foundation for Inspirational and Oracular Studies, a society which supports the oral and unwritten traditions of wisdom, which invites exemplars of ancient skills and arts to share their knowledge with us in practical ways. John & Caitlín Matthews, have taught a different and unique course at their Winter Open Mystery School at Hawkwood for 34 years.

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Charles Newington

Charles Newington is well known in Kent for his giant White Horse Hill figure above the Channel Tunnel entrance. His work has been shown and published worldwide since his first solo show at the Newburgh St Gallery in London in 1989. He studied at the Byam Show, Campberwell, and the Central Schools of Art, going on to teach there and many other schools in England, specialising in etching. His inspiration takes him all over the world finding new trails for many diverse series of works: Kabas in North Africa, the Carnival in Venice, Chateauz in France, Buddhas in Thailand, the Maya Trail in Mexico, the Bests series from the Paleolithic painted caves in the Dordogne, and India, a second home. His career has taken him down many different paths, founding Alecto Historical editions, restoring and printing from copper plates for the Tate Gallery and the Society of Antiquaries, creating artwork for rock bands including Led Zeppelin, E.L.P and the Kinks, illustrating for Spike Milligan, and the Bhagavad Gita, published by the Fitzrovia Press in 2010. Recent shows have been of paintings from St John’s Book of Revelations, Khajuraho ‘the Tempest of Love’ and ‘Sea Odyssey’ series.

Charles is currently working on the recreation of the chalk hill figures of Gog Magog and Brutus for Plymouth Ho, where they were originally depicted.

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"I have deep respect and gratitude for your wisdom, scholarship and presence. In reading your books these past few years, I have always "felt" the transmission you give through yours and John's writings. Being able to experience this transmission in person, I feel extremely blessed and that I have finally been "initiated" into the land of my ancestors. I have no words to convey how much this means to me, except thank you."

- Dr. Mary Lanier

"Your courses are filled with ancestral wisdom, passionate and exact scholarship, and goodly speech. You have an avid and perennial audience among those of us who resonate with the old ways."

- Robert Moss

"These mythic weekends are a numinous doorway through which we can reinvest our lives with meaning."

- Frank MacEowen.