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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Eilmer the Flying Monk

The story of Eilmer the Flying Monk, one of the early pioneers of flight, celebrates 1,000 years this year.

The tale goes that Eilmer, inspired as a youth by the Greek fable of Daedalus, strapped two wings to his arms and legs and tried to fly from the tower of Malmesbury Abbey in 1010. Needless to say, Elmer had a hard landing after covering around 200m, breaking both his legs and walking with a limp thereafter, but he survived and even wanted to try his luck again, blaming his injuries on the lack of a tail.

This account can be found in the Gesta Regum Anglorum written by William of Malmesbury in around 1125.

Since June there have been various events to celebrate the 1000 years of Eilmer's flight and full details can be found on the Malmesbury Council website.

Coming up on the 18th September is the 2009 film "The Flying Monk" directed by New Zealander Matthew Inns at Malmesbury Town Hall. The 25-minute short looks at the life and story of Eilmer the Flying Monk.

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