THE BISHOP’S PALACE IN WIVELISCOMBE

The remains of a summer Palace belonging to the Bishops of Bath and Wells has been discovered in the village of Wiveliscombe in Somerset. The 13th century palace had fallen into disuse after the Reformation and lay in ruins by the 1700’s…when the site was built over and subsequently lost, with the exception of an… Continue reading THE BISHOP’S PALACE IN WIVELISCOMBE

A PERIOD DEPICTION OF EDWARD IV & ELIZABETH WOODVILLE

Recently I came across these two roundels from a late medieval manuscript, held in the John Rylands Library, which depict Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville seated on thrones, crowned and holding their sceptres. These two miniatures are extremely colourful even after the intervening 500 + years and hold lots of interesting details, including, in the… Continue reading A PERIOD DEPICTION OF EDWARD IV & ELIZABETH WOODVILLE

A VINTAGE CARTOON OF EDWARD IV

I seem to collect pictures of Edward IV. He’s quite searchable online and has many various portraits come up, ranging from small illuminations in manuscripts to copies of copies of copies. They range from the sublime to ridiculous, as they rather do with Richard, but there are a lot more of them, as one might… Continue reading A VINTAGE CARTOON OF EDWARD IV

Prayer Book with a Secret

The beautifully illustrated prayer book once belonging to Yolande of Anjou, wife of Francis I of Brittany, had been commissioned by her mother as a gift at the occasion of her marriage to Francis. Unfortunately, 9 years into the marriage, having produced two daughters, Yolande died. Francis soon married again, taking to wife Isabel or… Continue reading Prayer Book with a Secret

ANOTHER MISSING QUEEN: JOAN OF SCOTLAND

The village of Tarrant Crawford really isn’t a village anymore. If you type the address into your Satnav, it will vanish from the screen while driving down the nearby main road–there are no signposts and the only other road visible is a simple farm track fringed by thick trees. However, here at one time was… Continue reading ANOTHER MISSING QUEEN: JOAN OF SCOTLAND

A MEDIEVAL BIRTHING GIRDLE ANALYSED

Medieval childbirth was a fearful time for women. Dangers were many, and little could be done if there was any kind of medical problem. Women routinely wrote their wills prior to going into labour as the death rate was so high. Out of this fear came the use of many charms and rituals meant to… Continue reading A MEDIEVAL BIRTHING GIRDLE ANALYSED

LOUIS IX OF FRANCE–THE BONES SPEAK

It is not just King Richard III who has had numerous scientific tests done on his mortal remains. Tests have also recently taken place on the jawbone of Louis IX of France who died in 1270 while on Crusade in Tunisia. Louis is also known as ‘The Saint’ and was the husband of Margaret of… Continue reading LOUIS IX OF FRANCE–THE BONES SPEAK

THE BOARS OF BARNARD CASTLE

Many of us have visited Barnard Castle, one of the prime residences of Richard III when he was Duke of Gloucester, and gazed up at the eroded carving of a boar on the ceiling of the ruinous chamber that has a large window overlooking the river. (Richard clearly liked a scenic view!) However, there are… Continue reading THE BOARS OF BARNARD CASTLE

THE TUDOR CROWN UNEARTHED

A metal detector enthusiast has come up with an impressive find that may be worth a cool £2 million. Tucked away in a hole in a field field near Market Harborough was a tiny figure made of pure gold. This figure is believed to be from the ‘Tudor Crown’ designed by Henry VII for state… Continue reading THE TUDOR CROWN UNEARTHED

Buckingham’s Cousin: the Quiet Stafford

In the sleepy little village of Lowick in Northamptonshire stands a fine medieval church with a tall octagonal ‘lantern’ tower that bears some similarity to that at Fotheringhay. It is normally kept locked but if you are very, very lucky you can track down the key in the village. There are many fine tomb effigies… Continue reading Buckingham’s Cousin: the Quiet Stafford