“You will build five balingers at your own expense.” Signed The King….

When it comes to medieval ships, it’s sometimes difficult to imagine what they were like. Cogs, crayers, shallops, barges, balingers, wherries and many others abound. Well, wherries of various descriptions are still around now, as are barges, but what we may fondly envisage as a brightly painted narrow boat was no such thing. Perhaps it… Continue reading “You will build five balingers at your own expense.” Signed The King….

Who crossed the Mont Cenis Alpine pass in 1077….?

  Correct me if I’m wrong, but something’s wrong here. I quote: “…The Via Francigena* included two alternative crossings of the Alps, either via Mont Cenis or the pass of Mont Joux (Mons Iovis), and a crossing of the Apennines, usually by the pass known as Mons Bardonis….” I’m with it so far, but then… Continue reading Who crossed the Mont Cenis Alpine pass in 1077….?

The prompt medieval response to the Kos earthquake of 1493….

  “….a spectacular rescue operation. They sent a fleet from the islands of Leros and Kalimnos to transport doctors and surgeons from the order to the island along with a significant provision of medicine and timber for temporary shelters. They also delivered tools to grind flour to counteract the lack of essential foodstuffs during the… Continue reading The prompt medieval response to the Kos earthquake of 1493….

L’Erber – London Home to Warwick the Kingmaker and George Duke of Clarence

My latest A Medieval Potpourri @sparkypus.com post London before the Great Fire and much as Richard Neville ‘The Kingmaker’ and his family would have known it…  L’Erber stood  slightly to the north west of Coldharbour which is the large house seen here in middle of the picture  and facing the Thames.  No depiction of L’Erber… Continue reading L’Erber – London Home to Warwick the Kingmaker and George Duke of Clarence

The monster that was half-tortoise….?

Well, as you all know well, my ramblings take me to all sorts of corners of the internet. This time I wanted to know about dragons in the Mont Cenis area of the Alps in France. Which is how I came upon the above illustration. I’d seen it before but hadn’t known exactly what it… Continue reading The monster that was half-tortoise….?

A Visit to Richard III’s Book of Hours

As you may know, Richard III’s Book of Hours is housed in the Library of Lambeth Palace, the residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, which is located just across the Thames from the Houses of Parliament. It was put on display for a limited period in the spring and I managed to find time to… Continue reading A Visit to Richard III’s Book of Hours

Where did weary medieval travellers sleep…?

  I find myself needing to research the sort of accommodation a weary medieval traveller might expect to find at an inn or hospice. Today we look at our picturesque 14th/15th16th century inns and have no trouble at all booking ourselves into handsome panelled rooms with low beams, latticed bay windows, fine four-posters etc. Oh… Continue reading Where did weary medieval travellers sleep…?

Richard III’s mystery daughter….

  Here is an extract from this article: “….Apparently a priest lived there [Mynydd Maen] during the Middle Ages and after an argument with Queen Elizabeth who was the daughter of King Richard III, he was hanged on the moor….” Eh? When did Richard beget a Queen Elizabeth???????? Which one? Elizabeth of York or Elizabeth… Continue reading Richard III’s mystery daughter….

The Cotswolds and the Wars of the Roses….

“What role did the Cotswolds play in the 30-year Wars of the Roses?” A good question. There wasn’t a specific War of the Cotswolds, but there was (still is) a connection to the Wars of the Roses, as you’ll see in this article . For instance, there’s the wonderful Church of St John the Baptist… Continue reading The Cotswolds and the Wars of the Roses….