A dazzling medieval library in Switzerland….

While watching the first episode (entitled “A Dragon’s Inferno”) of a documentary series called Mythical Beasts, viewers’ attention was drawn to the abbey library of St Gallen in Switzerland. What an absolutely breathtaking place, containing many rare, centuries-old books, manuscripts and other items. To read more about it, go to this site.

A meat-rich diet was to carry Satan’s price-tag for monks….

  I’ve written before about the food eaten by medieval monks, and have now come upon another article, this time in The Guardian. It tells of the dire consequences that followed when monks eventually had a meat-rich diet. The Guardian article was prompted by English Heritage research into “the day-to-day lives and digestive troubles of… Continue reading A meat-rich diet was to carry Satan’s price-tag for monks….

So Master Porker picked up his bagpipes and let rip….!

We’re all accustomed to the wonderful gargoyles adorning our churches, abbeys and cathedrals, illuminations on manuscripts and the beautiful carvings on misericords, but sometimes they are truly amusing. On this occasion the apparently comedial figures are pigs playing the bagpipes. Yes, really. And not only in Scotland, I hasten to point out, because bagpipes are… Continue reading So Master Porker picked up his bagpipes and let rip….!

The three saints of 6th July….

6th July is a day of three saints, St Godelva (d. 1070), St Sexburga of Ely (679-700) and St Merryn of Andresey. I have only previously heard of St Sexberga. Were they all celebrated on this day in medieval churches? (The above illustration is merely an example of an early church – the building depicted is… Continue reading The three saints of 6th July….