Even more “Britain’s Most Historic Towns”

Alice Roberts has been back on our screens with a third series of the above. This time, she visited (Mediaeval) Lincoln, (Restoration) London, (Naval) Portsmouth, (Elizabethan) Plymouth, (Steam Age) Glasgow, (Georgian) Edinburgh and (Industrial Revolution) Manchester, albeit not in chronological order like the two previous series. There was a focus on Nicola de la Haye… Continue reading Even more “Britain’s Most Historic Towns”

Did our medieval vessels have the Viking sunstone for navigation….?

  I have just watched an episode (series 1, episode 5) of the Mysteries of the Missing documentary series. Half of this one dealt with the mysterious sunstones of the Vikings, by which they are believed to have navigated the Atlantic. They also used wooden sundials (hand-held) that worked when the sun was out, but… Continue reading Did our medieval vessels have the Viking sunstone for navigation….?

History Book Part Two

A press release for the follow-up to this: History Book Part Two, February 2020. Song of a metal detectorist – About Ashley Mantle’s favourite hobby. A rare romance – Roger Mortimer escapes from the Tower of London and flees to France. Cade’s rebellion – The rebellion of 1450. De Cobham – Song for the De… Continue reading History Book Part Two

Digging up Britain’s Past

This Channel Five documentary has just completed a second series, with Alex Langlands and Raksha Dave, late of Time Team, in place of Helen Skelton. One particular episode was about Auckland Castle, where the “Prince Bishops” of Durham have lived for centuries and where archaeology is being carried out around the building. One of these… Continue reading Digging up Britain’s Past

The Fabulous Cheapside Hoard….

I have just watched a fascinating BBC documentary from 2013, concerning the amazing hoard of 17th-Century (and earlier) jewels that was found in Cheapside at the beginning of the 20th Century. The documentary is called Secret Knowledge: The Hidden Jewels of the Cheapside Hoard, and was presented by modern jeweller, Shaun Leane. You can see… Continue reading The Fabulous Cheapside Hoard….

The meaning of Michaelmas….

The following article is taken from this article by Ben Johnson: “Michaelmas, or the Feast of Michael and All Angels, is celebrated on 29th September. As it falls near the equinox, the day is associated with the beginning of autumn and the shortening of days; in England, it is one of the “quarter days”. There are… Continue reading The meaning of Michaelmas….

A new interpretation of 1580s events

We all know that Mary Stuart was beheaded at Fotheringhay on 8 February 1587 and that the Spanish Armada sailed to facilitate a Catholic invasion of England in the following year, leaving Lisbon on 28 May and fighting naval battles in late July, at Plymouth and Portland. The traditional view is that Mary Stuart’s execution… Continue reading A new interpretation of 1580s events

Keeping it in the family

You will have seen him if you have been to Richard III’s final resting place. There are eight small statues on the main entrance (the Vaughan Porch, left) of St. Martin’s Cathedral but only one of them is wearing a doublet and hose, showing him to have lived a century later than the others. This is… Continue reading Keeping it in the family

Invasions

  I have watched Dr. Sam Willis on several occasions and regularly enjoy his programmes, particularly his artillery series. With the prematurely grey beard, he is usually much more informative than Dan Jones, who is of a similar age.   However, part two of his Invasions fell below this standard. It featured a lot of black and… Continue reading Invasions