Thanks to a post on the Richard III Society Forum, I was steered to the following interesting Ian Arthurson article about medieval spying. We know that the Tudors excelled in this dangerous world, but it’s not so well known that it was quite rife during the Wars of the Roses as well. Royalty—and the Church—always… Continue reading Medieval spies….
In the back of the beautiful Stourhead gardens stands a mysterious piece of old Bristol–the Bristol High Cross. When you first see it, you almost think it might be a modern folly, but it is the ‘real thing’, a medieval cross. In the 1700’s such relics of the past were considered old-fashioned and valueless; in… Continue reading THE MYSTERIOUS BRISTOL CROSS
… and other venues, with Tori Herridge and Raksha Dave. This Channel Four series, which consists of five episodes, begins at Stoke Quay on the town’s Waterfront where a long-forgotten (St. Augustine’s) burial ground was fully explored before some new buildings were constructed. Three bodies in particular were examined: 1) A wealthy man buried in… Continue reading “Bone Detectives” come to Ipswich …
In recent years, Dan Jones’ posing and fanciful Crimewatch-style re-enactments, together with Starkeyesque conclusions formed before he started, has marred quite a few series on mediaeval history. Now he seems to have changed tack completely with this series, covering canal building from the middle of the eighteenth century and – yes – I rather enjoyed… Continue reading A pleasant surprise
Following his coronation, Richard III – like all medieval monarchs – went on his “royal progress” through the realm. Along with an entourage in excess of 200 household men, ecclesiastics, supporters, and administrative officials, he visited towns and cities as far west as the River Severn, as far north as the River Ouse, and as… Continue reading The Royal Progress of Richard III
In early medieval times, ‘the staple’ meant England’s staple export: wool. But it was inconvenient and inefficient for the king’s men to collect the customs duties that were payable on the exported wool from every one of the hundreds of little English ports all around the country. London, Bristol, Ipswich and Sandwich were major ports… Continue reading The Staple
Finding the original town plans of London, before the Great Fire of 1666, is always intriguing, and very rewarding indeed for those of us who love all things medieval. So, in this respect, I welcome the Tudors. I already have books of London maps, published by the London Topographical Society, of our capital in the… Continue reading Wander the streets of London in 1520….
This excellent Channel Four programme, presented by Professor Alice Roberts, with Dr. Ben Robinson in the helicopter, has returned for a new series. The early venues were Dover (World War Two, visiting the underground base, concentrating on the retreat from Dunkirk and subsequent Channel defence, meeting some survivors, wearing ATS uniform and riding in a… Continue reading Britain’s Most Historic Towns (2)
Here is a question that has bugged me for some time now. If, during medieval centuries, a journey could be made around the English coast, rather than across country, was the sea option likely to be chosen? I will take a particular example. It’s from the 14th century, but could be from the 13th or… Continue reading Did Richard III prefer to travel his realm by land, river or around the coast. . .?
The Battle of Tewkesbury in May 1471 was to prove decisive for the reign of our first Yorkist king. The opponents were Margaret of Anjou and the Lancastrians, versus King Edward IV and the Yorkists. Margaret was defeated, and her heart and spirit was broken by the death in battle of her only son, Edward of… Continue reading At the gates of Gloucester in 1471….