NEW DISCOVERIES AT PONTEFRACT CASTLE

Pontefract Castle was, in its day, the Windsor of the North. Large and seemingly impregnable , it had two massive tapering towers that rose up to over a hundred feet high, a landmark visible from miles away. It was the scene of many historical events–in 1322 Edward II executed his cousin, Thomas of Lancaster here,… Continue reading NEW DISCOVERIES AT PONTEFRACT CASTLE

Lucy Hutchinson

Souch, John; Portrait of a Woman; National Army Museum; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/portrait-of-a-woman-182905

The sitter of this portrait is said to be Lucy Hutchinson (born Apsley) who was the wife of Civil War General John Hutchinson, MP. Lucy was a remarkable woman. She wrote what is thought to be the first epic poem produced by an Englishwoman. She was also a translator, and as if that was not… Continue reading Lucy Hutchinson

The art that made us

This is another fascinating BBC2 series, illustrating English and British history through the evolution of our art. The eight one-hour episodes, narrated by David Threlfall (Men of the World), feature:The Roman and pre-Roman periods, Beowulf, the Norman conquest and the Bayeux Tapestry;     The Black Death, Wilton Diptych, Piers Plowman, Chaucer, Julian of Norwich,… Continue reading The art that made us

The Great British Dig – History in Your Garden (3)

This excellent Channel Four programme has returned for a third series soon after the second, perhaps because the pandemic interrupted some of the earlier filming. The first episode features Odiham Place in Hampshire, looking for the home of Sir Francis Walsingham, although it was actually built for Henry VIII and was smaller than a 1739… Continue reading The Great British Dig – History in Your Garden (3)

Geoffrey of Monmouth, Oxford Castle and King Arthur

Originally posted on Giaconda's Blog:
King Arthur at the beginning of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain BnF, Latin 8501A, f. 108v Geoffrey of Monmouth is thought to have been born between 1090 -1100 in Wales; possibly at Monmouth but no written evidence remains to verify this. Geoffrey also signed himself…

A further anachronism

Many of you will have watched the 2014-16 BBC production of The Musketeers, the first series of which starred Peter Capaldi as Cardinal Richelieu. The third series was based on Dumas’ lesser-known sequels, in which Henrietta Maria, separated from her husband Charles I for her own safety and by mutual consent, is permanently residing with… Continue reading A further anachronism

More Royal ancestry

Who do you think you are? has now completed eighteen series as British television’s predominant genealogy programmes. In that time, with an average of eight episodes per series, they have uncovered many celebrities with interesting lineage and some unexpected royal descendants, including Alexander Armstrong, Clare Balding, Danny Dyer, Frank Gardner and Sir Matthew Pinsent. Now… Continue reading More Royal ancestry

Humpty-Dumpty and his wall were Richard III and his horse….!

Well, we’ve all heard versions of the true meaning of Humpty-Dumpty, including that it was a reference to a 17th-century cannon used in the Siege of Colchester. Oh and Humpty may also have been a drink of brandy boiled with ale. All nursery rhymes had beginnings somewhere, and also have some wild notions about their… Continue reading Humpty-Dumpty and his wall were Richard III and his horse….!

The history of castles….

We all love early castles. Well, we can love those from later ages, but they don’t have quite the same cachet as those wonderful old fortresses that always make us gasp when we see them. But how did they evolve? And why did they become obsolete except as tourist attractions and scenic splendours? This article… Continue reading The history of castles….

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