CROSSBONES – BURIAL PLACE OF WINCHESTER GEESE AND ‘THE OUTCAST DEAD’

    REBLOGGED FROM A MEDIEVAL POTPOURRI @ sparkpus.com   Shrine of many ribbons at the entrance to Crossbones Cemetery.  Photo Kay Nicols.  It’s harder to find a more sadder place in South London than the site of Crossbones Burial Ground, Redcross Way,  which is a side street tucked away off the busy Borough High Street,… Continue reading CROSSBONES – BURIAL PLACE OF WINCHESTER GEESE AND ‘THE OUTCAST DEAD’

Laser scans of the Alps and Becket’s murder….

  What, you might ask, do laser scans of part of the Alps have to do with the murder of Thomas Becket? Well, if you read this article you’ll find out. Lead-smelting and royal conscience-grovelling get a look-in as well. Huh? Well, yes, that was my reaction too, but believe it or not, it seems… Continue reading Laser scans of the Alps and Becket’s murder….

Rebellion in the Middle Ages

This is the latest of Matthew Lewis’ books and covers a longer period than any of the others, from Hereward the Wake’s emergence after Hastings to the beginning of the Wars of the Roses, almost as long a period as this book. Lewis is already an expert on “The Anarchy” (chapter 2) and the Roses… Continue reading Rebellion in the Middle Ages

A new discovery at what was once Woodstock Palace….

  “….Archaeologists have made an exciting discovery in the Queen Pool at Blenheim Palace prior to dredging work….They believe they have uncovered the remains of a 14th century watermill complex….” So reads the opening of this article. A new discovery at somewhere as historic as Blenheim is very exciting. But maybe it was its Woodstock Palace… Continue reading A new discovery at what was once Woodstock Palace….

The stained-glass windows at Canterbury Cathedral are among Europe’s oldest….

Thanks to a TV documentary involving student stained-glass glaziers this viewer was taken to Canterbury Cathedral to see its astonishingly beautiful windows, some of which we learned have now been dated as early as the mid-1100s, maybe even the 1130s.. Léonie Seliger, the head of stained glass conservation at the cathedral, and part of the… Continue reading The stained-glass windows at Canterbury Cathedral are among Europe’s oldest….

Would YOU include some of these in a list of all-time best historical films…?

  Here’s an interesting list of the “best historical royalty” films. Interesting….and peculiar. As well as some excellent period-based movies we have the likes of The King and I, the animated Anastasia musical and the Taylor-Burton Cleopatra. Maybe the latter will be acceptable to many, but to me it was a circus because of what… Continue reading Would YOU include some of these in a list of all-time best historical films…?

The Maldon Embroidery

The first thing to notice about this is that is an embroidery not a tapestry, although the “Bayeux Tapestry” is also an embroidery ie hand-stitched. It was constructed to mark the millennium of the 991 Battle of Maldon, at which Vikings, possibly under Olaf Tryggvason, defeated and killed the Saxon Earldorman Brythnoth. It is displayed… Continue reading The Maldon Embroidery

Richard the Lionheart….or Richard the pain in the you-know-what….

Well, my first introduction to Richard the Lionheart was in the 1950s…one of the many Robin Hood movies of that period, He was noble and chivalrous (George Sanders, as I recall, see below), while Prince John was a Blue Meanie of the highest order. Nothing much has changed since then. My opinion of both men… Continue reading Richard the Lionheart….or Richard the pain in the you-know-what….

Who chose King Arthur’s final resting place? The monks of Glastonbury or Henry II….?

  I’ve known for a long time that King Arthur wasn’t buried at Glastonbury, but thanks to an incredible example of “seizing the moment”, the monks of the abbey ensured a huge income from pilgrims and tourists who believed their story. Or maybe it wasn’t only the monks, maybe Henry II had something to do… Continue reading Who chose King Arthur’s final resting place? The monks of Glastonbury or Henry II….?

Eleanor of Aquitaine, the “mother-in-law from hell”….?

There are two King Richards of England whose marriages are always called into question: Richard I and Berengaria of Navarre, and Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. Richard II’s sexuality is cited as the reason he and Anne had no children. Either he was sexless…or his interests went to the male of the species. Therefore… Continue reading Eleanor of Aquitaine, the “mother-in-law from hell”….?