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

Ten hinge moments in history. Really….?

    Well, according to this site here we have “The Top 10 hinge moments in history”. As five of the ten concern 20th-century politics, you will forgive me for being somewhat mystified that such matters count as pivotal moments. For whom, pray? How on earth can Michael Portillo losing out to Iain Duncan Smith… Continue reading Ten hinge moments in history. Really….?

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

Britain’s Lost Battlefields (with Rob Bell)

Channel Five’s reputation for history programmes has risen greatly over the past few years. At the heart of this, first in a Great Fire of London series with Suzannah Lipscomb and the ubiquitous Dan Jones, has been the “engineering historian” Rob Bell, who has toured bridges, ships, buildings and lost railways in his own amiable,… Continue reading Britain’s Lost Battlefields (with Rob Bell)

St Stephen’s Westminster – Chapel to Kings and Queens..

UPDATED POST ON sparkypus.com A Medieval Potpourri https://sparkypus.com/2020/05/14/st-stephens-westminster-chapel-to-kings-and-queens/ Reconstruction of a Medieval Painting from St Stephen’s Chapel.  Possibly Queen Philippa with her daughter.  Ernest William Tristram c.1927.   Worked from original drawings made by the antiquarian Richard Smirke 1800-1811 before the fire of 1834. Society of Antiquities.   Parliamentary Art Collection St Stephen’s was the medieval… Continue reading St Stephen’s Westminster – Chapel to Kings and Queens..

An unexpected conclusion

Who do you think you are? is always an interesting programme and is disappointing to see only eight episodes in the series. In the past, Sir Matthew Pinsent, Frank Gardner, Danny Dyer and Clare Balding have all been revealed as proven descendants of Edward I. That has not happened in 2019 and few lines have… Continue reading An unexpected conclusion

It’s Alice Perrers’ biography, but the author puts the boot into Lionel of Clarence….!

Given her huge notoriety at the time, it’s odd that Edward III’s mistress, Alice Perrers, has (as far as I can ascertain) only garnered one biography. This is Lady of the Sun by F George Kay, 1966 (and seemingly never reprinted). There are no surviving contemporary likenesses of Alice, nor even a description of her.… Continue reading It’s Alice Perrers’ biography, but the author puts the boot into Lionel of Clarence….!

Was the lost coronet/crown of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, Prince of Wales, really the lost crown of King Arthur. . .?

The above illustration is of the British Crown Jewels as we know them now, but there were predecessors, long gone now, thanks to the efforts of Oliver Cromwell, who had no truck with such baubles. We are inclined to forget that there was a Welsh crown too, until it was seized by Edward I in… Continue reading Was the lost coronet/crown of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, Prince of Wales, really the lost crown of King Arthur. . .?

The lost palace of Sheen…er, Richmond….

This link will take you to a very interesting and information article about Richmond Palace, which was formerly the Palace of Sheen. It led a very chequered life, being destroyed by a king’s grief and then by fire. It was also the scene of Henry VII’s death.