“You will build five balingers at your own expense.” Signed The King….

When it comes to medieval ships, it’s sometimes difficult to imagine what they were like. Cogs, crayers, shallops, barges, balingers, wherries and many others abound. Well, wherries of various descriptions are still around now, as are barges, but what we may fondly envisage as a brightly painted narrow boat was no such thing. Perhaps it… Continue reading “You will build five balingers at your own expense.” Signed The King….

L’Erber – London Home to Warwick the Kingmaker and George Duke of Clarence

My latest A Medieval Potpourri @sparkypus.com post London before the Great Fire and much as Richard Neville ‘The Kingmaker’ and his family would have known it…  L’Erber stood  slightly to the north west of Coldharbour which is the large house seen here in middle of the picture  and facing the Thames.  No depiction of L’Erber… Continue reading L’Erber – London Home to Warwick the Kingmaker and George Duke of Clarence

The relocation of a great house Richard III knew well….

  This great house was never built next to the Thames at Chelsea, but now it stands right on the riverbank. It originally stood in Bishopsgate, London, from where it was moved brick by brick at the beginning of the 20th century. It was first erected in 1466 by Sir John Crosby., and is now… Continue reading The relocation of a great house Richard III knew well….

A convict’s skull found by the Thames after 200 years….

This article may not be our period exactly, but it’s another example of the things that continually turn up on the Thames foreshore. Mind you, I fail to see how it can be stated with any conviction (sorry!) that the skull is that of a convict “thrown off [a] prison ship” 200 years ago in… Continue reading A convict’s skull found by the Thames after 200 years….

Where did the Black Prince come ashore when he crossed the Thames to his favourite palace at Kennington….?

In my seemingly endless trekking around the internet in search of information about Kennington (not Kensington!) Palace, I was pleasantly surprised to at last discover something I’d been trying to pinpoint for some time. In the days before there was any bridge over the Thames except Old London Bridge, the only way to cross the… Continue reading Where did the Black Prince come ashore when he crossed the Thames to his favourite palace at Kennington….?

Smaug’s demise and the medieval springald….

Before I start, you will have to forgive my ignorance of medieval weaponry. What I know could be written on the head on a pin. But here goes anyway. Most of us have seen the Tolkien films concerning Hobbits, Lords of Rings, orcs, elves, dragons and so on. And most of us will remember the… Continue reading Smaug’s demise and the medieval springald….

London’s Greatest Bridges (continued)

This series finally resumed on Channel Five at the beginning of October, to cover two of the newer structures over the Thames, neither of which are in the original form. As usual, Rob Bell’s enthusiasm is infectious and his programmes are highly informative. Episode Three covered Westminster Bridge. By 1700, the population of London was… Continue reading London’s Greatest Bridges (continued)

London’s Greatest Bridges (with Rob Bell)

The series began at London Bridge itself. From an engineering perspective, Bell explained that the wooden Claudian bridge was the first across the Thames , built on no fewer than twenty-nine artificial islands, making it very difficult to negotiate. It was replaced with a very similar stone unit by Henry II. The Haberdashers were very… Continue reading London’s Greatest Bridges (with Rob Bell)