Architecture and Construction

Anything related to the design or construction of buildings, roads, aqueducts, etc.

History lost to fire regulations

It was a sad day at the Minerva Inn, the oldest pub in Plymouth, England, when fire regulations forced owner Shelley Jones to paint over 500 years of hand-written messages left by regulars and sailors on its timber beams and roof. The pub was frequented by Sir Francis Drake and is believed to contain beams and masts stripped from the Spanish Armada. (photos)

15th century plague hospital to be covered by Apple store

Some residents of Madrid are less than thrilled that a new Apple store will be opening atop the ruins of a 15th century plague hospital. The 20,000-square-foot store is scheduled to open its doors in December 2013, covering the ruins of the medieval building.

Archaeologists wish for project to protect Roman mosaics

Nearly 50 years ago, archaeologists uncovered a pair of beautiful mosaic floors, dating to the Roman era, at Chedworth Villa in Gloucestershire, England. Now the floors have been uncovered for study, leading to a discussion of a permanent building to house them. (photo)

English heatwave reveals "X-ray" of Greys Court

Greys Court, near Henley-on-Thames, is an English mansion built in the 1550s. Now a major heatwave has revealed that the mansion was once much larger through "parch," areas of dead grass, outlining structures from the original building.

The color of the Colosseum

A restoration of the Colosseum, currently underway, reveals frescos in a corridor that has been sealed off since the 3rd century. Unlike the moss-and-marble walls of today, the building interior, in its day, would have been a Technicolor extravaganza.

Tithe barn foundations revealed at Warwickshire construction site

In the Middle Ages, a tenth of a farmer's crops were stored in a tithe barn for use by the Church. Now the foundations of such a structure have been discovered at a construction site in Warwickshire, England. (photo)

The mysterious buildings of Longforth farm

Archaeologists working at Longforth farm near Wellington, England, are puzzled by the discovery of a group of substantial medieval buildings, apparently abandoned between the 12th and 14th centuries.

The "Brilliant Ages"

In a video on YouTube, Prager University discusses the "Dark Ages" and dispells some of the myths about the time. The video is presented by Providence College Professor of English, Anthony Esolen.

Golden Horde site in jeopardy from flooding

Saraichik, a medieval trade center of the Golden Horde in Kazakhstan, has withstood the Mongols, the Turks, and the Cossacks, but now the ancient trade city faces a worse fate: Mother Nature. The few buildings left at the site have been ravished by floods from the Ural River and beaten by storms.

Amazing Roman concrete

2,000 years after it was installed, some Roman concrete is still holding strong. Why? That is the question that an international team of experts has answered through the study of the Pozzuoli Bay breakwater, at the northern tip of the Bay of Naples. The History Channel (History.com) has the story.

11th century water reservoir found in Bangladesh

Archaeologists working on a site at Gopalpur village in Bangladesh were surprised to find a thousand-year-old brick-built water reservoir. The area was part of the Bharendra region and under the rule of Pala dynasty, according to team leader, Swadhin Sen, associate professor of the Department of Archaeology of Jahagirnagar University.

"Natural Jacuzzi" found in Turkey

“We never assumed we could find such a structure. It is a natural Jacuzzi from 1500 years ago," said Governor Abdülkadir Demir about the discovery of a thermal Turkish bath (hamam) in the province of Denizli.

Volunteers join experts to uncover Roman road in Wales

For three days, residents of Abergwyngregyn, Wales worked alongside archaeologists to uncover a portion of a Roman road, which once ran from Caerhun to Segontium. The road runs near the home of 13th century Welsh prince Llywelyn the Great and his grandson, the first Prince of Wales. (photo)

"Magnificent" Byzantine mosaic found in Israeli kibbutz

Archaeologists working on an excavation n the fields of Kibbutz Bet Qama in Israel have discovered a magnificent mosaic dating to the Byzantine period. It is believed to be part of a public building in a large settlement. (photo)

"Spectacular colorful mosaic" found in Kibbutz Bet Qama dig

Archaeologists working on an excavation at Kibbutz Bet Qama, in the B’nei Shimon region of Israel were surprised to discover a beautifully-preserved, Byzantine mosaic dating to the 4th - 6th centuries. The mosaic adorned the floor in what experts believe was a public building. (photo)

Perthshire community pitches in to excavate Pictish longhouse

Residents of Perthshire, Scotland will have a unique opportunity in June 2013 to re-discover their own heritage when archaeologists will undertake the excavation of a Pictish longhouse. In addition to the chance to help in the dig, the project will include workshops, guided walks, presentations, and demonstrations.

Old Duchy Palace restoration completed

Thanks to the Cornwall Buildings Preservation Trust and The Prince's Regeneration Trust's UK£1m grant, Cornwall's Old Duchy Palace in Lostwithiel has been restored and will contain a permanent heritage exhibition about the palace and its restoration in its basement. (photos)

Scottish "wall" built fifty years before Hadrian's

BBC History Magazine reports that archaeologists have identified a first century Roman defense system that extended 120 miles across Scotland. The series of forts, watchtowers and defensive ditches predates Hadrian's Wall by 50 years, and the Antonine Wall by 20. (photos and map)

Construction workers find Bath's Roman wall

Archaeologists are excited by the discovery of part of the 4th century Roman wall in England's city of Bath. The discovery was made during sewer repairs to Burton Street.

Archaeologists hope to find tunnels under Nottinghamshire marketplace

Attention Don Wildman of Cities of the Underworld: Archaeologists plan to investigate if the legendary tunnels beneath a Newark, England marketplace really exist. The two-month study, using ground-penetrating radar, will be funded by the town council.

Roman baths found in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian resort town of Sozopol, on the Black Sea, has long attracted visitors wanting to relax. Now the discovery of a large stone thermae building shows that the attraction may stretch back to Roman times. (photo)

Hadrian's Wall to get new visitor center

Northumberland National Park Authority and Youth Hostel Association have teamed up to back a new visitor center and youth hostel for Hadrian's Wall. More than UK£10m will be spent on the project.

The intriguing history of the English home

In a BBC 4 series If Walls Could Talk, Dr Lucy Worsley, the chief curator of the Historic Royal Palaces in England, looks at the history of the home, its rooms, and their intriguing history. Video episodes are also available on YouTube.

Medieval road found under Lincoln

Six feet below street level in the center of Lincoln, England lies a medieval road, complete with wheel ruts, and bounded by a large building, such as a warehouse. Now archaeologists are faced with the task of discovering all they can about the site in six weeks before construction begins on a new store.

Medieval wall collapse damages car

The owner of an automobile in Ludlow, Shropshire, England has an unusual claim after 33 ft (10m) of the town's medieval wall collapsed, showering the car with debris. "Luckily no-one was injured when the wall collapsed," said Rosanna Taylor-Smith, councillor for Ludlow North.

Little Moreton Hall "lifted from a fairy story"

A recent Wikipedia feature showcases Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire, England, a 16th century house which is, according to the national Trust,  "lifted straight from a fairy story, a gingerbread house."

Roman bricks and cat prints bring mystery to Fort Vancouver

A grad student visiting Fort Vancouver, Washington (USA) in 1982 noticed some bricks at the fort that didn't look like the others. Analysis later revealed that these bricks were made in Roman England.

Medieval village found in Scotland

A previously unknown medieval village has been unearthed near Selkirk, Scotland.  The site was found during costruction of a water main.

Will ghosts help raise funds to save Wymering Manor?

16th century Wymering Manor, in Portsmouth, England, has had a varied history, from a family home to a residence for a Catholic religious order, but few dispute that it is now home to as many as 20 ghosts. The ghosts, however, may be the saving grace for the battered building which requires nearly UK£2m.

Car crash damages Curson Lodge in Ipswich, England

A minor automobile accident has damaged the entrance and corner post of Curson Lodge, Ipswich's "finest" Tudor house. The building dates to 1480 and was a guesthouse of the Curson House estate owned by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.