1101 CE to 1200 CE

Lancaster Castle to become tourist attraction

The site of Roman forts, a prison, a court, an execution site and the Pendle Witches Trial, Lancaster Castle now has a new role to play: tourist attraction. For the first time in 900 years, the castle will be open to the public.

Stone priory seal restoration complete

In 2011, English metal detector enthusiast Tont Burke found a treasure in a Survey field with the discovery of a copper 12th Century seal matrix of Stone Priory, bearing the image of the Virgin and Child. Now, fully restored, the seal is returning to St Michael and St Wulfad's church in Stone. (photo)

Oldest Torah scroll discovered in university library

In 1889, a librarian at the University of Bologna in Italy made a terrible mistake. He dated and labeled a scroll to the 17th century, but recent tests have placed the document in the 12th century, making it "the oldest complete text of the Torah known to exist." (photo)

Oxford chapel may have inspired Arthurian legend

New research finds that Geoffrey of Monmouth's great The History of the Kings of Britain may have been written in St George's chapel, a teaching base for Oxford students, which was destroyed during the construction of Oxford Castle.

Look, Mom! I found a medieval pot!

Residents of Hilton, England turned out for several drizzly days of community archaeology recently when Dove Valley Community Archaeology sponsored a series of digs around the village. During the five-day process, fifteen pits were opened, uncovering coins and pottery from Roman times through the 16th century.

Scholars test medieval recipes

Graduate students at Durham University in England were in for a real medieval treat when they participated in a cookery workshop using recipes from a recently discovered 12th century Durham Priory manuscript, considered to predate the earliest known examples by 150 years. The Latin manuscript was created in the 12th century at Durham Cathedral’s priory.

17 Jewish "souls are now at peace" in Norwich

In a recent burial service considered an "historic event," 17 sets of remains of Jewish descent were laid to rest in Norwich, England. The bones were discovered in 2004 in a well, and are believed to be victoms of 12th century religious persecution.

Brat and brew in Old Town Nuremberg

A walk through old town Nuremberg, Germany takes visitors back in time to the Middle Ages. An 11th century castle, toy museum, the home of Albrecht Dürer and over six acres of brewing tradition make for a memorial travel location. Russ Juskalian of the New York Times Travel section has the story.

Work begins on Cardigan Castle restoration project

For years, officials at Wales' 12th century Cardigan Castle have dreamed of raising funding to restore the castle and turn it into a heritage center and site for open-air concerts. The castle is believed to be the birthplace of the eisteddfod,  a festival of poetry and music, dating to the 12th century.

A tour of the Border Abbeys

Planning a trip to Scotland? You may want to visit the four Border Abbeys, Melrose, Jedburgh, Dryburgh and Kelso, founded by King David I of Scotland in the 12th Century. A recent BBC article looks at the history of the religious sites in a troubled area. (photos)

Adrian IV last English Pope

The Conclave is over and a new Pope chosen, but the English never stood a chance. There has not, in fact, been an English Pope since Adrian IV in 1155.

Suds or suds?

Archaeologists have long known that Vikings loved their ale, but, according to Merryn and Graham Dineley, the experts have seldom considered just where the ale was brewed. Now, a new study speculates that stone structures in Britain, once believed to be bathhouses, might actually have been brewhouses.

Dublin Toy Boat

A small wooden replica of a Viking longboat was unearthed in Dublin.

The heart of a king

Forensic analysis of the heart of Richard I of England, the Lionheart, have revelaed traces mint, myrtle, and frankincense, indicating the heart was embalmed. The heart was probably wrapped in linen.

Catherine Zeta Jones hopes to help find "lost palace" of Welsh princes

Welsh actress Catherine Zeta Jones and her husband Michael Douglas have donated a "substantial" sum of money to help purchase Abergwyngregyn in Gwynedd, the purported site of the "lost palace" of medieval Welsh princes.

Knights of Malta celebrate their 100th birthday at the Vatican

February 9, 2013, marked the 900th birthday of the founding of the Knights of Malta, a Roman Catholic religious order noted for its charitable works. The group celebrated its birthday with a parade around St. Peter's Square and a visit with Pope Benedict XVI, who is himself a member of the Knights.

In search of rockets

While rockets are often thought of as the realm of modern scientists and the military, they have their roots in medieval China. This article traces their roots from a 12th century party trick to their evolution as the terror of Mongolian invaders.

Our Lady of Paris to receive new bells

Notre Dame de Paris, on the River Seine, has seen over 8 centuries of history, from the Crusades to World War II. Now the city will fête the world's best-known church in a year-long celebration that will include recasting of its bells.

Torre Abbey restored ahead of schedule and under budget

A restoration project completed on time is a rare happening. Even rarer is one completed 6 months early and under budget, but that is the case with work on the 12th century Torre Abbey in Torquay, Devon.

Bayeux Tapestry professionally made, claims expert

New research debunks the theory that the Bayeux Tapestry was woven by nuns across England, and shows that the cherished artifact was not a tapestry at all but an embroidery created by a team of professionals under one manager.

Town and Gown unite for East Oxford Community Project

Oxford University and members of the community have joined forces to excavate and document a medieval nunnery at Minchery Farm Paddock near Oxford. Littlemore Priory, a nunnery established in around 1110 was closed by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525.

Concert based on Hawick Missal presented in Scotland

For the first time in nearly five centuries, the people of Scotland will listen to the music of 12th-century century monks from the recently discovered fragment of a missal for Holy Week. The performance will kick off a two-year music and arts project celebrating the creativity of Scotland. (photo)

British MP calls for hunt for the remains of Henry I

England's Reading East MP Rob Wilson has been paying attention to the possible discovery of te remains of Richard III, and would like to have the same experience in his district. King Henry I, son of William the Conqueror, founded Reading Abbey in 1121 and is thought to have been buried there in 1135.

Death-dealing Viking Swords for Sale

Actual medieval and Viking weapons will be sold in London on November 28.

"People of Medieval Scotland" documents individuals from 1093 - 1314

Scotland's Education Secretary Mike Russell has launched a database charting life in medieval Scotland between 1093 and 1314 with software designed to be used in schools. The database was created at the University of Glasgow.

Capitoline Wolf created in the Middle Ages?

One of the most famous symbols of Rome is the Capitoline Wolf, a bronze statue depicting a mother wolf suckling Romulus and Remus. But now experts believe the statue was created during the Middle Ages, with parts as late as the 15th century.

Theft of Codex Calixtinus alleged to be an inside job

Four people, including the former caretaker at Santiago de Compostela cathedral, have been arrested for the 2011 theft of the Codex Calixtinus Of Pope Calixtus II, a 12th-century collection of sermons and liturgical passages.

The will of Sitt al-Ahl

Wealthy Egyptian Sitt al-Ahl died in April 1143, leaving behind as her legacy, her last will and testament chronicling family ties beyond the grave. Jewish historian Renee Levine Melammed recounts her story in the Jerusalem Post.

"An amazing find" of 12th century coins and jewelry found in Sweden

A landowner in Gotland, Sweden made "an amazing find" of over 600 silver coins, jewelry and an axe, dating to the 12th century, while excavating on his land recently.

Robin Hood's grave up for sale

Long to own a real piece of English history? The Kirklees Estate, near Halifax, West Yorkshire, purported burial place of Robin Hood, is for sale for something over UK£7 million. The site includes several farmhouses, 750 acres of farmland and woods, and a medieval Cistercian priory.