1301 CE to 1400 CE

Volcanoes key to "Little Ice Age"

A new study, led by Gifford Miller at the University of Colorado at Boulder, US, may show that a series of volcanic eruptions around 1300 may have led to the Little Ice Age, which dropped temperatures in Europe in the 1500s.

Lincolnshire hobbyist strikes gold with silver seal matrix

Metal detctore hobbyist Devin Warmsley had a great day December 7, 2011 when he discovered a 14th century silver gilt seal-matrix worth between UK£5,000 and UK£20,000, according to the British Museum. (photo).

Cow shed appears to be oldest Welsh house

Experts working on a project to date Wales' oldest buildings by studying tree rings believe they may have found the country's oldest house. A cow shed in Llanrwst, Conwy has timbers dating to before 1402, the date of the previous oldest house. (photo)

Medieval healing spring to be excavated

St. Ann's Well, a medieval healing spring in Nottingham, England, has been scheduled to be excavated sometime in 2012. The site, under a demolished pub, was once believed to have magical healing powers.

William Wallace letter to be display at Scottish Parliament

Historians in Scotland have long hoped to reclaim a letter written by the French king giving safe conduct to William Wallace to speak with Pope Boniface VIII. Now the 700-year-old letter will be loaned to the National Records of Scotland for display at the Scottish Parliament.

Wakehurst yew saw reign of Richard II

An ancient yew tree, dating to the 14th century, has been identified at Wakehurst Place in West Sussex. The tree is believed to have been part of a large landscaped garden, and was planted just after the Black Death.

Historians use tree rings to find old buildings in Wales

A building being used as a cow shed in Wales may date to the 1300s, making it the oldest domestic building in Wales. The date is being determined by studying the tree rings in the roof rafters.

"The Mourners" at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is currently hosting the exhibition The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy, one of the masterpieces of late medieval sculpture in Europe. The exhibit will run January 21, 2012 through April 15, 2012.

Ogle Castle up for sale for nearly UK£2m

Those with an extra UK£1.79m may wish to purchase Ogle Castle, near Ponteland in Northumberland, England, one of the oldest inhabited buildings in the country. Bo Boanas, owner of the castle, says he doesn't believe the building is haunted, despite its violent past. (photo)

Medieval mystery writer researches by doing

Writer Jeri Westerson of Menifee, California loves the Middle Ages, particularly the world of Crispin Guest, her "ex-knight turned detective on the mean streets of fourteenth century London." Scott Butki, of the Seattle P-I has an interview.

Rappin' to Chaucer with Baba Brinkman

Canadian Baba Brinkman is a performer - and a scholar of medieval literature. He combined both in a recent one-man show, The Canterbury Tales Remixed, which set the Chaucer’s 14th-century work to original hip-hop songs. Catherine Rampell of the New York Times, has a review.

“Ornament of the World” depicted in video on Moorish Spain

A medieval German traveler once described Granada, in Moorish Spain, as the “Ornament of the World.” A video posted on the Moroccan Design website showcases the beauty and enlightment of the region.

York Cause Papers: ecclesiastical history online

With the help of grant money, the York Cause Papers, records from the Church Courts of York from the 1300 to 1858, are now available online.

King Richard II's timepiece found in Australian shed

In the 1970s, children playing in the shed of a Queensland, Australia cattle station happened upon a brass quadrant marked with the badge of King Richard II. Now the instrument is scheduled to be auctioned with an estimated price tag of US$233,000-$311,000. (photo)

"Treasure of the Shishman Dynasty" found in Bulgaria

Bulgarian archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov has discovered 18 gold coins minted during the reign of 14th century Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Alexander. The coins were found during the excavation of the medieval fortress Urvich near Sofia.

Heraldic quadrant up for sale in England

A brass quadrant bearing the arms of Richard II is going up for auction in England. The late 14th century piece is similar to one housed in the British Museum.

14th century hand cannon demonstrated

In a 9-minute video, members of the Springfield Arsenal, LLC go "medieval" by demonstrating a 14th century 3-Barrel Rapid-Fire Pole Cannon, a black powder device fired by striking against a surface.

Medieval corpses help construct plague genetic code

An international team of researchers has reconstructed the genetic code of the Black Death using DNA extracted from the teeth of medieval corpses buried in a graveyard in London's East Smithfield. Their research has been published in the science journal Nature.

Knight learns lesson in 14th century ghost story

On the blog Puremedievalry, Sirthopas, a graduate student at Trinity College in Dublin, has posted a 14th century ghost story - in Middle English. Fortunately, he also includes his translation.

Creating a Gothic fitted dress

In a September 2011 article on the Fabric-Store.com website, Nicole Novembrino discusses the history and structure of the Gothic fitted dress, featured prominently in images from the mid-1300s until the mid-1400s.

14th century Ottoman conqueror found at Perperikon

Discoveries continue to be unearthed at the Perperikon archaeological site in Bulgaria. The latest is the tomb of a 14th century Ottoman conqueror.

The venerable bagel

Long a New York favorite and portable feast choice of SCA college students everywhere (hint: they can be easily smuggled out of dining halls), finding solid documentation for the bagel as a medieval foodstuff has been a challenge.

What prompted the Icelandic Sagas?

Dr. Emily Lethbridge of Cambridge University is seeking to understand the significance of the Icelandic Sagas, why they were created during the 13th and 14th centuries, and why they still resonate with the people of Iceland today.

One medieval life tells story of change in14th century England

14th century England was a dark time, and a time of change in Britain. In a hour-long, online documentary, historian Michael Wood investigates changes in medieval life by following the family of peasant Christina Cok.

Face of beheaded Archbishop of Canterbury revealed

Experts have reconstructed the face of Simon of Sudbury, the Archbishop of Canterbury who was beheaded in a peasant revolt in 1381.

A day of swords in Anchorage, Alaska

Lisa Maloney of the Anchorage Press joins David Teague and company for a class in the art and science of German longsword. The techniques are dervived from manuscripts and writing from the 14th and 15th century.

14th century 'fede’ ring found in farmer's field

Metal detectorist James Goldswain found treasure in a farmer's field when he uncovered medieval silver gilt ring, known as a fede, or faith ring, near Bishopsbourne, England. (photo)

Black Death bacteria thought to be extinct

 The type of bacteria which caused the European "Black Death" plague in the mid-1300s has been identified as Yersina pestis, according to a news report on CNN.com.  That particular strain of bacteria no longer seems to exist, although a different form still affects people in a number of countries.

Artifacts reveal early history of Elsyng Palace

Excavation of one of Henry VIII's palaces has revealed that the site was an affluent home long before Henry VIII moved in. Elsyng Palace is located in Enfield, England.

Previously unknown medieval archbishopric discovered in Bulgaria

Bulgarian archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov has discovered two archbishop's seals during excavations of the city of Perperikon, a crucial urban center during the Middle Ages and the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. The two lead seals belonged to Constantine, Archbishop of Archidos.