Places of Worship

Churches, Mosques, Temples, Synagogues, Cathedrals, and similar structures used primarily for worship (this category is about the buildings, not the religions)

St Piran's Oratory in "pretty good" shape

In 1910, the remains of St Piran's Oratory, a 6th century church in Cornwall, England, were encased in concrete to preserve them from the elements. Now for the first time in over 100 years, the church has been unearthed. (photos)

Future in question for the Hagia Sophia

Over the centuries, Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia has been a Byzantine church, a mosque, a Catholic church and a museum, but changing politics may take a toll on the glorious 6th century edifice. Stuart Williams of Art Daily has the story. (photo)

Volunteers aid in dig at York's All Saints' Church

The first phase of an archaeological dig at All Saints' Church in York, England has wrapped with the discovery of artifacts from Roman times to the 19th century including "two medieval dice, Roman pottery and a spindle whorl thought to be from the Viking era." Phase two will begin next spring. (photos)

Damaged crypts to be restored at Coventry Cathedral

Coventry Cathedral, a 14th-century Gothic church, was almost totally destroyed by German bombs in World War II. Now three of its medieval crypts are scheduled to be restored and opened to the public.

Richard III burial timetable and appeal for funds

As the reburial of King Richard III approaches, the city of Leicester, England and Leicester Cathedral prepare for the festivities by calling on the locals to help with fundraising. The diocese has raised only UK£1.9m of the £2.5m cost of the celebration.

Medieval friary stonework among finds at Yorkshire dig

A team of archaeologists from AOC Archaeology Group, along with members of the community, were intrigued by discoveries resulting from two weeks of excavations near York, England's Guildhall. The workers found artifacts dating from Roman times through World War II, including evidence of a medieval friary.

Sistine Chapel visitors to be limited to 6 million per year

In order to protect its precious frescoes, the Vatican has announced that it will restrict visitors to the Sistine Chapel to 6 million each year. Experts say that dust, sweat and carbon dioxide from up to 20,000 tourists a day pose a major threat to Michelangelo’s masterpiece. (photos)

Volunteers help reconstruct history of 13th century Norfolk church

St. Margaret's Church in Hopton, Norfolk, England burned in 1865 and was abandoned by parishoners, but with the help of volunteers and a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, the church may be restored to the community "as a medieval monument and open green space for local people."

Tiny chapel found in Wales

Twenty years ago, Bill Devereux bought land near Wrexham in northern Wales. During clean-up and restoration around the property, Devereux discovered what is believed to be the smallest chapel in the UK (photos)

Ethiopia encourages tourists to visit rock-hewn, 13th century churches

Ethiopia, long known as a country of poverty and famine, hopes to change its image through tourism, especially through visits to medieval sites such as Lalibela, where eleven 13th century churches were "chiselled out of the town's red volcanic rock hills." David Smith of The Guardian has a feature story. (photos)

Medieval site with a royal connection

Archaeologists in York, England will have the rare opportunity to investigate a site which has lain undisturbed for nearly 500 years. The Hidden Guildhall investigation will focus on riverside property once the site of the medieval friary visited by the Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III.

Medieval cloister walls found at Merton Priory dig

Merton Priory, in Surrey, England, was founded in 1117 and dissolved by Henry VIII in 1538. In recent years, archaeologists have been excavating the foundations of the Merton Priory Chapter House and have uncovered the priory's medieval cloister walls. (photos)

Discovery of large church to shed light on early Czech religious history

Excavations at Prague’s historical Vyšehrad fort have recently revealed a large church, dating to the 11th century. The discovery of such a large building is expected to shed light on the nation’s early Christian history, and "help fill some blank spots on the map of early mediaeval Prague."

Medieval tagging: what it means

"We want to record it before it's lost," said Brian Porter of Lincolnshire's medieval graffiti project about thousands of medieval doodles found on the walls of English churches. Porter is co-chair of the volunteer project to record the graffiti and learn more about the thoughts of the people of the time. (photos)

Richard III to be buried March 26, 2015

After much debate, court rulings, and fuss, the remains of King Richard III, England's latest medieval monarch, will be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral on March 26, 2015.

Oral history leads to discovery of lost Polish church

As late as the 1930s, scholars knew that a late medieval church had once stood in the town of Suraż, Poland. Now archaeologists have verified the oral history with the discovery of remnants of the building.

Royal chapel found near Edinburgh

A team of archaeologists and volunteers have found evidence of a 16th century chapel, believed built by Sir Simon Preston in 1518 "to rest the souls of James III and IV. "

US$8M needed to restore Timbuktu

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) reports that US eight million dollars will be needed to reconstruct the damaged monuments and mausoleums of Timbuktu, Mali, and to return of over 300,000 collections of ancient manuscripts.

Location of Llanllyr nunnery discovered in Wales

Sometime in the late 12th century, Rhys ap Gruffudd founded a daughter house to the convent of Strata Florida in the Aeron Valley of wales. Researchers have known about the Llanllyr nunnery, but never its precise location - until now when excavations in Ceredigion have revealed the convent as well as a cemetery and Tudor mansion.

Newstead Abbey to receive grant from World Monuments Fund

In 1540, the Byron family, ancestors of the famous Lord Byron, was given Newstead Abbey near Nottingham, England. Built in the 12th century, the abbey has since fallen into disrepair, and it has become the recipient of UK£40,000 from the World Monuments Fund to save the crumbling structure.

York tomb remains show long history of religious use

Archaeologists working at All Saints Church in York, England have discovered skeletons of individuals dating back at least 1100 years. Remains included that of a pregnant woman and her fetus and three men shoved together in the tomb. (photos)

Historical Fiction Novel

Please check out a new historical fiction novel by Thomas F. Schultz titled: Faith, Hope, or the Great Mortality.  The title is available on Amazon and for Kindle.

Remains of King Erik the Holy to be studied

A team of scientists from Uppsala University in Sweden will be studying the remains of King Erik the Holy, a medieval Swedish king later canonized as Saint Erik. Researchers hope to discover more about the 12th century monarch including how he lived and his origins. (photo)

The dangerous secret of Byzantine frescoes

Researchers looking at the wall paintings of the 12th century Byzantine monastery Enkleistra of St. Neophytos in Cyprus, found something they didn't expect: asbestos. Their discovery has been published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.

London church with Shakespeare connection sought

St Leonard's church in Shoreditch, England, best known as the backdrop for the hit BBC series Rev, is believed to have been the site of the medieval church where Shakespeare worshiped. Now archaeologists plan to investigate the area in search of the original building.

Beautiful mosiac floors revealed in Israeli Byzantine church

An excavation of a site near the Bedouin village of Hura by the Israel Antiquities Authority has revealed a 6th century Byzantine church, complete with amazingly intact mosaic floors. (photos)

Crowdsourcing funds Leiston Abbey dig

Crowd funding and sourcing have reached the archaeological community on the grounds of 12th century Leiston Abbey in Suffolk, England where amateurs funded experts for a two-week project in exchange for a chance to participate.

Second oldest church "a big surprise"

Archaeologists in Mainz, Germany have discovered the second oldest church and the only surviving Carolingian cathedral in Germany. Within the walls of the city's Church of St John lie the remains of a 9th century structure whose walls "stretch from the basement to the roof."

Christians in Denmark by 9th century

New studies of the Domskirke in Ribe, Denmark show that Christians may have lived in the area 100 years before Denmark officially became a Christian country. Excavations at the site have unearthed over 70 Christian burials dating to the mid-to-late 9th century.

"Oldest graffiti in Scotland" found in Mingary Castle

The builders of Mingary Castle on the Ardnamurchan peninsula in Scotland may have been illiterate, but they left their mark on history through their graffiti. The markings, discovered recently in the castle's chapel, were probably inscribed when the chapel was first built, between 1265 and 1295. (photo)