BBC News

British Broadcasting Corporation

Medieval fighting breaks out in Spain

BBC Magazine reporter Tom Holland was prepared to be disappointed when he attended the recent First International Medieval Combat Federation World Championships at Belmonte Castle in Spain. After all he'd been to re-enactments before, but he quickly changed his mind.

Treasures of Scotland revealed

2013 was a "magnificent" year for archaeologists in Scotland. The recent annual Scottish Treasure Trove report, covering 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014, by Queen's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer (QLTR) Catherine Dyer shows a variety of items including gold jewelry, coins and a Roman wine dipper. (photos)

Rare Ethelbert penny found in Sussex field

King Ethelbert II was murdered, possibly for minting his own coins. Now an extremely-rare, 8th century silver penny, found by metal detectorist Darrin Simpson, has been discovered in a Sussex, England field. (photo)

Vindolanda Nero coin "a special find"

Archaeologists working at Vindolanda, the Roman fort in northeastern England, made a "special" find recently: a rare gold coin bearing the image of Roman emperor Nero, the first gold coin found during the excavation's 40-year history. (photo)

"Holy Grail" stolen in Wales

The Nanteos Cup is missing. Rumored to be the Holy Grail, brought to Britain by Joseph of Arimathea, the olive wood cup is normally kept in a bank vault in Wales, but was loaned to an ailing women in Weston-Under-Penyard. It was stolen from her home July 14, 2014. (photo)

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.

Oldest copy of "The Brus" restored

The oldest known copy of "The Brus," an epic poem describing the Battle of Bannockburn, has been restored in time for the 700th celebration of the event. The poem was written in 1375 by the Archdeacon of Aberdeen. (photos)

Viking sword has colorful history

Auctioneers at Christie's have announced that they will offer for auction a double-edged Viking sword associated with the battles of Hastings, Stamford Bridge and Bannockburn. The sword is expected to bring between UK£80,000 to £120,000. (photo)

Securing the precious Magna Carta

Chris Woods, director of the  British National Conservation Service, has a daunting task: to assure the safety of the precious Lincoln Magna Carta during its tour through the United States in 2014.

Scottish burial may be 10th century King of Dublin

In 2005, archaeologists unearthed the remains of a person of importance near Auldhame in East Lothian, Scotland. Now experts believe that the burial might be that of the 10th Century Irish Viking King Olaf Guthfrithsson, who led raids in the area and reigned as King of Dublin and Northumbria.

Richard III: An Overview

The verdict is finally in: the remains of Richard III, England's last medieval king, will be laid to rest, with great pomp and circumstance, in Leicester Cathedral after judges put an end to requests that he be buried in York. The BBC's Greig Watson has an overview of the Richard saga. (photos)

Norfolk "Q-tip" declared treasure

Everyday toilet implements, such as an ear scoop found by a metal detectorist, were among the recently-declared treasures in King's Lynn, Norfolk, England. Also discussed was an early Anglo-Saxon "gold and garnet cloisonné circular domed object." (photos)

Cabbage Hurling goes global

Prepare yourslef for the newest global sensation: Cabbage Hurling. Nothing like America's Punkin' Chunkin', Cabbage Hurling consists of a smallish trebuchet and lots of rotten cabbage. Simon Spark reports for the BBC. (video)

Hengwrt Chaucer online

The earliest known manuscript of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, housed at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, has been digitized and is now available online. (photo)

The potency of Shakespeare's potions

It's Shakespeare's 450th birthday. In a feature article for the BBC's Future, Claudia Hammond looks at whether the poisons mentioned in William Shakespeare's plays, such as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, could actually work.

"Only individual ever recorded related to the Norman invasion" found in East Sussex

Skeleton 180 might be a very remarkable individual: the only person recorded related to the Norman invasion of England. Buried in a medieval cemetery, 180 was believed to have died at the Battle of Lewes in 1264, but scientists have now placed his death around 1066.

Storks return to Thrigby Hall

In the Middle Ages, it was common to see white storks, which breed in continental Europe and migrate to Africa in the winter, nesting in the chimneys of England, but no stork has done so for 600 years - until now. (photo, video)

Hunting with the eagles of Mongolia

In a wonderful article by William Kremer, of BBC World Service, photographer Asher Svidensky looks at some of the young people of Mongolia as they hunt using golden eagles, including 13-year-old Ashol-Pan, considered to be the country's only apprentice huntress. (photos)

"Incredibly significant" bishop's seal declared treasure

Metal detector enthusiast Andy Falconer has found a few artifacts over the years but nothing like the 14th century, silver bishop's seal, called "incredibly significant" by Manx National Heritage, he found recently in a field on the Isle of Man. (photo)

But really, Puddledub?

Chief researcher for a new study of Scottish place names, Dr Simon Taylor, says: "Scotland is a country where many different languages have been spoken over the last 1,500 years, and its place names reflect this rich and varied history. What we are doing is giving teachers the tools to explore Scotland's rich heritage."

Offa's Dyke may be misnamed

Offa's Dyke, a linear earthwork stretching 177 miles (285 km) in Chirk near the Shropshire border, may be misnamed. Legendarily built by King Offa of Mercia during his reign between 757 and 796, the earthwork may actually be 200 years older.

Bannockburn comes to the BBC

The BBC celebrates the anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn with a two-program event, which premiered early in June 2014, entitled The Quest For Bannockburn. The program features Neil Oliver and Tony Pollard.

Hadrian's Wall Trust is no more

Over the next six months, the Hadrian's Wall Trust, the charity that maintains the famous Roman wall crossing northern England, will be closed due to "significant financial constraints." In the future, the wall will be maintained by English Heritage and local authorities.

Monastery diet revealed by Durham Cathedral excavation

Archaeologists working on an excavation of a portion of Durham Cathedral, destined to become an exhibition space for the relics of St. Cuthbert, have unearthed over 20,000 animal bones and a "massive amount" of food waste. The site was once part of the monastery's 14th century kitchen. (photos)

Tolkien's Beowulf to be published for the first time

British professor and author JRR Tolkien is best known for his works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but now a deal has been made to publish the beloved storyteller's translation of the Old English poem Beowulf, complete with commentary.

Minding the medieval teen

Parents of unruly teenagers may sigh wistfully at the notion of sending their children elsewhere for training, a common practice of northern Europeans in the Middle Ages. William Kremer looks at the practice of fostering in an article for the BBC News Magaine.

Medieval archway found under Cardigan Castle floor

NPS Archaeology, working on an 18-month excavation at Wales' Cardigan Castle, has unearthed a stone archway dating to the 12th century beneath the floor of the castle. The archway is believed to have led to the tower of the original castle.

First century irrigation system found in England

Archaeologists working on a development site in Cambridge, England have discovered what they believe is Great Britain's oldest irrigation system. The Roman site includes evidence of planting beds and pit wells.

Carrickfergus Castle dig "full of surprises"

"We can see the whole 750 years of garrison life here in the castle, from medieval wall foundations to a late Victorian munitions rail that was used to bring munitions in from the pier beside the castle right into the inner ward," said QUB assistant excavation director Ruairí Ó Baoill.

Bread oven and sewing kit found in Northampton dig

An archaeological excavation in Northampton, England, has thus far revealed the remains of a bread oven, a 13th century well, a 15th century sewing kit and trading tokens, leading experts to believe that there was a settlement in the area. (photos)