BBC News

British Broadcasting Corporation

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)

Letters of Wallace and Robert the Bruce on display at Stirling Castle

700 years ago the fate of Scotland was being decided. Now, history buffs will be able to read the words of those concerned in the historic events at an exhibit of letters of Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, and others, at Stirling Castle. The exhibition runs until June 2014. (photo)

Sir Kenneth Branagh wins awards with "Scottish play"

Kenneth Branagh, who has stirred audiences with his portrayals of such diverse characters as Henry V and Gilderoy Lockhart, has won over ciritcs in a new version of Shakespeare's Macbeth, which garnered three prizes at the Manchester Theatre Awards.

Murder declared in Scotland

An unidentified 20-year-old man has been found murdered in Kirk Ness in East Lothian, Scotland, but the murderer will not likely be found. The victim, fatally stabbed four times in the back, was killed in the 12th or 13th 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)

Manx returns to the Isle of Man

Manx was once the endangered list. Not the cat - the language. But now a new generation of young people, such as singer Ruth Keggin, is doing its best to breathe new life into the speech of the people of the Isle of Man.

"Astonishing" find in St. Bartholomew's Church

In 2006, St Bartholomew's Church in Much Marcle, England received UK£500,000 for restoration of the church. During the project, workers discovered a lead coffin in the tomb chest of Blanch Mortimer, daughter of 14th century traitor Sir Roger Mortimer, who overthrew King Edward II. English Heritage described the find as "astonishing." (photos, video)

Funds needed to restore haunted Wymering Manor

Even before it was damaged by death watch beetles, Wymering Manor in Portsmouth, England was pretty creepy. Tradition holds that the 400-year-old building, once featured on the Most Haunted Live television program, is the most haunted house in England. Today the manor's worst problem is its deterioration, which has led the owners to seek to raise the UK£2.5m needed for the project.

Excavations at Cardigan Castle reveal part of original structure

Wales' Cardigan Castle, built in the late 12th century, was the site of recent excavations by NPS Archaeology revealing a section of the structure dating to the 1170s. Archaeologists also found over 9,000 artifacts including medieval pottery and rusted arrowheads. (photos)

Yorkshire Museum covets Bedale Hoard

In 2012, a "nationally significant" Viking hoard, including a gold sword pommel and silver neck ring, was discovered in Bedale, North Yorkshire. Now the Yorkshire Museum hopes to buy the collection which is valued at UK£51,636.

"Cradle of the law" to display Magna Carta

In 1214, English barons met in Suffolk to discuss King John and the Magna Carta, a year before it was signed in Surrey. Now the Bury Society will celebrate the event with a display of an original copy of the document at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds.

Cambridge hopes to acquire Codex Zacynthius

In 1821, the Bible Society, in Swindon, England was presented with the Codex Zacynthius, a 6th or 7th century Gospel of Luke. Now the Society is offering the Bible for sale, with Cambridge University as its buyer of choice. In order to acquire the manuscript, Cambridge will need to raise UK£1.1m. (photo)

Will the codpiece make a comeback?

Stephen Smith of the BBC News opines on one of our favorite accessories, on or off the battlefield.

Govan stone: Viking treasures in Scotland

The Scottish town of Govan, near Glascow, has long been known for its shipbuilding, but lying in a churchyard are some of its lesser-known masterpieces: a collection of 31 recumbant stones carved with classic Viking patterns. The stones, including five massive "hogbacks," dating from the 9th century. (photos)

Little hook protector of 16th century fashion

What could be worse than dragging your elegant skirts through the muck on the streets? Nothing, apparently, as revealed by the discovery of a 20mm (0.8 inch) long gold hook designed to hold up ladies' skirts when crossing a muddy yard. (photo)

Investigation of Shakespeare's last home to enter phase 2

Archaeologists have been working on the site of New Place, William Shakespeare's last home in Stratford-upon-Avon, since 2009 and have now discovered "as much as they can" about the site, which was demolished in the 18th century. (photos)

Hobbyists score "biggest collection of medieval silver coins ever found using metal detectors in Scotland"

Gus Paterson and Derek McLennan of Ayrshire, Scotland have made their hobby of treasure hunting pay off. They recently discovered over 300 medieval silver coins, the biggest collection of medieval silver coins ever found using metal detectors in Scotland, in a field at Twynholm, near Kirkcudbright. (photos)

Book of Aneirin goes online

The National Library of Wales has announced that it has made the 13th century Book of Aneirin available online. The manuscript, scribed by monks onto animal skin, is regarded as one of the most important books in the Welsh language.

Structural survey of Barnard's Castle "challenging"

Four years ago, the walls of 12th century Barnard Castle's came tumbling down, but no one has accepted the responsibility for their collapse. Now, with the help of a UK£50,000 grant, a structural survey of the Durham, England site has been scheduled.

Lewis-Gibson Genizah Collection: "a unique and vibrant window into a lost age"

In 1896, twin sisters Agnes Smith Lewis and Margaret Dunlop Gibson brought a collection of Hebrew and Arabic manuscripts from Egypt and deposited them at the United Reform Church's Westminster College in England. Recently Oxford and Cambridge Universities teamed to buy the collection at auction for UK£1.2m.

Geneva Breeches Bible stolen from Welsh church

Thieves of a rare 16th century bible must have had a guilty conscience when they left a modern replacement bible in a locked case in St Mary's church in Trefriw, Wales. The Geneva Breeches Bible was produced by Protestants in Switzerland in 1589.

"Stunning" St George and the Dragon painting found in Welsh church

Beneath 20 layers of paint and lime, conservators have recently uncovered "stunning" 15th century wall paintings in the small, 13th century church of St Cadoc's in Llancarfan, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. (video)

King Harold and the roundabout

Traditionally it is believed that King Harald was killed on the spot where Battle Abbey now stands, but new evidence, promoted by Channel 4's Time Team, place his death in the Battle of Hastings at a mini roundabout on the A2100.

Celtic coins to remain in Jersey thanks to UK£738,000 government grant

In 2012, Reg Mead and Richard Miles discovered a hoard of 70,000 Celtic coins in a field on the island of Jersey. Now a grant of UK£738,000 will allow the UK£10m treasure to remain on the island.

Mass medieval burial found near Durham Cathedral

Archaeologists are endeavoring to puzzle out the significance of a mass grave discovered during renovation of Durham University's Palace Green library. Instead of defined burials, the remains of 18 individuals seem to have been "tipped" into the grave.

Tudor Monastery Farm on BBC 2

Watchers of BBC 2 may want to catch up on the latest episodes of The Tudor Monastery Farm, where modern experts "work as ordinary farmers under the eye of a monastic landlord, learning to master the landscape away from the farm in order to supplement their income."

3D X-ray to reveal secrets of "unreadable" scroll

"Having the chance to unlock a part of Norfolk history which has been closed to us for maybe hundreds of years feels very special," said Gary Tuson, from the Norfolk Records Office about plans to x-ray a 15th century scroll that is too delicate to unroll.

Clan Macneil aids in restoration of Kisimul Castle

Members of Clan Macneil have joined forces with Historic Scotland to raise UK£200,000 for the restoration of Kisimul Castle in Barra. The 15th century fortress was the stronghold of the clan in the Western Isles.

University of Southampton receives grant to study Roman ports

The European Research Council has awarded the University of Southampton a EU€2.49m (UK£2.1m) grant to study 31 roman ports in nine countries. The study will focus on ports in the Mediterranean region during the first two centuries CE.

Cardiff Castle re-moated

After ceremonies to mark the conclusion of Bute Park's restoration, the waterworks were opened and Cardiff Castle's moat was filled for the first time in 30 years. During the restoration, the moat was excavated by archaeologists, revealing more than 3,000 items dating back to the 16th century.