BBC News

British Broadcasting Corporation

Medieval Scotland determined to have had thriving pottery industry

A new study of 12th century monastic and castle sites in southern Scotland shows that the country's pottery industry was larger than previosuly believed, and it was much less dependent on foreign imports. (photo)

"Elegant" local Vale Ware aquamanile found in Cosmeston, Wales

A fragment of a locally-made pottery aquamanile, used by dinner guests to wash their hands, has been discovered at an archaeological dig of a manor house near Cosmeston, Wales. The fragment dates to the 13th century. (photo)

9th and 10th century Viking coins found in Cumbria, England

A hoard of over 90 silver Viking coins dating to the 9th and 10th centuries was discovered recently by a metal detectorist near Furness, England. (photo)

The riches of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple

In a moment straight out of an Indiana Jones film, a panel of officials opened the sealed vaults to the 16th century Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala finding treasure worth billions of rupees.

Wanted: Key keeper for 12th century castle

Cadw, the Welsh government's historic environment service, is looking for a caretaker for Newcastle, a 12th century castle near Bridgend.

Scottish folklore collection available online

For the first time, the complete folklore collection of Alexander Carmichael has been published and is available to view online. Carmichael "spent 50 years collecting legends, songs, curses and oral history from Gaelic-speakers."

12th century manuscript missing from Spanish cathedral

Pilgrims to the cathedral Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain might have been guided there by the Codex Calixtinus, a 12th century guidebook which has mysteriously disappeared from the church.

Treadmill study shows fatigue from wearing medieval armour influenced battles

A British study that measured the effort it took to wear a suit of armor on a treadmill has determined that the suits were so exhausting to wear that it may have affected battle outcomes during the 15th century.

Welsh castle receives grant for visitor center

In 1282, Earl Henry de Lacy began building a castle in Wales. Now Denbigh Castle will undergo an extensive facelift, complete with a new visitor center, thanks to a UK£600,000 grant. (photo)

Bury Mount wins British renovation award

In the 12th century, Bury Mound, in Northamptonshire, England, held a castle. Now the vacant mound has become the country's best renovation project for 2011.

Accidental death in Tudor England

Oxford University historian, Dr. Steven Gunn, has undertaken the task of scouring 16th Century coroners' reports to compile a list of accidental deaths in Tudor, England. The list includes death by bears and archery accidents.

Cotswold dig reveals life in the 13th and 14th centuries

An archaeological team from Cotswold Archaeology is leading a dig at Cowl Lane in Winchcombe, England, revealing "more than 40 rubbish pits containing medieval pottery, animal bone and metalworking evidence."

Long live King Arthur

In an article for BBC Magazine, Jon Kelly discusses the endurance of King Arthur as a cultural phenomenon and his latest incarnation on British television.

Russell Crowe views living history in Scotland

Actor Russell Crowe brought his star power with him on a recent visit to Duncarron Fort, a replica medieval village in the Carron Valley, Scotland where he found the project "very impressive" and said it would be a version of "living history".

Traditional restoration for 15th century bridge

The 15th century bridge in Bridgend, England gave the town its name. Now the town will give something back by using traditional methods to give the bridge a facelift.

Stirling restored

Those gentles making the journey to Scotland will want to include Stirling Castle on their itinerary. The castle is in the midst of being completely restored. BBC News has a slideshow of the results.

Roman "savings bank" discovered in Colchester

"What you're looking at is how somebody managed their savings, taking some out and putting some back in probably over a number of years," said Philip Crummy from the Colchester Archaeological Trust about the recent discovery of over 1200 Roman coins in two clay pots.

Prayer book and crucifix of Mary Queen of Scots reunited in Scotland

As she walked to the scaffold to be executed, Mary Queen of Scots carried an ornate crucifix and a Book of Hours. Now both artifacts, thought to have been carried by Mary, were reunited for a day at Loretto School in Musselburgh, East Lothian. (photo)

The many centuries of Glastonbury Abbey

A new study of pottery fragments excavated during the 1950s and 1960s at Glastonbury Abbey shows that many historical periods were represented and that the abbey dates to a later period than previously believed.

Archaeologists hope to find Shakespeare's final home

Excavations are under way at New Place, in Stratford-upon-Avon, the site of William Shakespeare's last home. The site, which has not been excavated to the level of Tudor times, has already yielded some artifacts of the period.

360 degrees of Westminster Abbey

Delighted by the royal wedding and dazzled by the venue? If so, you may want to visit the BBC's 360 degree virtual tour of Westminster Abbey.

Time Team finds Anglo-Saxon hall

Channel 4's Time Team recently carried out an archaeological project at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, England where it discovered the floor of what they believe is a medieval hall.

New pilgrim trail to cross Wales

"North Wales is a landscape charged with a history of faith, and this particular pilgrim route will be, for all who follow it, a true path towards the light, supported by all those living memories of prayer and holy lives," said Dr. Rowan Williams about the new pilgrim trail across Wales.

Tomb of St Francis of Assisi re-opens

A special Franciscan mass will celebrate the re-opening of the restored tomb of St Francis of Assisi in Umbria, Italy. The saint died in 1226. (photo)

Exhumation of Mona Lisa planned

"We can put an end to a centuries-old dispute and also understand Leonardo's relations to his models," said art historian Silvano Vinceti, who plans to exhume the body of Lisa Gherardini, believed to have been the model for da Vinci's famous painting.

Mass grave at Bedlam discovered

Archaeologists working at the site of London's latest Crossrail project have discovered a mass grave of hundreds of skeletons. The grave is at the location of St Bethlehem hospital, the first facility for mental patients. (video & photos)

Battle of Towton commemorated in podcast

550 years ago, 28,000 men were killed in what is considered Britain's bloodiest battle. To commemorate the anniversary, BBC 4 Today discusses the final brawl of the war of the Roses.

Cardigan Castle to receive UK£4.7m grant

The Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed to provide UK£4.7m for conservation work to the building and grounds at Cardigan Castle. The 12th century castle was once home to Welsh princes.

Roman quarry "too obvious" for notice

Archaeologist Karl-James Langford believes historians may have overlooked a Roman quarry in Barry, Wales because it was just "too obvious."

"Senchus fer nAlban"

In the 7th century, seventy lines of text were created to record the number of men in western Scotland for the purpose of military service and tax collection. The Senchus fer nAlban (History of the men of Scotland) includes resources for the population of Dál Riata, the Kingdom of the Gaels on the west coast of Scotland. (photos)