BBC News

British Broadcasting Corporation

How Normans changed the English language forever

In 1066, William the Conqueror invaded England. Since then, Norman names, such as William, Henry and Alice, have dominated Brittish naming preferences, and it is in the language where they may have left their greatest mark.

Major Roman road found in south-eastern Serbia

An eight meter wide, stone block road, dating to the first century, has been discovered near the town of Dimitrovgrad, Serbia. Archaeologists believe the road was part of the Via Militaris, a major Roman military road.

Rare roof finial found in the Thames

A roof finial shaped like an animal has been found along the river Thames during a Museum of London archaeological survey. [photo]

Tewkesbury Medieval Fair features 11th century Saxon poop

Discovered in 1991 in Gloucestershire, England, a small pile of 11th century human feces has become something of a phenonmenon with the British public, drawing 11,000 visitors to the Discovery Zone of the Cheltenham Science Festival. Recently the exhibit was displayed at the Tewkesbury Medieval Fair.

"Seventh signal" leads to medieval seal

British metal detectorist David Booth, who in 2009 discovered four Iron Age torcs, has made another important discovery: a 13th century silver seal bearing a carving of a Roman figure in red jasper. (photo)

Infant remains may indicate Roman brothel

Archaeologists working on the excavation of a Roman villa in the Thames Valley of England are looking for an explanation for a mass burial of 97 infants, all having died soon after birth. Experts believe the site may have been a brothel.

Stonemasons' university at Edinburgh cathedral

Medieval skills and traditions are passed on to a new generation of stonemasons each year at the stonemasonry workshop at St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland. The workshop is a joint effort by the cathedral and Telford College.

Drawbridge collapse traps visitors in "fairy tale castle"

Fifty-one visitors to Castell Coch in Tongwynlais near Cardiff, Wales got more than they bargained for when a maintenance crane collapsed the castle's drawbridge, trapping the visitors inside. No one was injured.

Cornish find redraws map of Roman Britain

Roman artifacts have been discovered at a fortress in Cornwall formerly believed to be an exclusively Iron Age site. This find revises the historical view of the Roman occupation of Britain, which had been thought not to extend so far southwest.

Medieval synagogue discovered under English fast food shop

Archaeologists have found the remains of a medieval synagogue beneath Kebabish, a fast food restaurant, in Northamptonshire, England.

Shell analysis confirms early Virginia accounts

An analysis of oyster shells thrown away by colonists in Jamestown, Virginia, indicates that historical accounts of a severe drought in 1611-1612 are correct. The shells show that the James River was much saltier during those years than in the present day, indicating lower rainfall.

Living with volcanoes

Inspired by his plane's detour to avoid the Icelandic ash cloud, historian David Cannadine looks at ways that volcanoes have affected human life throughout history.

13th century heraldic badge found in Coventry

A copper badge bearing three heraldic lions has been found in a stone wall in Coventry, England. The badge probably came from a horse harness.

CSI: Middle Ages

The corpse was identified as royalty. Bones found in the Magdeburg Cathedral in 2008 proved to be those of a granddaughter of Alfred the Great: the Saxon Queen Eadgyth, the who died in the 10th century at the age of 36.

White Horse painted purple by vandals

Members of two groups that urge UK courts to take greater notice of divorced fathers' rights denied vandalizing the White Horse of Uffington with purple paint.

Former tour guide campaigns for statue of Henry VII

Melanie Phillips, a former tour guide at Pembroke Castle in Wales, has begun a campaign to construct a memorial to King Henry VII, who was born in the castle.

Vicar invokes medieval archery practice law

The vicar of Collingbourne Ducis in Wiltshire has enforced the ancient law, never taken off the books, that allows her to summon the village to archery practice. Those complying with the call to service were rewarded with food and drink.

Blackadder's codpiece brings UK£850 at auction

Rowan Atkinson's codpiece from the Blackadder television series was just one of the media-related items sold at auction by Cameo Auctioneers in Midgham in Berkshire, England.

Anglo-Saxon settlement discovered in the Cotswolds

Steve Sheldon, of Cotswold Archaeology, has called the recent discovery of an Anglo-Saxon timber hall in Cheltenham, England "one of the best finds of his career." The settlement is believed to date between the 6th and 8th centuries.

"Treasure" badge likely belonged to Richard III's retainer

A silver-gilt boar badge representing Richard III and found last year at Bosworth Field has been declared treasure. The badge probably belonged to a member of the king's inner circle and may indicate the spot where he fell.

Maps: "Snapshots" of history

Most of us think of a map as a tool for getting from one place to another. But throughout history, mapmakers have had other priorities than providing a factual picture of the world.

Precious Cambridge manuscript collection now online

The entire Parker library, a collection of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts at Corpus Christi College of Cambridge University, has been made accessible online. Librarian Suzanne Paul narrates a video tour of the collection's highlights.

Cave scanning project includes Robin Hood dungeon

The dungeon where, according to tradition, the Sheriff of Nottingham held Robin Hood captive is to be laser scanned as part of a new project. Archaeologists at the University of Nottingham will scan all the caves in the area during the two-year Nottingham Caves Survey. 

Rare 12th century coins found in England

What is being called "one of the biggest hoards" of 12th century silver coins has been found by metal dectorists near Knaresborough, England. The 178 coins date to the reign of Henry I. Meanwhile, in Gloucester, four pennies, of an unknown variety, have been found. (photo)

British craftsmen strive to preserve "lost" skills

When its last practioner died in 1958, the art of pole lathe bowl turning died with him, but now former forester Robin Wood has taken up the foot-powered lathe to revive the craft. (photos)

Connected History project offers help to historians

BBC Technology correspondent Mark Ward reports that a new search engine has been created to help historians find useful sources.

"Exceptional example of the Medieval jewellers' art" declared treasure in England

A 16th century silver crucifix depicting Christ flanked by the Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist, discovered in 2009 in Yanworth, England, has been declared treasure. (photo)

Saxon artifact puzzles experts

Microscopes, X-rays and CAT scans have, so far, been used to identify a recent discovery of a Saxon object from an archaeological dig at The Meads in Kent, with no results. The circular silver, bronze and wooden disk is believed to be a mount, but no one is sure. (photos)

Keep Off the Wall

Walkers along Hadrian's Wall are being urged to respect the ancient structure and help to protect it.

Mary Rose carpenter's dog honored with museum display

In 1545, the Mary Rose sank during the Battle of the Solent. Trapped inside the carpenter's cabin was a dog, probably kept to catch rats. Now the skeleton of the animal, nicknamed "Hatch," is on display at the Mary Rose Museum at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.