BBC News

British Broadcasting Corporation

Richard III to be honored with Leicester museum

The Leicester City Council has approved plans to construct a UK£4m Richard III museum on and around the car park where the king's remains were discovered. The building is expected to be completed in 2014. (slideshow)

Marlowe novel sparks hostility

All Ros Barber did was write a novel that theorizes that Shakespeare's plays were written by Christopher Marlowe, but The Marlowe Papers, written entirely in verse, has brought back up the dispute over the authorship of the Bard's plays.

Are you a witch?

If you lived in the 16th or 17th centuries, would you have been accused of witchcraft? HistoryExtra.com, the official website of BBC History Magazine, offers a quiz. Check to see if you are in danger by clicking the link below.

The sad life of Elizabethan child actors

Elizabethan theater life may have been booming for playwrights such as Shakespeare, but it was not so rosy for children in theatrical troupes. University of Oxford professor, Dr Bart van Es, discovered evidence of systemic child abuse while researching his book, Shakespeare in Company.

Danelaw gravestone auctioned for UK£4,300

An unnamed London company recently purchased a 9th century, Anglo Saxon gravestone, engraved with a Celtic cross, for UK£4,300 at an auction by Duke's Auctioneers of Dorchester, England. The stone was original discovered "during road construction in the early 20th Century at Little Eaton, Derbyshire."

Is there a "real" message in the Voynich manuscript?

The 15th century Voynich manuscript may be considered "the world's most mysterious medieval manuscript," and quite possibly a hoax, but a new study by theoretical physicist Marcelo Montemurro, published in the journal Plus One, theorizes that the book has a "genuine message."

Coroner's inquest finds coin pendant treasure

A coroner's inquest has declared an "early-medieval gold pendant created from an imitation of a Byzantine coin," found in a field in Norfolk, England, to be treasure. The necklace was created as an imitation of a Byzantine-era coin, and is believed to have been made in France. (photo)

Panels "hacked" from Devon church

Sometime in the week of August 2-9, 2013, vandals "hacked out" two 15th century, decorative oak panels, bearing the images of saints from Holy Trinity Church in Torbryan, England. The panels were part of a screen and "one of the best examples of their kind left in Britain." (video)

Lottery money to help Chester Farm

2,000 years of English history will be open for study thanks to a UK£4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore and investigate various sites at Chester Farm, in Irchester, England.

Branagh to bring Macbeth to New York stage

Sir Kenneth Branagh will bring his version of "the Scottish play" by William Shakespeare to the drill hall of the Park Avenue Armory in New York City in June 2014. Sir Kenneth said: "I am delighted that we have the chance to recreate Macbeth in this epic setting."

English heatwave reveals "X-ray" of Greys Court

Greys Court, near Henley-on-Thames, is an English mansion built in the 1550s. Now a major heatwave has revealed that the mansion was once much larger through "parch," areas of dead grass, outlining structures from the original building.

R.I.P. Lucius Valerius Geminus

Lucius Valerius Geminus is dead. In fact, he's been dead since the 1st century CE, but thanks to the discovery of his tombstone, archaeologists now know something about the Roman soldier who died in Oxfordshire.

Renaissance satire takes on Scottish independence

The Satire of the Three Estates by Sir David Lyndsay is considered Scotland's only surviving Renaissance play. Now the six-hour-long political satire is being performed at Linlithgow Palace in West Lothian. (video)

Winter storms may point experts to 13th century Cromarty

The 2012 winter storm surge has been a boon for archaeologists working near Cromarty in the Scottish Highlands. The storms washed away part of the shore, revealing what may be part of the 13th century town.

Roman cemetery at Glevum excavated

Experts from Cotswold Archaeology have discovered a number of new burials in what they believe was the cemetery for the Roman city of Glevum, now Gloucester. "This is probably one of the most significant finds that has been made within Gloucester within the last 30 years. It will add greatly to the knowledge of the [city]," said archaeologists Stuart Joyce.

Tithe barn foundations revealed at Warwickshire construction site

In the Middle Ages, a tenth of a farmer's crops were stored in a tithe barn for use by the Church. Now the foundations of such a structure have been discovered at a construction site in Warwickshire, England. (photo)

Machiavelli gets the sack; civilization gets The Prince

Civil servant Niccolo Machiavelli flourished at government work, but his fall from grace came in 1512 when he was fired and imprisoned for his involvement in a conspiracy against the Medicis, leading to the creation of his greatest work, The Prince. Sarah Dunant has the feature for the BBC.

The faces of Mary, Queen of Scots

In conjunction with a new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, the BBC has created a website which offers a gallery of portraits and artifacts relating to Mary, Queen of Scots, including portraits, her tomb, and the document demanding her death.

The tug-of-war over the Lindisfarne Gospels

The Lindisfarne Gospels are a British national treasure and should be part of the national collection, says the British Library. The Lindisfarne Gospels were written in the North and dedicated to St Cuthbert. They belong in Durham, says the Northumbrian Association. Who will win?

Lincoln Castle may hide Roman townhouse

The Lincolnshire County Council is sponsoring the restoration of Lincoln Castle in England. So far, archaeologists have found the remains of the Norman foundations of the castle and a previously-unknown Anglo-Saxon church. They expect to reach the Roman era soon in which they expect to find a Roman townhouse.

The fashion of Matthaeus Schwarz

Matthaeus Schwarz was a 16th century accountant - but an accountant with fashion sense. For over 40 years, the Augsburg, Germany resident commissioned watercolor paintings of himself, documenting his wardrobe and accessories, and revealing as much about his personality and ambition as his clothing choices. (photos and video)

Welsh site spans Roman and medieval periods

The time between when the Romans left Britain and the medieval period began has usually been considered a dark age lacking in civilization, but a new archaeological discovery in Caernarfon, Wales may help to fill in the gaps.

Social media may help choose patron saint of England

There are two camps in England when it comes to who would be the best patron saint, St Edmund or St George, and both are being promoted in a surprising way: Facebook. While George has been the preferred saint since Richard the Lionheart, Edmund is gaining support.

Lancaster Castle to become tourist attraction

The site of Roman forts, a prison, a court, an execution site and the Pendle Witches Trial, Lancaster Castle now has a new role to play: tourist attraction. For the first time in 900 years, the castle will be open to the public.

Stone priory seal restoration complete

In 2011, English metal detector enthusiast Tont Burke found a treasure in a Survey field with the discovery of a copper 12th Century seal matrix of Stone Priory, bearing the image of the Virgin and Child. Now, fully restored, the seal is returning to St Michael and St Wulfad's church in Stone. (photo)

Oldest Torah scroll discovered in university library

In 1889, a librarian at the University of Bologna in Italy made a terrible mistake. He dated and labeled a scroll to the 17th century, but recent tests have placed the document in the 12th century, making it "the oldest complete text of the Torah known to exist." (photo)

X-ray technology can read the unreadable

Researchers have long been distressed by the illegibility of fragile ancient parchments, but new techniques developed by scientists at Cardiff University may help read the unreadable.

The Godwine Charter returns to Canterbury

Somewhere between 1013 and 1018, Godwine sold his swine pasture in Kent, England to Leofwine the Red for 40 pence and two pounds rent and an allowance of corn. How do we know this? The sale was recorded in the Godwine Charter, an "exceptionally rare" document which recently made its way home to the Canterbury Cathedral Archives.

Fort search hopes to change perception of Romans in Scotland

"People are always surprised when I tell them about the Roman occupation of the area - they think the Romans never got any further than the Antonine Wall or even Hadrian's Wall which simply isn't true," said Dr Birgitta Hoffmann who leads an effort to discover a "lost" Roman fort in Scotland.

Haverhill research center to be built over Roman farm

Archaeologists working on what will become the Haverhill Research Park have discovered artifacts ranging from the Iron Age to the 19th century on the site. The science research complex will be constructed on what was once a 2nd century Roman farm.