BBC News

British Broadcasting Corporation

Catherine Zeta Jones hopes to help find "lost palace" of Welsh princes

Welsh actress Catherine Zeta Jones and her husband Michael Douglas have donated a "substantial" sum of money to help purchase Abergwyngregyn in Gwynedd, the purported site of the "lost palace" of medieval Welsh princes.

Tolkien's tower bought for UK£1

Decades after J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings, one of the "two towers" which may have inspired the writer in the second book, has been purchased with plans for restoration. (video)

Historic High Heels for Men

Manly high heels date back centuries, worn by horsemen as well as powerful rulers.

Residents hope to raise UK£3m to save Cornish church

Residents of south east Cornwall are hoping to raise the UK£3m needed to save the priory at St Germans, a 9th century church in dire need of modernization. The fundraising efforts hope to attract such organizations as the Heritage Lottery Fund to their cause.

Additional Staffordshire finds declared treasure

Over 80 additional artifacts found in the area of the Staffordshire Hoard have been declared treasure. The gold and silver items were discovered near the original site when a field was ploughed. (photo)

Power lines to come down at Sutton Hoo

A UK£200,000 grant is set to finance the removal of power lines and poles from the site of the world-famous Anglo-Saxon burial mounds at Sutton Hoo near Woodbridge, England. Over a mile of lines will be replaced with underground cables.

Our Lady of Paris to receive new bells

Notre Dame de Paris, on the River Seine, has seen over 8 centuries of history, from the Crusades to World War II. Now the city will fête the world's best-known church in a year-long celebration that will include recasting of its bells.

Torre Abbey restored ahead of schedule and under budget

A restoration project completed on time is a rare happening. Even rarer is one completed 6 months early and under budget, but that is the case with work on the 12th century Torre Abbey in Torquay, Devon.

Medieval graffiti in Norfolk churches

In the Middle Ages, some church members had what, in modern life, would be considered an odd way to express an idea or offer a prayer: they wrote on the church wall. Now the Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey hopes to record pre-Reformation graffiti in area churches.

Hereford Mappa Mundi removed for conservation evaluation

A 700-year-old map of the world, the Hereford Mappa Mundi, has been removed from display in Hereford Cathedral for evaluation of its condition. The 52 in. (132cm) circular map shows a medieval view of the world with Jerusalem at the center and Paradise "surrounded by a wall and a ring of fire, roughly where Japan would be." (photos)

The last Viking battle: "A war just waiting to happen"

In the 13th century, Scotland was divided between the Scots on the mainland and the Vikings of the western islands. The struggle that followed brought an end to Viking rule in the country. A  new BBC Two program looks at The Last Battle of the Vikings.

Eastgate House to become museum

Admirers of Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers (Westgate) and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (The Nun's House) will be gratified to know that Eastgate House in High Street in Rochester, Kent, England, is scheduled to be restored. (photo)

Tamerlane the Disabled

Tartar warlord Tamerlane may have been the greatest conqueror of all, outshining Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great, but few recognize the fact that the great warrior was severely disabled in his youth. The BBC features Tamerlane in an article for Disability History Month.

Experts stumped by Roman earring

The design on a gold earring disc, discovered by a metal detector enthusiast in Keswick, England, has experts stumped. The disc dates to the Roman era and "features a scorpion, phallus, snake and crab." (photo)

Roman-era tartan?

A tiny piece of cloak depicted in a Roman statue may be the "the first-ever depiction of tartan". The plaid appears on a bronze statue of the Emperor Caracalla with a bound Caledonian warrior wearing what appears to be tartan trews. The statue was found in the Moroccan city of Volubilis. (video)

Public Catalogue Foundation publishes all publicly-owned British paintings

The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF), together with the BBC, has created a web database of the United Kingdom’s entire collection of oil paintings in public ownership - all 211,861 of them! The works are available on the Your Paintings website.

Art historians staggered by loss from Italian earthquakes

During the past few months, medieval and renaissance art and architecture in Italy have taken a pounding from earthquakes which devasted the country's mountain towns, killing over 20 people and damaging or destroying more than 2000 historic churches and buildings.

Norfolk metal detectorist finds declared treasure

Several objects dating to the Middle Ages have been declared treasure by the Norfolk Historic Environment Services, including a 6th century brooch, an Anglo-Saxon sword belt mount, and a copper alloy jetton converted to a brooch. (photos)

Fermanagh crannog reveals wealth of Irish history

An archaeological dig at a crannog in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, has yielded a wealth of new insight into the living conditions of medieval families on the artifical island.

Silver hoard linked to Kett's Rebellion

A small hoard of silver found in 2011 by metal detector enthusiasts Steven Clarkson and Mark Turner has been linked to Kett's Rebellion, the 1549 uprising against "rich robber barons who had stolen the common land, leaving the peasants to starve." (photo)

Roman cemetery discovered in Somerset

Construction workers laying a four-mile (7km) long water main between Banwell and Hutton, England uncovered a Roman cemetery. Experts believe the cemetery was associated with a nearby Roman villa.

Scots celebrate rediscovery of David's Tower

For centuries, the 100 ft. (30.5 metre) tall David's Tower dominated the skyline of Edinburgh, Scotland until it was destroyed during the Lang Siege of 1573. Long forgotten, the demolished tower was rediscovered in 1912 and feted today, 100 years later. (video)

Scone Palace archway restored

In September 2010, the historic, 16th-century arch leading to the grounds of Scone Palace in Scotland was destroyed when a delivery truck misjudged the size of the arch's opening. Now, after two years, the arch has been restored. (video)

Adopt a spire in Milan

Philantropists around the world have been invited to "adopt" a spire of the 14th century cathedral in Milan, Italy. For the gift of 100,000 euros (UK£80,000), donors will receive the right to have their names inscribed on one of the church's 135 spires.

St. Ursula pilgrim badge donated to Museum of Lancashire

Metal detector enthusiast Paul King was thrilled while trying out new equipment to discover a silver pilgrim badge depicting one of the companions of St. Ursula. Now he will see his find on display at the Museum of Lancashire in Preston. (photo)

Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum to receive grant

The Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum project has received a grant of UK£900,000 to promote community archaeology and to "encourage dialogue about this historic battle and how it has impacted communities from both sides of the Borders."

Remains of Northampton Castle discovered

Three feet (one metre) beneath the surface of the site for the new railway station building in Northampton, England, lay a secret, recently discovered: the remains of the 11th Century, Northampton Castle.

Battle of Hastings cancelled due to rain

Sunday October 14, 2012 marked the 346th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings which brought Norman rule to Anglo-Saxon England. Unfortunately, rain and mud put a damper on the celebration, cancelling the battle re-enactment.

Saxon skeleton reburied

In 2009, the Chequers Inn in Bressingham, England caught fire and burned. During the demolition, the remains of a 7th century Saxon man were discovered buried beneath the pub. Now the man has received a burial in the churchyard of St John the Baptist.

Raising of Mary Rose marked

Tudor archers with longbows marked the 30th anniversary of the raising of Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose, from the floor of the Solent. The BBC celebrated the occasion with a short video.