English

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)

Lyminge excavations shed light on the "Dark Ages"

After the Romans left Britain in the 5th century, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes moved in, bringing their culture and architecture to the country. The recent discovery of what is believed to be an Anglo-Saxon royal feasting hall in the Kent, England village of Lyminge is shining a new light on the 7th century in England. Jason Urbanus of Archaeology has a feature story. (aerial photos)

Young scholars learn the alphabet in 17th century England

Throughout time, children have struggled to learn to write the alphabet. On its blog Collation, the Folger Library presents examples of not only 16th and 17th century writing manuals, but actual copy books of English children. One can almost see the clenched teeth of concentration in their work.

The impact of Shakespeare's investment

In 1594, William Shakespeare made a move that gave him financial stability and, some say, changed the way he wrote plays: he purchased a one-eighth share in the Lord Chamberlain's Men. One of those people is Dr Bart van Es of Oxford University's Faculty of English Language and Literature, who claims that the purchase gave the playwright a better relationship with and understanding of actors.

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.

Jewelry leads to expansion of knowledge of Vikings in England

Fifty years ago, little was known about Viking settlements in England, where they were and who lived in them, but the discovery of Nordic metalwork and jewelry in the past twenty years, thanks largely to the development of the metal detector, has opened up a whole new world of understanding. Jane Kershaw of OUPblog has the story. (photos)

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.

The weight of civic duty

Since 1954, John Mattick has carried the 16th century ceremonial sword  before the mayor at civic events in the Welsh city of  Carmarthen. Before that, his father carried it. Now it will be passed to his son. "It is a weighty thing to carry, and that's mainly why I'm having to give it up at my age," Mr Mattick said. (photo)

Rewriting Shakespeare

Many writers have re-interpreted the works of William Shakespeare, and a new project, The Hogarth Shakespeare, is just the latest. Launching in 2016 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, the series will commission prominent authors to create "cover versions" of the Bard's plays.

New Leicester parking lot discovery

It's been quite a year for Leicester archaeologists. First there was the discovery of Richard III under a parking lot. Now a 3rd century Roman cemetery has been found under a second lot. The cemetery includes 13 burials -- both Christian and Pagan, an unusual practice at the time.

Richard's new army

An army of 100, some dressed in medieval garb, marched on the city of York recently in support of their king, Richard III. Led by Vanessa Roe, the king's 16th great niece, the march was a "moral crusade" to bring Richard's body back to Yorkshire where, according to Roe, he washed to be buried. (photo and video)

New Battle of Hastings book neglects sources, says History Today reviewer

Marc Morris, author of The Norman Conquest, finds some of the facts in a new history of the subject by John Grehan and Martin Mace "uncomfortable." The Battle of Hastings 1066: The Uncomfortable Truth places the site of the famous battle at a different location, Caldbec Hill. His review is on the History Today website.

Life of Elizabeth Woodville dramatized on BBC One

Best-selling historical novelist Philippa Gregory has inspired a new series, currrently running on BBC One, which tells the stories of Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville. The White Queen is based on Gregory's series The Cousin’s War.

Lindisfarne Gospels on display in Durham

Until September 30, 2013, the Lindisfarne Gospels book will be on display in Durham University's Palace Green Library as the centerpiece of  an exhibition of artifacts from Anglo-Saxon England. In conjunction with the exhibit will be performances and family activities.

The valor and villainy of Shakespeare's Star Wars

"'Tis a tale told by fretful droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearstome Stormtroopers, signifying...pretty much everything," reads the description for Ian Doescher's new Shakespearean parody, William Shakespeare's Star Wars.

Oxford chapel may have inspired Arthurian legend

New research finds that Geoffrey of Monmouth's great The History of the Kings of Britain may have been written in St George's chapel, a teaching base for Oxford students, which was destroyed during the construction of Oxford Castle.

Richard's head goes on tour

Richard III is getting the rockstar treatment these days, and now he is scheduled to go on tour - or at least his head is. The re-constructed head, created using the king's actual skull, will go on display in Leicester, Bosworth, York, Northampton and the British Museum. The head will eventually reside at a museum dedicated to the discovery.

Elizabeth I's greatest secret

In what might be the strangest story of the year, author Steve Berry proposes that Queen Elizabeth I might have had an incredible secret: She was a man. The theory is laid out in a new book by Berry, The King’s Deception.

Exploratory excavations at Clare Castle considered "exciting"

For nine days in the spring of 2013, volunteers joined archaeologists to work on four investigative trenches on the grounds of Clare Castle in Suffolk, England. The result was the discovery of human remains, leading experts to believe that a previously-unknown church existed on the property, possibly before the construction of the castle.

The Mary Rose sails again in her new home

More than 30 years after the Mary Rose was pulled from the Solent, the ship continues to delight and educate both scholars and visitors to her new museum. In her new home, the Mary Rose can be viewed through three-story glass walls which display the interior of the ship, complete with dim lighting and "and groaning sounds of the sea outside." Eleanor Williams of BBC News has a feature story.

Richard III generates first research paper

It must have been a race to the finish line, but the first academic paper to be published on the discovery of the remains of Richard III is The king in the car park: new light on the death and burial of Richard III in the Grey Friars church, Leicester, in 1485 by Richard Buckley, Mathew Morris, Jo Appleby, Turi King, Deirdre O'Sullivan, and Lin Foxhall.

Metal detector loot returned to Irish museum

The discovery of historic artifacts using a metal detector has begun a popular pastime in Britain and Ireland, but some enthusiasts are using their equipment to discover and keep, or sell, their objects without permission. One such hobbyist died last year leaving nearly 1000 artifacts to be returned to their rightful owner, the National Museum of Ireland. (photos)

"Dear Edward, Leave the Scots alone!"

A copy of a previously unknown letter from Robert the Bruce to King Edward II has been discovered at the British Library. The letter, written in 1310 during the build-up to the Battle of Bannockburn, requests that Edward recognise Scottish independence and end persecution of its people. (video)

Conference reflects new interest in King Arthur

In recent years, archaeologists have renewed their interest in finding the historic King Arthur. At the Footsteps of King Arthur Conference in Glastonbury, England, experts urged each other to keep looking, possibly as far north as Scotland.

The dark history of Tom Fool

Each year, a jester is chosen to liven up life at Muncaster Castle, near Ravenglass in Cumbria, England. The custom goes back centuries to Tom Skelton, believed to be the original Tom Fool, a real-life jester believed to have a murderous past. (photo)

Look, Mom! I found a medieval pot!

Residents of Hilton, England turned out for several drizzly days of community archaeology recently when Dove Valley Community Archaeology sponsored a series of digs around the village. During the five-day process, fifteen pits were opened, uncovering coins and pottery from Roman times through the 16th century.

Houses scheduled to grace Fulford battlefield

The "most likely candidate" for the site of the Battle of Fulford, according to English Heritage, is Germany Beck, an area scheduled to be developed into a community of 600 new homes, approved by the City of York Council.

Greyfriars church next subject for Richard III archaeologists

Richard III has been identified. Now focus has shifted to the church where he was buried. The archaeological team from the University of Leicester, which discovered the remains of the king in 2012, plans to return to the site to further investigate Greyfriars Church.

William and Kate's housing plans delayed by proposed archaeological dig

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge may have to delay their move into Anmer Hall, the Georgian mansion given to them by the Queen as their new country home, due to two archaeological digs scheduled to take place on the property.

Photos of the Mary Rose

CNN goes inside the new Mary Rose museum in Portsmouth, England. The Mary Rose was a warship that sank in 1545 during a battle with the French.