English

Bye bye, Bythewood

The medieval surnames of England are disappearing. That means no more Bythewoods, Pauncefoots or Foothead, according to Debbie Kennett of the Guild of One-Name Studies, a group dedicated to investigating the origins and heritage of surnames.

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.

Archaeologists seek Kingsholm Palace

A BBC video reports that archaeologists believe they have discovered the site of the Anglo-Saxon Kingsholm Palace in Gloucester, England.

The beauty of Devon's bench carvings

Historian Todd Gray believes the English often marvel at the beauty of craftsmanship in other countries without realizing what they have in their own backyards. In a short BBC video, he looks at the church bench carvings of Devon.

"Epic parties" marked spectacular Anglo-Saxon feasting hall

1,300 years ago, a "spectacular Anglo-Saxon feasting hall" was abandoned in Kent, England. Recently a team of archaeologists from the University of Reading marked the end of their excavations of the site with a candlelight ceremony surrounding the building which knew so many "epic parties."

I say, is that a sword you're carrying...

Fans of rapier combat and regency romance will appreciate a short film by Leo Burton. The Duel At Blood Creek is the winner of several short film awards. [OOP and PG13]

Subject of Holbein painting identified

X-rays and infra-red photography used during conservation work on a portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger have identified the subject as Hans, a merchant working in London's steelyards, rather than the goldsmith Hans of Antwerp, the identity given to the man for over 400 years.

Robin Hood Land?

The city council of Nottingham, England and a private concern are at odds over plans to construct two major attractions honoring Robin Hood in Nottinghamshire. The city hopes to revamp the Nottingham Castle, while Discovery Attractions wants to build a UK£13m theme park near Edwinstowe. (graphic)

US government determines Drake landed at Point Reyes, California

Apparently fed up with four centuries of sqabbling, US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has designated the Point Reyes Peninsula, north of San Francisco, in Marin County, California, as the site where Sir Francis Drake came ashore and claimed the land for England.

Leicester burials continue to mystify

The mysteries surrounding remains found under a Leicester, England car park continue with efforts to identify the bones of a woman found in the vicinity of those suspected to belong to King Richard III. Experts are puzzled at the burial of a woman in Greyfriars church, a male institution.

British MP calls for state funeral for Richard III

Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth believes that a state funeral would be appropriate for the recently-discovered remains, believed to be those of King Richard III. "I think he should have a state funeral because he is the last English monarch to have died on a battlefield," said Ashworth.

Richard III tomb nearly destroyed by Victorians

How different things might have been for Richard III enthusiasts if Victorian builders had placed their foundation one foot lower. The change would have destroyed the grave believed to be that of the king killed at the Battle of Bosworth. (photo of re-enactors guarding site.)

Anglo-Saxon Portraits on the BBC

BBC Radio 3 The Essay offers a series of 15-minute portraits of great Anglo-Saxons in an audio podcast. The series features acclaimed historians.

[OUT] Totally Tudor Twelfth Night

Come join us and start the year in Tudor fashion. This year Caerthe's premiere event will highlight the court of Henry VIII, but you will be able to come and enjoy all the aspects of Caerthe's 12th Night that you have come to love over the years, including merchants, friends, entertainment and the usual feast.

Bayeux Tapestry captured in crystal

The 11th century Bayeux Tapestry, depicting the Battle of Hastings, measures an impressive 70m (230ft). Now an artist from Somerset, England has engraved the entire piece onto a crystal bowl. (photo)

British MP calls for hunt for the remains of Henry I

England's Reading East MP Rob Wilson has been paying attention to the possible discovery of te remains of Richard III, and would like to have the same experience in his district. King Henry I, son of William the Conqueror, founded Reading Abbey in 1121 and is thought to have been buried there in 1135.

Medieval well found beneath 17th century house

In June 2012, the 17th century Cupola House, home of the Strada restaurant, burned, but treasure has come from tragedy. During the restoration of the house, experts discovered a medieval well predating the later house.

"Beautifully carved" Roman sarcophagus found in English garden

An eagle-eyed art expert is responsible for the discovery of a 2nd century Roman sarcophagus overgrown with plants in a Dorset, England garden. The "rare and beautifully carved" sarcophagus is expected to sell at auction for UK£50,000. (photo)

Mystery of the Roman die solved

Over forty years ago, a little ivory cube was discovered in Frocester near Stroud, England. The cube was soon identified as a Roman die, and now, a mystery surrounding it has been solved: The game piece was crafted from elephant ivory. (photo)

Roman cemetery could rewrite history of Roman Banwell

Construction on a UK£3.6million main between Banwell and Hutton, England is being held up while archaeologists investigate an unearthed Roman cemetery, possibly linked to a villa, containing a huge hoard of artifacts. (photos)

London burials surprise archaeologists

The discovery of over 500 skeletons, some dating to the Middle Ages, has halted plans for the construction of a UK£20m leisure centre in south-east London. BBC London's Nick Beake has a video report.

Elizabethan tapestry reveals surprises

The recent cleaning of an Elizabethan tapestry map of the English Midlands has revealed some surprises including the Neolithic Rollright Stones and "cottages nestled among the trees." The tapestry will be used as part of the British Museum's Shakespeare: Staging the World. (photo)

13th century silver brooch declared treasure

In 2011, metal detectorist Frank Kurzeja discovered a silver brooch 10 inches beneath the soil near Cowfold, England. The brooch has recently been declared treasure. (photo)

Dine with the Bard in Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts will present Supper with Shakespeare: The Evolution of English Banqueting December 13, 2012-March 31, 2013, an exhibit celebrating the spectacular dining experiences during Tudor times.

In search of Hastings

Tradition (and tourism) have long held that Battle Abbey was the site of the famous Battle of Hastings. However, while as many as 10,000 men may have died there, no bodies or major artifacts have been found. Historian John Grehan thinks that the battle may really have taken place in Caldbec Hill, a mile away.

African king is history's richest man

Bill Gates who? CelebrityNetWorth has named Mansa Musa I, the 14th century leader of the Empire of Mali, the richest man of all time, with a personal worth of over US$400 billion.  Mali's role as supplier of salt and gold to much of the known world made the king rich and Mali an economic superpower.

The ongoing importance of the Magna Carta

In Great Britain and the United States, the Magna Carta is revered as one of the bases of law. In an article for History Today, Ralph V. Turner, Professor of History Emeritus, Florida State University, and the author of Magna Carta, looks at the document and its importance through history.

The passion of Elizabeth Dacre

Women were rarely recognized as poets in Tudor England, but the chance discovery of a love poem by Elizabeth Dacre to Sir Anthony Coke has given new insight into courtly love in Elizabeth I's time. Dr. Elaine Treharne of Stanford University discusses the poem in podcast for WAMC's Academic Minute.