English

Big guns of Elizabeth's navy

The Elizabethan era of English history was in many ways a time of transition including in the area of naval warfare. The recent discovery of the wreck of a small fighting ship off Alderney in the Channel Islands offers proof that Elizabeth's navy had "created the first ever set of uniform cannon, capable of firing the same size shot in a deadly barrage." (photos)

"I" and "we" among oldest English words

Linguistics experts at Reading University have used computer model analysis to date English words and to predict which words may soon become extinct.

I'm Lost Creating A Persona

Hey. To say I'm wet behind the ears about this whole thing is an understatement to the extreme. I have an idea of what I'm doing from making personas for other types of places but nothing 'historic'. I guess I'm mainly looking for someone(s) who is willing to take my hand and guide me through the basics so I actually have something to stand on.

Mary Rose to get its own museum

Plans are finally underway for the construction of a museum honoring the Tudor warship Mary Rose, Henry VIII's flagship which sank in 1545 with the loss of 400 lives.

Colchester Roman circus for sale

Townhouses may soon cover the track of the only known Roman circus in Britain. The developer, Taylor Wimpey, has decided to sell the land which includes the historic starting gate and Sergeants' Mess in Colchester, England.

Unknown Tolkien work to be published in spring 2009

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, an unpublished book by J.R.R. Tolkien, has been scheduled to be released in May 2009.

"Macclesfield Alphabet Book" images on CR Blog

On the CR (Creative Review) Blog, Patrick has posted an illustrated discussion of the British Library's Macclesfield Alphabet Book, a pattern book "filled with designs for different styles of script, letters, initials and decorative borders."

Manx language enjoys revival

Manx Gaelic, an off-shoot of Old Irish, thought to have died out in the 19th century, is being revived thanks to the efforts of Manx scholar Jennifer Kewley Draskau, who has published "Practical Manx, a guide to the grammar and morphology of the language."

Medieval stone coffin moved to Bosworth Field museum

A medieval stone coffin, once used in a water garden and reputed to have belonged to King Richard III, has been installed as an exhibit in the visitor's center of Bosworth Field, the site where Richard was killed in 1485.

"Marvelous discovery" of 1500-year-old Saxon graves in Sussex

"It was a bit scary at first because we were unsure if it was a murder scene," said metal detectorist Bob white who, with his friend Cliff Smith, recently discovered a 1,500-year-old Saxon burial ground in Sussex, England.

Morris dancing subject of new British film

Media experts are scratching their heads over the word-of-mouth success of the new British film Morris: a Life with Bells On, a comedy, shot in documentary style, about a group of Morris dancers. See the trailer online.

Henry VIII's armor shows king was "larger than life"

New research by the Royal Armouries in Leeds looks at the progression of Henry VIII's girth through the study of his armor. The various suits of armor have been reunited into one place for the study for the first time since the Tudor era.

Official Monty Python YouTube channel

Learn all about the legend of King Arthur, the story of Brian, how to avoid killer rabbits, and even the Meaning of Life on the official Monty Python channel on YouTube.

"Good" penny returns to Malmesbury Abbey

An 11th century silver penny stolen from Malmesbury Abbey has come home. The coin was stolen in June 2008 from a display case in the abbey.

The Scottish Prospero

A recent study by Scottish amateur historian Brian Moffat theorizes that Shakespeare's Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan from "The Tempest," may have been inspired by Francis Stewart, the Fifth Earl of Bothwell, an eccentric Scottish earl who lived an extraordinary life.

Unfortunate English place names

Bart Simpson would have a field day if he visited England with some of its "unfortunate" place names such as Pratts Bottom, a village in Kent, or Crapstone in Devon. Hazel Thompson of the New York Times looks at some historic names which might bring a snicker.

Medieval Dress & Textile Society to offer conference on Henry VIII

The spring 2009 conference of the Medieval Dress & Textile Society will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the accession of Henry VIII to the English throne. The conference will take place in London May 2, 2009.

Light show marks 800th anniversary of Cambridge University

The home to "some of the most significant scientific breakthroughs in history - including the splitting of the atom and the discovery of the structure of DNA," Cambridge University in England celebrates its 800th anniversary with worldwide events and an "exuberant" atmosphere.

In the footsteps of Boudicca

Travel writer Charlie Connelly of the Daily Mail takes an interesting side trip with an article about his journey to retrace the steps of Iceni chieftain Boudicca who led a rebellion against the Romans in 60 C.E.

Bernard Cornwell, author of "Agincourt," interviewed

National Review Online has posted an interview with author Bernard Cornwell discussing his new book Agincourt. The interview is in MP3 format.

Westminster Chapter House to undergo renovation

The Chapter House of Westminster Abbey is crumbling, its stonework decaying and pocked with WWII shrapnel scars, its stone carvings damaged, but there is relief in sight in the form of a £2m restoration program to repair the 13th century octagonal building.

Ravehenge? Not!

Stonehenge experts are less than thrilled by recent depictions of the monument as a venue for prehistoric raves. “It has undoubtedly been put to the press in an eye-catching way with the use of the word rave and all that sort of thing,” laughs Dave Batchelor, archaeologist at Stonehenge, reflecting on the report by Huddersfield University’s Dr Rupert Till.

Roman temples discovered in England

British Channel Four's Time Team has discovered the remains of four Roman temples near Redbourn, England. The temples may have been built to worship water gods, according to experts, since there are springs and a river in the area.

Oldest extant Medieval Roll of Arms bought by British Library

Hrolf Jamesonreports that the British Library has acquired the the Dering Roll, the "oldest extant Medieval Roll of Arms." The document was purchased for UK£194,184.

Life in Roman Britain through the eyes of garrison wives

One of the most important aspects of the excavations at England's Vindolana archaeological site is the insight given to everyday life at the fort, especially through the preserved letters of those stationed there. Australia's Couriermail.com has a feature.

Biography of England's mightiest river

“This river looks so broad and vast, so murky and silent, seems such an image of death in the midst of the great city’s life,” wrote Charles Dickens. Now Peter Ackroyd takes on the daunting history of the river with a new book Thames: The Biography. Jeremy Kutner of the Christian Science Monitor has a review.

International banking - medieval-style

A team of researchers from England's Reading University are studying the credit crunch -- not the recent one, but the "medieval credit crunch" from the time of England's King Edward I.

Salisbury inspires medieval moments

Travelers to London looking for a day trip may want to consider Salisbury in Wiltshire, a medieval city complete with impressive cathedral, museums and historic houses, and restaurants and pubs. Jennifer Conlin of the New York Times has a travel review.

Labour Party blamed for England's crumbling treasures

Macer Hall, Political Editor of the Daily News reports that England's Labour Party is being blamed for the sorry state of many of Britain's historic buildings and sites, some of which are considered “at risk” by experts.

10th century Viking ring found in Sedbergh, England

Two farmers digging in a muddy drainage channel were surprised to see the glint of gold recently and even more surprised to discover a 10th century CE gold Viking ring.