English

Ripon limekiln is an "important find"

British archaeologists are excited about the discovery of a 500-year-old limekiln behind Ripon House in Leeds, England. Constructed in the mid-15th century, the kiln is one of the largest medieval structures ever found in England. (photo)

Henry VIII annulment letter revealed

On the 500th anniversary of the coronation of England's King Henry VIII, the Vatican has permitted scholars a look at the letter requesting an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. The Vatican denies any connection between the two events.

New Stonehenge visitor center is a "go"

The long controversy is over. English Heritage's plan to build a new visitor center and divert a nearby road at Stonehenge has finally been approved. The program will cost an estimated UK£25m.

Current Viroconium "only tip of the iceberg"

Experts from English Heritage have declared that excavations at Shropshire’s Wroxeter Roman City, Viroconium, have so far revealed "only the tip of the iceberg," and plan to uncover the rest of the city.

Vindolanda Writing Tablets to return home

Thanks to a UK£1.8m grant from regional development agency One North East, the Vindolanda Writing Tablets, the rich chronicle of Roman military in Britain, will be coming home to Vindolanda for "a rolling programme of displays" in 2012.

16th century acorn button declared treasure

Experts from the British Museum have authenticated a silver button, fashioned in the shape of an acorn, and declared it treasure. They have dated it to the 16th century. (photo)

BBC's Channel 4 takes on Hastings

In mid-May, 2009, Channel 4 of the BBC premiered a two-part mini-series dramatizing the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The film, 1066: the Battle for Middle Earth, was directed by Justin Hardy who was interviewed for the Telegraph.

Roman vicus sheds light on the last days of Roman Britain

Archaeologists working on a Roman settlement near Bowes, England have discovered a vicus, an unplanned settlement on the outskirts of the fort dating to the 2nd to 3rd centuries, which would have been home to hundreds of people.

Renaissance Dancers "bring the Elizabethan period to life"

Among the theatres of London's Southwark disrict roam the Renaissance Dancers, a group of amateur dress and costume enthusiasts dedicated to bringing the dances of Elizabethan England to life. An article for Fabrics-Store.com newsletter tells their story. (photo)

Medieval conference marks Cambridge University's 800th anniversary

Knowledge and Learning in the Middle Ages: A Conference Celebrating the 800th Anniversary of the University of Cambridge is the title of the one-day conference hosted by the Magdalene Society of Medievalists. registration is now open for the June 13, 2009 conference.

Murder of Thomas a Becket subject of medieval Spanish paintings

An important link between the joined histories of England and Spain remains covered by wooden panels in a ruined church in Soria, Spain. The panels depict the murder of St. Thomas a Becket, an act that sat heavily on the shoulders of king Henry II of England. (photo)

Roman road being destroyed by 4x4s

The last remnants of a Roman road from Wandlebury to Horseheath, England are being destroyed by trail bikers and 4x4 drivers who using it as a race track.

Britain' Queen participates in ancient Easter custom

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain recreated a custom dating to the 13th century recently by handing out "Maundy Money," a tradition of doling out coins to pensioners. (video)

NPR series follows path of modern Canterbury pilgrims

A recent multi-part NPR series retraces the steps of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales pilgrims in modern England from London to Canterbury. The site includes an interactive map of the journey.

Pub evacuated due to Holy Grenade of Antioch

The bomb squad was recently called to a pub in Shoreditch, east London when workers from the water company discovered a suspicious object. Such an evacuation is not an unusual occurrence in today's terrorist-conscious world, but these workers must not have been fans of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

[DRA] Winchester Pilgrimage IV

Come all ye pilgrims and travelers, and join the Shire of West Dragoningshire for a pilgrimage at the Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty. Share with us in an evening of Chaucer; a morning pilgrimage to Winchester Cathedral, an afternoon demonstration of our fighting skills, and an evening of feasting and storytelling.

Exhibit shows "true colors" of Tudor tapestry

Light analysis was used to determine the original colors of a huge tapestry commissioned by Henry VIII. The tapestry is now on display at Hampton Court until January 3, 2010 in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the king's accession to the throne.

"Harken to Me" Late Middle English romances online

A special edition of Medieval Forum offers translations of late Middle English romances, "accompanied by brief commentaries on issues raised in the poems." The site also includes a bibliography and material on the various poems.

Was Henry VIII's Tyranny the Result of a Brain Injury?

A new theory suggests that Henry VIII underwent a personality change as the result of a head injury he suffered while jousting.

Magna Carta Viewer offers in depth look at England's historic past

Visitors to the British Library's Treasures in Full: Magna Carta website are invited to enjoy an in-depth look at the document through the use of Magna Carta Viewer, a Shockwave plugin, which can be downloaded free from the Adobe website. The site also includes a simple, clickable website that allows viewers to zoom in for a closeup look.

New Dig at Bodiam Castle

The need for better sewage facilities to deal with visitors has created an opportunity for a dig at Bodiam Castle in Sussex, England. The 14th-century building is considered an outstanding example of a late medieval moated castle.

Landscape tells historical story in English countryside

A spring walk in the English countryside can be a history lesson for careful observers. The Time Team's resident landscape archaeologist, Stewart Ainsworth, offers hints on "How to read landscapes like an archaeologist."

Rediscovered "Siege of Boulogne" drawing to be displayed at British Library

A huge drawing of Henry VIII"S 1544 Siege of Boulogne, once mislabeled and believed lost, will go on display at the British library as part of an exhibition entitled Henry VIII: Man and Monarch.

Medieval design could be eco-house of the future

Engineers and architects at Cambridge University have constructed a prototype "eco-house" based on a 600-year-old design. The plan uses a domed technique developed in Spain called "timbrel vaulting" which retains the sun's heat and cools naturally in the summer. (photo)

Today in the Middle Ages: April 19, 1012

Ælfheah, Archbishop of Canterbury, was martyred on April 19, 1012 in Greenwich, England.

Armor of Henry VIII on display

An exhibit of the armor of King Henry VIII is being displayed at the Tower of London until January, 2010. In commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Tudor king's ascension to the throne of England, the exhibit will include a full suit of armor from 1544 only recently identified as Henry's. The article includes a 3-minute demonstration with replica armor of how the suit was worn. (video)

Roman pollution reaches Iceland

A new study, which appeared in the April 2009 issue of the journal Science of the Total Environment shows that air pollution from 1st and 2nd century Roman mining and metalworking operations has shown up in an Icelandic salt marsh.

Letters and papers of Henry VIII online

British History Online has posted the letters and papers of Henry VIII from the beginning of the king's reign in 1509 until January 1547. The website includes daily journal and calendar entries.

Dream exhibit at the Folger Library

The dreamworld was a popular subject for medieval and renaissance people. Now a new exhibit at Washington D.C. Folger Library looks at the world of sleep and dreams through the eyes of William Shakespeare and others. Philip Kennicott of the Washington Post has a review.

"A Yorkshire Tragedy" added to Shakespeare's works?

British academic John Casson believes that he has discovered previously unrecognized works by Williams Shakespeare. Included in these are a poem, a comedy, and his first two tragedies. Casson also claims to have proof of Shakespeare's authorship of the "lost play" Cardenio.