English

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.

New book on Tudor men's garb announced

Fat Goose Press has announced the recent publication of a new book on men's garb at the time of King Henry VIII. The book, The King's Servants: Men's Dress at the Accession of Henry VIII, was authored by Caroline Johnson.

Face of Mary Rose's bosun revealed

Forensic artist Richard Neave has reconstructed the face of the bosun of the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's flagship sunk over 400 years ago. The head was constructed from a skull recovered from the sunken ship and identified by the whistle found with his remains. (photo)

Linkenholt, England goes on the block

Anyone with a hankering to own property in England - and a cool US$31-35 million to do it with - will want to purchase Linkenholt, a complete English town with cottages, blacksmiths, a manor house and a clock tower.

Modern British priory attempts to recreate chartreuse

Mount Grace priory in North Yorkshire has planted an herb garden in the hopes of recreating Britain's ancient version of chartreuse.

Over 9,000 books "mislaid" at British Library

Every librarian understands the concept of "missing" books: those volumes stolen, mis-shelved, or misplaced that usually turn up. But if those books are at the British Library and number in the thousands, the problem could be disastrous.

Last chance to see the Mary Rose

This summer, the salvaged remnants of the Mary Rose, the 16th century Tudor warship, will go into a sealed chamber in preparation for a newly-designed museum. The current display, "a spooky monument and a time machine," is housed at Portsmouth's historic dockyard.

Handwriting suggests Henry VIII "emotionally dependent on women"

A recent analysis of the handwriting of King Henry VIII shows that he was brought up in a household dominated by his mother and sister, and shows traits of being emotionally dependent on women.

Curved wall of Shakespeare's original theater found in London's Shoreditch

A team of experts from the Museum of London believes it has found the remains of William Shakespeare's first theater which saw the premiere of plays such as Romeo and Juliet. (video)

Sherwood "infested" by Robin Hood?

According to a 15th century history book, Robin Hood may not have been as popular with the common people as believed. According to art historian Julian Luxford, Robin and his merry men "infested" Sherwood Forest with their thieving ways.

New "Henry V" aimed at youth

A new production of Shakespeare's Henry V at the New Victory Theater, the family-friendly theater in New York City, co-produced by the Acting Company and the Guthrie Theater, offers fast-paced staging aimed at the theater's young audience. Charles Isherwood of the New York Times has a review.

Shakespeare Facebooked

If William Shakespeare had had a Facebook or MySpace account, what might it have looked like? Mike McPhaden thinks he knows with Wm. Shakespeare's Five and Twenty Random Things Abovt Me. (PG-13 for language)

Her Majesty invites you for a visit

Did you know that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of England has a website? Indeed She does, and one where you may enjoy a virtual tour of Windsor Castle, walk through the gardens at Buckingham Palace, or the gallery of royal paintings.

Musical ear helps British metal detectorist find medieval ring

Douglas Fletcher of Flint, England has a fancy French metal detector which emits a differently-pitched sound for different metals. This, along with a musician's sense of pitch, allowed him to discover a silver ring dating to the 14th century.

Teenage "witch" to receive Christian burial

Archaeologists in Kent, England have found the remains of a young girl buried in unconsecrated ground beneath a holly tree. They believe that the girl, whose head had been removed and buried beside the body, had been a criminal or accused of witchcraft.

Medieval waterwheel found at Greenwich Wharf

Excavations by the Museum of London archaeologists have unearthed the foundations of the city's earliest tide-powered waterwheel at the Greenwich Wharf. The structure has been dated to the 12th century. (photos)

Gloucester archaeologists search for "missing link" in wall

Archaeologists are hoping that they will complete their discovery of the Roman wall which once ringed Gloucester, England during a summer dig. Evidence of much of the original wall has been found, except for one portion "between the corner of Parliament Street and Southgate Street."

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."