English

Westminster Abbey's "carpet of stone" revealed

A two-year restoration project has revealed the breathtaking details of a medieval mosaic pavement, depicting the end of the world, in the floor of London's Westminster Abbey. The floor was originally constructed in the 1260s by Henry III>

The Soldier in later Medieval England

An innovative new research project, sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will look at the life of the professional soldier in England from 1369 to 1453.

Viking sword find wows experts on Isle of Man

Dan Crowe and Rob Farrer of the Manx Detectorists Society have found artifacts with their metal detectors before, but nothing quite as dramatic as fragments of a Viking sword, a rare find on the Isle of Man. (photo)

Portrait of Shakespeare's patron discovered

Experts believe they have discovered a portrait of Henry Wriothesley, Shakespeare's only known patron, under a later portrait of his wife, Elizabeth Vernon. The painted-over image was discovered using X-ray technology. (photo)

Did smallpox kill Gloucester Romans?

Experts working on the recently-discovered mass Roman grave in Gloucester, England will be using DNA tests to determine what killed over 90 individuals. A first look at the remains points to a 2nd century smallpox outbreak that swept across Britain.

Ann Hathaway steps out of the shadows

Best known for her quaint house and her inheritance of the “second-best bed,” Shakespeare's wife, Ann Hathaway, has been mostly a mystery figure. Now a new book, Shakespeare's Wife by Germaine Greer, sheds some light on a little-understood woman. Katie Roiphe as the New York Times Sunday Review.

Germanic society in England may not have been as brutal as once believed

Recent scientific studies have suggested that the Germanic invaders of England may have imposed an apartheid-like system on the native peoples, but an article by John Pattison of the University of South Australia in Adelaide disagrees. "The evidence is compatible with the idea of a much more integrated society," he says.

Anglo Saxon priestess grave found in Yorkshire

Archaeologists are studying the grave of a 7th century Anglo Saxon woman who might have been a Pagan priestess. By the placement of the grave and the objects within, including a sword and elaborate jewelry, they feel that the woman may have headed a 7th century cult. (photo)

Lead church roofs target of English thieves

England's historic churches are facing a new enemy: lead thieves, who are now stealing strips of lead from church roofs. The thefts are being blamed on the record high price that lead brings.

Sherwood's "Thynghowe" may be Anglo-Saxon mound

Husband and wife Lynda Mallet and Stuart Reddish discovered a mysterious mound three years ago in Sherwood Forest, Nottingham, England with the help of 19th century maps. Now they believe the site may have been an Anglo-Saxon gathering place.

12th century "Hoodies" terrorized medieval London

According to historian Professor Robert Bartlett, youth gangs are nothing new. They existed in 12th century London and wore hooded garments which hid their identities during rampages.

Royal Mint introduces heraldic coin designs

A new series of British coins will feature the heraldry of the monarch. Each coin in the six-coin set will feature an aspect of the coat of arms with the £1 piece depicting the complete shield.

10th century gold and glass ring found in Yorkshire

A gold ring with a glass setting found by metal detector Colin Ashton near Wetherby, Yorkshire, has been declared treasure. The ring dates to the 10th century. (photo)

Smoking ban leads to discovery of medieval artifact

A 14th century gravestone has been lying unnoticed as part of the wall of the Blacksmiths Arms in Mickleton, County Durham, England. One of the pub regulars, an archaeologist, spotted it low in the wall as he stood outside puffing his pipe, because he can no longer smoke inside the bar.

Foxley Manor: A 14th Century Journal

Online journal of 14th century interests and their re-creation.

New dig may explain Stonehenge

Just a few weeks after beginning, the excavators now working at Stonehenge have had what they describe as a "breakthrough." Clues towards the original placement of the bluestones, the site's oldest elements, may reveal why Stonehenge was built.

Gynaecological study of Mary, Queen of Scots finds her an “adulteress and liar”

A new study by modern gynaecologists paints a sordid picture of the life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, who, according to the study, was "a 'moral loose cannon', whose striking beauty and sex appeal gave Elizabeth other reasons to imprison and execute her."

Combs and shears honored Anglo Saxon dead

Archaeologists have long believed that Anglo Saxon burial customs required elaborate displays, but new evidence points to the use of more common devotions such as combs, razors and other household items.

Tudor Cookery at Hampton Court - and Other Treats

Countess Alys Katharine recently returned to Hampton Court to study the cooking of Tudor England. Her report follows.

Pre-1640's Shakespeare folios to be digitized

The Bodleian and Folger Libraries are combining efforts to create digital copies of "all 75 editions of William Shakespeare's plays printed in the quarto format before the year 1641." The folios are the closest copies to Shakepseare's own in existence.

Mysterious "feather pits" shed light on forgotten witches of England

Evidence of pagan rituals involving swans and other birds in the Cornish countryside in the 17th century has been uncovered by archaeologists.

Roman statues receive makeover at Bath

A collection of statues that ring the Roman baths in Bath, England have received a facelift to remove years of grime. The renovation project is just part of a plan to "create an unforgettable experience for all our daytime and evening visitors."

Shakespeare and politics

With the presidential election looming and politics on everyone's mind, the Los Angeles Times ponders the words of the Bard and how he would see our modern world in an opinions piece by Jess Winfield.

Time Team discovers link between Welsh and King Harald

In 2007 Channel Four's Time Team was permitted to excavate a field near the village of Portskewett in Wales and discovered what it believes is a Saxon hunting lodge built by King Harald one year before the Battle of Hastings.

Tower lions from northwest Africa

Recent study of a pair of lion skulls discovered during excavations of the Tower of London reveals that the lions originated near the Barbary Coast of Northwest Africa. The skulls, which dated from the 13th or 14th centuries, were carbon dated and tested for DNA.

14th Century Game gets Official Recognition

The Sports Council in England has agreed that Stoolball, a medieval game mostly localized to southeastern England, meets its criteria to be recognized as a sport. Approximately 4,000 people in the vicinity of Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire play Stoolball.

The Vikings return to Nottingham

The Vikings will return to Nottingham, England April 26, 2008 for From Bones to Berserkers -- Vikings Under the Spotlight, the Midlands Viking Symposium 2008 at The University of Nottingham. The program will include presentations by some of the worlds greatest authorities on Norse and Viking culture.

Ancient Colchester South Gate discovered

Archaeologists believe that they have discovered part of the South gate of the Roman wall at Colchester, Britain's oldest Roman town. The wall was destroyed in 1818.

Knights Templar petition to restore the Order

An odd advertisement appeared March 18, 2008 in the London Daily Telegraph. Titled "The Ancient & Noble Order of The Knights Templar," the ad announced that the Order "would petition the Pope to 'restore the Order with the duties, rights and privileges appropriate to the 21st century and beyond.'"

Bayeux Simpsons

Forget the conquest of England! Who has the couch? The Simpsons take on the Bayeux Tapestry for the opening gag.