County Kilkenny in Ireland is full of a medieval magic

Kilkenny CastleThe mischievous charm of Ireland’s people lures many travellers to Dublin, the city that has a wink in its eye and a thriving pub culture. And Ireland’s mythic countryside – craggy cliffs and rolling emerald fields – has a scenic and sentimental attraction for all those Aussies with Irish roots.

Many visitors do a city stopover with a whistlestop tour of the Ring of Kerry, but Ireland’s counties are brimming with vibrant local culture and historical flavour. One of my favourites is Kilkenny in the south-east, most famous for its devotion to the arts and glorious 12th-century castle (yes, I’m a huge castle geek).

Storytelling is the lifeblood of Celtic culture, so you’ll want to tap into the tales that don’t come any taller. First exhibit: 14th-century local, Alice Kyteler, who went through four husbands, probably poisoned them, and was branded a witch (her house is now the higgledy-piggledy Kytelers Inn pub). “Eyewitnesses swore they saw her flying around the town, sure,” assures our guide Connall with an impish grin.

Visit ireland.com and visitkilkenny.ie

Ninety-two human skeletons have been found on the site of a medieval church in Oxford

Oxford_prioressArchaeologists made the discovery near the Kassam Stadium after a valuation was carried out as part of a planning application for a new hotel.

Paul Murray, from John Moore Heritage Services, described the discovery of the burials as “amazing”.

The derelict Priory pub is the only building that remains of a nunnery founded on the site in 1110AD.

Whilst its location was known to experts, the full extent of its contents is only now becoming clear.

A series of “very unusual burials” were found at the site, including a woman found in a face down position, another who was a victim of blunt force trauma to the back of the head, and a stillborn child.

Codex Gigas: The ‘Devil’s Bible’ Is Largest And Most Mysterious Medieval Manuscript Ever Found

Codex-Gigas-DevilThere is a mysterious manuscript called Codex Gigas that is housed in the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm that has been nicknamed “the Devil’s Bible,” due to the legend surrounding the text’s creation. The manuscript is the largest medieval manuscript ever found, and is believed to have been created in the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice, Czech Republic, in the early 13th century. The text was hand-written by, depending on who you speak to, a reclusive monk or monk possessed by the devil himself.

National Geographic has created a series of videos in an attempt to uncover the “truth” behind the “Devil’s Bible.” The manuscript is impressive for not only the extremely large size, measuring 9 inches thick, 20 inches wide, and 36 inches tall. The book weighs an astonishing 165 pounds and is so large that it takes two people to hold the book to turn its pages. The manuscript is believed to have required the skins of 160 animals to complete.

What has surprised researchers most about the detailed manuscript is the fact that it appears a single scribe penned the entire book by hand. This would require five years of non-stop writing to complete such a daunting task. The Line-Up notes that the five years of writing would not include the time needed to create the ornate and detailed drawings within the text.

Inside the book is a detailed image of the devil standing between two towers. Legend surrounding the manuscript claims that a monk broke his monastic vows and was sentenced to a horrific death of being walled up alive in a room. However, the monk pleaded with the monastery to allow him one last chance to make amends by promising to write, in just one night, a book that glorified the monastery and contained all human knowledge.

The Truth Behind – The Truth Behind the Devil’s Bible

New book sheds light on Hereford’s medieval past

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A LEADING archaeologist, who uncovered the remains of what might be a wounded Knight, will reveal extraordinary details of medieval life in Hereford in a new book. Andy Boucher and Luke Craddock-Bennett are speaking at the Hay Festival to launch their book, ‘Death in the Close’, which digs down through 900 years of local history,…

The Vikings Podcast #310: The Dead

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Well it’s here the season finale! Will Ragnar live to fight another season? Will the Vikings conquer Paris or take their payment and head home? Will Gisla marry Odo? And what is the fate of Rollo? Find out on another great episode of Vikings! On this episode of The Vikings Podcast we’ll review and recap…

American Ninja Warrior gets medieval!

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How does American Ninja Warrior relate to the Middle Ages? Well there’s some exciting news coming out of the Archives today! Besides medieval history one of my other passions is martial arts and with that comes a love of fitness. Or at least a need to stay fit to excel in martial arts. Last fall…

Lost Cloister Discovered in Iceland

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Icelandic and British archaeologists employing geosensing techniques have detected the remains of a large building that may be Iceland’s lost Þykkvabær cloister, which housed Augustinian monks from 1168 to 1550. “I think we’ve just hit the jackpot, because I think we’ve discovered the remains of Þykkvabæjarklaustur. It came as a complete surprise, you can say…

Get medieval with mom

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How about something a little different for mom for Mother’s Day? Something even a little medieval? The Steppingstone Museum, located at 461 Quaker Bottom Road, is holding its Medieval Days Encampment from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 9 and 10, with admission $10 for adults, while children 12 and under and members can attend…

Medieval prayer wheel found inside rare Liesborn Gospel

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The Liesborn Gospel, containing just the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, has a cover made of carved oak with copper clasps and is thought to have been ordered by an abbess – or female superior – called Berthildis for highborn ladies who entered her convent in Liesborn in Germany. The book is for…

Happy Birthday to Edward IV, King of England

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Edward IV turns 573 today! Edward was the King of England twice during the Wars of the Roses. His first kingship was from 4 March 1461 until 3 October 1470. He was deposed for a few months by Henry VI. He returned to the throne on 11 April 1471 and remained King until his death…

The Vikings Podcast #309: Breaking Point

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The siege was a failure for the Vikings, but they are determined to take Paris. Will the second attack succeed or can Odo save the city again? Ragnar is inured and can’t join the battle. Will he recover and enter Paris? Will Emperor Charles and Count Odo resist the Vikings or pay them to go…

Medieval bones discovery at Nefyn maritime museum

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The team at CR Archaeology discovered the bones in a stone cist grave beneath a wall at Old St Mary’s Church, Nefyn – now a maritime museum – 18 months ago. Tests confirmed she was aged 60 when she died and was buried around 1180. The team are now working to find out more about…

Predator: Dark Ages Trailer

Predator: Dark Ages is a fan made film that pits the Knights Templar against The Predator! Synopsis: Dark ages follows a group of war-torn Templar knights who have returned from the Eastern lands, back to England, only to find that the enemy is now a lot closer and a lot more deadly than before. Throughout…

Battered Remains of Medieval Knight Discovered in Hereford Cathedral

The battered remains of a medieval man uncovered at a famous cathedral hint that he may have been a Norman knight with a proclivity for jousting. The man may have participated in a form of jousting called tourney, in which men rode atop their horses and attacked one another, in large groups, with blunted weapons….

The Vikings Podcast #308: To The Gates!

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Let the siege begin! Ragnar and his army of Vikings assault Paris on two fronts. Will splitting the his army prove effective? Will Floki’s towers help them win the day? Princess Gisla finds divine inspiration with the banner of Saint Denis. Will Denis protect Paris and keep the pagans out? Will the Vikings conquer the…