Author Archives: Archivist

The Archivist brings you news and reviews of all things medieval.

Anglo-Saxon treasures found on Bicester building site scrap heap

The ‘unusual’ discovery of a brooch over 1,300 years old and found on a building site in Bicester has been declared as treasure. The Anglo-Saxon brooch, and five other historic finds thought to be from a female grave from the 7th century, was uncovered at the undisclosed site on top of a pile of soil….

Medieval windows removed from York Minster for restoration

Two 600-year-old windows have been removed from York Minster as part of a major restoration project. The windows are part of a sequence of eight and the 11-year project in the cathedral’s South Quire aisle will see all of them removed and restored. They will also be given protective glazing to prevent future damage in…

Anna, Duchess of Cleves by Heather Darise

Anna of Cleves book

Heather Darise explores the life of Anna, Duchess of Cleves, the fourth wife of Henry VIII in her new book titled Anna, Duchess of Cleves The King’s ‘Beloved Sister.’ The book takes a fresh look at Anna from the perspective of her upbringing in the Holy Roman Empire. Heather uses primary documents, including official marrage…

Notre Dame Fire: Pictures

Notre Dame Fire: Video

Notre Dame on Fire Fire engulfs Notre Dame Spire Collapses Full Notre Dame Fire coverage (NBC News, 5 hours)

Live Coverage: Notre Dame Fire

The Notre Dame cathedral in Paris was engulfed in flames on Monday, police said, causing untold damage to the iconic building just days before Easter Sunday. Cause of the fire is still undetermined.

Pope Formosus; Died 04 April 896

Formosus was born in 816 but little is known of his upbringing. He became the Cardinal Bishop of Porto, Italy in 864. Formosus was excommunicated in July 872 on the charges of deserting his diocese without papal permission, aspiring to the position of Archbishop of Bulgaria and despoiling the cloisters of Rome. His excommunication was…

Bristol academic discovers 819-Year-Old Royal Charter Issued by King John

A rare, original royal charter from the first year of King John’s reign has been discovered in Durham by a medieval historian from the University of Bristol. The document, which was not previously known to have survived, carries the seal of King John and is dated 26 March 1200, issued in York, exactly 819 years…

Saint Nicholas of Flüe; Died 21 March 1487

Nicholas was born in 1417 in Unterwalden, Switzerland. Nicholas joined the army at age 21 and took part in many battles, including the Battle of Ragaz in 1446. Nicholas was a distinguished soldier and retired at age 37. It’s reported that he fought with a sword in one hand and a rosary in the other….

Killing the legend of buried Viking swords

Viking-grave-sword

Swords found in early medieval graves don’t necessarily mark the final resting place of a warrior, new research suggests. The international research, combining literary and archaeological data, borrows from ancient texts to challenges the long-held notion that swords found in excavated ancient gravesites bear the mark of a warrior. Flinders University expert Dr Erin Sebo says…

Medieval remains found on site of new United Utilities water pipeline near Bridekirk

Pipeline-ruins

Archaeologists investigating medieval ruins along the route of the new 100km pipeline near Cockermouth found an ancient skeleton and new clues to the area’s Roman past. The discoveries were made in a field south of Bridekirk ahead of building work taking place and have just been revealed by United Utilities. They came out of the…

Dr Sean Cunningham talks Prince Arthur at the National Archives

Prince Arthur cover

We featured Dr Sean Cunningham’s book Prince Arthur: The Tudor King Who Never Was a couple years ago on this site. Now you have chance to hear him talk about Prince Arthur and Henry VIII. Dr Cunningham will speak on Wednesday, 20 March at the National Archives. Prince Arthur: The Tudor King Who Never Was…

Australia is Going Medieval

Australia-Going-Medieval

The Guardian Australia is running a video series highlighting different subcultures and communities bringing people together across the country. Going Medieval enters the chivalrous world of medieval reenactment in the Sydney suburb of St Ives, where passionate men and women dress up to fight, craft, eat, drink and make merry as characters from European history.

This medieval astrolabe is officially world’s oldest known such instrument

A mariner’s astrolabe recovered from the wreck of one of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama’s ships is now officially the oldest known such artifact, according to a new paper in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. The device is even going into the Guinness Book of World Records, along with the ship’s bell, now that the age of…

Long-lost Dark Ages abbey may have been found in Scotland

Abbey_remains

Excavations led by DigVentures have unearthed traces of a huge circular ditch at a site in Coldingham where the abbey, founded by Aebbe, an Anglo-Saxon princess born in 615AD who became a Christian convert, is believed to have stood. The ditch is believed likely to be the ‘vallum’, a boundary surrounding the abbess’ religious establishment….