Venusse was her name

How were royal children brought up in the Middle Ages? A manuscript newly digitised as part of the British Library’s Medieval and Renaissance Women project supplies us with clues. Add MS 37656, a household account book compiled in 1305 by John de Claxton, keeper of the wardrobe, demonstrates how women were in charge of key aspects of the care of two medieval princes, Thomas of Brotherton (b. 1300, d. 1338) and Edmund of Woodstock (b. 1301, d. 1330).

Read more …

The household account of Princes Thomas and Edmund: Add MS 37656, f. 1r

Newport Ship: Medieval vessel is ‘world’s largest 3D puzzle’

With almost 2,500 pieces, measuring 30 metres and weighing 25 tonnes, it has been called the world’s largest 3D puzzle.

Archaeologists can now, after 20 years of painstaking restoration, start to reassemble the wreck of a 15th Century ship found in a south Wales riverbank.

Experts believe the medieval vessel is as significant a find as the Mary Rose – and it is a century older.

This is what builders uncovered in 2002 when constructing a new theatre in Newport

Read more …

Curious cures for medieval maladies

If you feel unwell today you can pick up a prescription or head to a medical centre, but how did ill people treat their ailments in the Middle Ages? A major new project at Cambridge University Library aims to find out, by digitising, cataloguing and conserving over 180 medieval manuscripts, containing well over 8,000 medical recipes. Dr James Freeman speaks to Emily Briffett about what these weird and wonderful recipes – using ingredients like puppy stomachs and eel grease – can tell us.

Listen here

Royal sibling rivalry: Henry VIII, Richard III and other monarchs whose fate was determined by their brothers and sisters

Through history, the role of the second or third royal sibling has not always been easy. Here, historian Sarah Gristwood explores 10 of the most famous – and dysfunctional – royal sibling relationships…

Read more …

A portrait of three of the children of Henry VII: Prince Henry; Arthur Prince of Wales and Princess Margaret.
(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Grimsby Imp – a 12th century church that houses a dark creature

Grimsby Minster is an imposing church in an otherwise quiet fishing town. However, a 700-year-old legend states that it was once tormented by an imp that was sent by the Devil himself. 

The tale connects the Grimsby Imp to the Lincoln Imp, and claims that both were sent by the devil to wreak havoc. As the story goes, the imps were so good at their job that God sent an angel to deal with them. The angel warned the imps, commanding them to repent or else.

Read more…

Grimsby Imp by Coolcrab (Atlas Obscura User)

St Magnus the Martyr

St Magnus church stands at the head of the old London Bridge in the City of London. St Magnus was built to the south of Thames Street to serve the growing population of the bridgehead area and was certainly in existence by 1128-33.

It was Sir Christopher Wren’s most expensive parish church and the first to be visited by all those crossing into the City.

The church is dedicated to St Magnus the Martyr, earl of Orkney, who died on 16 April 1118. He was executed on the island of Egilsay having been captured during a power struggle with his cousin, a political rival. Magnus had a reputation for piety and gentleness and was canonised in 1135.

Take a virtual tour now …