Gainsborough Old Hall returns to English Heritage and opens to public

Lincolnshire house, built in 1460, has been a theatre, preaching house, pub and masonic temple

The hall was built in 1460 for Sir Thomas Burgh, a political climber and survivor who wanted a spectacular family home that would reflect his status. TheGuardian.com

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Gainsborough Old Hall in Lincolnshire open to the public from 3 July. Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian

The Master of Edward IV

The British Library continues to acquire medieval manuscripts with important research potential to enhance the national collection. You may have seen that last year they announced the acquisition of the Lucas Psalter (Add MS 89428), a fascinating late medieval Psalter made in Bruges for an English patron, which contains the added arms of Thomas Houchon Lucas (1460-1539) of Suffolk, the secretary to Jasper Tudor, and Solicitor General under Henry VII. Now that the Library has reopened, they have digitised the manuscript which you can view in full on our Digitised Manuscripts site. BritishLibrary.uk

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A hymn from the Lucas Psalter with the arms of Thomas Houchon Lucas: Add MS 89428, f. 12r

Medieval killer rabbits: when bunnies strike back

Vengeful, merciless and brutally violent… yes that’s right, we’re talking about medieval bunnies. Rabbits can often be found innocently frolicking in the decorated borders or illuminations of medieval manuscripts, but sometimes, for reasons unknown, these adorable fluffy creatures turn into stone-cold killers. These darkly humorous images of medieval killer bunnies still strike a chord with modern viewers, always proving a hit on social media and popularised by Monty Python and the Holy Grail’s Beast of Caerbannog, ‘the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!’. BritishLibrary.uk

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Rabbits hang a hunter from a decorated letter ‘T’. The Arnstein Passional, Arnstein, Germany, c. 1170s: Harley MS 2801, f. 151r

Murder most foul in the Cotswolds

“Opening the door of a pretty Norman church down a country lane in the Cotswold village of South Newington, I was shocked to be confronted by two rather violent murder scenes painted on the wall. The first is of a man being viciously cut down while he raises his hands in prayer; his head is split in two by a sword, and blood spurts over his forehead.” BritishLibrary.uk

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Wall Paintings in St Peter ad Vincula church, South Newington, Oxfordshire, of the murder of St Thomas Becket and the execution of Thomas Plantagenet. Photos by Chantry Westwell

Anne Neville: wife of Richard III, daughter of Warwick the Kingmaker, and a modern enigma

Anne Neville experienced life during the Wars of the Roses on both sides. The youngest daughter of Richard Neville – the 16th Earl of Warwick and the ‘kingmaker’ whose influence was without parallel within the House of York – she was married to both the Lancastrian heir to the throne and the last Yorkist king during her short life.  HistoryExtra.com

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7 things you didn’t know a medieval princess could do

Many fairy tales tell us that princesses spent years confined to towers waiting for knights to rescue them, little more than decorative pawns to be traded by their father. But the lives of historical princesses paint a very different picture. Here, through the lives of the five daughters of Edward I, historian Kelcey Wilson-Lee shares seven lessons on what it was to be a real medieval princess… HistoryExtra.com

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Medieval Kings & Queens

From William the Conqueror – the first Norman king of England, who defeated Harold II at the battle of Hastings in 1066 – to Henry Tudor, who took the English throne after defeating and killing Richard III at the battle of Bosworth in 1485, the medieval period is full of fascinating kings and queens. History Extra have been exploring the best and worst of them… HistoryExtra.com

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