Why Dragons Dominated the Landscape of Medieval Monsters

The mythical beasts were often cast as agents of the devil or demons in disguise SmithsonianMag.com

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During the Middle Ages, dragons more often figured in accounts about the lives of saints and religious figures than stories of heists and adventures. Photo illustration by Meilan Solly / Photos via Wikimedia Commons and British Library under public domain

Like father, like son: Richard Plantagenet and Richard III

Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, father of the Yorkist kings Edward IV and Richard III, is frequently mistaken for his youngest son and namesake, who went on to become King Richard III. Contemporary sources remark that the two Richards bore a strong physical resemblance to each other but, as writer Matthew Lewis argues, the similarities do not end there… HistoryExtra.com

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Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York

Thousands of Rare Artifacts Discovered Beneath Tudor Manor’s Attic Floorboards

Among the finds are manuscripts possibly used to perform illegal Catholic masses, silk fragments and handwritten music

British nobleman Sir Edmund Bedingfeld built the manor house in 1482, reports BBC News. His descendants live in the home to this day. SmithsonianMag.com

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Oxburgh Hall, a moated Tudor manor house in Norfolk, England, is currently undergoing a major renovation project to fix its roof. (Ian Ward / National Trust Images)

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

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