Guilds are a staple feature of fantasy fiction, especially video games. Players enjoy rising through the ranks by doing missions for the guild, eventually becoming guildmaster. But how did they work in real life? St George's Guildhall, King's Lynn, built around 1428. Funnily enough, fantasy gets some stuff right here. They usually use the terms… Continue reading How Medieval Guilds Worked
Over the last week, all eyes have been on Pennsylvania. The most likely swing state in the US general election, it's now the place the Trump campaign are targeting most heavily with their litigation blunderbuss. One place has particularly drawn their ire: Philadelphia. As Trump said, "a lot of bad things happen in Philadelphia. Bad… Continue reading Pennsylvania and the President
*Okay, so, not really. It contains potato, which was only brought to Britain in the 1580s. But pottage was still being eaten by that point, so I'm sure somebody made something similar, at some point? I did it because I wanted to cheat. See, traditional pottage (so-called because it was cooked in a pot) was… Continue reading I Made Medieval Pottage!*
If you've seen me online at all, you've probably guessed that I'm a fan of emojis. You are correct. I use them often, maybe too much, and some times in twos, threes or more. I'm sure some people roll their eyes at this. If they do, I wonder if they're missing something. Emojis are very… Continue reading What I Think About Emojis
When I was at uni, I spent an awful lot of time digging through dusty old books. Our uni library was perfect for someone like me: the history section had loads of history journals and Victorian reprints of medieval documents, and the law section had a whole row dedicated to the records of the Court… Continue reading Edward II And The Necromancer Who Tried To Kill Him
Just a quick one today because I wanted to get this idea down on paper. (Or pixels. Eh.) I was helping someone with some work on the Normans the other day. Medieval history, my specialty, and of course it was to do with castles. I wrote them a few brief notes, and one key phrase… Continue reading Oppression vs Repression: Approaching History Without Bias
It's a question we should ask ourselves more often. Or answer, I suppose, because I see lots of people get it wrong. "To know what happened so we can't make the same mistakes again!" "To appreciate and understand the past." "To shape the future!" "To help us understand the present." Good tries. And they all… Continue reading What’s the Point of History?
The past's not new. For as long as people have been around, they've been thinking about the people who came before them. I find this very interesting. It's not something we really talk about often. I think it's a bit too meta for everyday contemplation. We like to wonder what life was like in the… Continue reading What Did The Anglo-Saxons Think Of The Romans?
In my last castle post I said I'd talk about how England's main castle custodian, English Heritage, actually works. Here we are! Enjoy! The UK government has been looking after 'important' ruins for a very long time. The National Trust, for instance, is Europe's largest conservationist charity and it was founded in the 1800s. But… Continue reading How England Manages Its Castles: A Success Story
This post is part of my Grand Castle Tour! You can find articles on lots of other castles here! I just want to start this post by saying: don't get too excited. Pontefract castle ain't there anymore. We have the English Civil War to blame for that - the bane of medieval historians. It was… Continue reading Pontefract: The Key to The North