Recipe for an Ancient Craft: Building a Viking Bowyer’s Workshop Part II

ArchaeoFox: Exploring the World Through the Past

I stood outside the boathouse and with both hands, pressed against its enormous red doors; the flakes of paint coming off and sticking to my fingers as I entered. The bow staves we ordered the previous year had arrived the day before I left Lofoten, but I was assured that they were now safely tucked away somewhere in the boathouse; ‘somewhere’.

I walked inside, but the year had made me forget how big it was. Filled in every corner of its wooden walls were the artefacts of a museum’s long history. Many tar stained ropes looked down at me as I stepped over a couple of old rowing oars. They were leaning against a crooked table that was neatly set with rusty tools, a half closed bucket of paint and a Coke bottle, oranged from the linseed oil. I spotted the shape of a large, straw archery target that stood out from the shadows in the back; tattered…

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Originally posted on London My London.

IN LONDON OLD AND NEW published in 1878 Walter Thornbury described the Roman Bath as one the “few real and genuine remains which date from the era of the Roman occupation of England”. Charles Dickens is believed to have taken a cold dip in one of the two fashionable baths and, if he didn’t, he certainly sent David Copperfield there for “many a cold plunge”.

William Newton observed, in his “London in the Olden Time”, that it is “without doubt a veritable Roman structure, as an inspection of its old walls will prove”. Thurlow Weed, in the 1840s reported that it was used now as it has been for centuries, for bathing, and, though situated in Strand Lane, not six rods from the Strand, “I do not believe its existence is known to one thousand of the…

via London My London | One-stop base to start exploring the most exciting city in the world.

Richmond Castle

Historical Ragbag

Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire is one of my favourites and this is at least partly due to the relatively intact St Nicholas’s Chapel which dates to the late 11th century. It was in this chapel that I came the closest I have ever come to telling off another tourist. I was standing there marvelling at the fact that it had survived, that it had the original circular windows, the original barrel vaulted ceiling and the remains of a tiny bit of the original paint. Then a woman came in with two friends and she just stood there complaining that the windows were too small and didn’t let in enough light. I didn’t tell her off, but it was a near thing.

So St Nicholas’s Chapel is where I’m going to start. It was built in the late 11th century and is an excellent, if a bit mutilated, example of a…

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The First Casualty is Truth


This, you may have noticed, is the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. I think generally, so far, it has been handled quite well. After fifty years of denigrating those who wanted to celebrate the fallen in two world wars, even the BBC decided to get on message.

I have always had an especial interest in the wars. The day on which the dead and injured are supposed to be remembered happens to be my birthday. From a very early age I was aware of and studied warfare, particularly the Great War. Not from any ghoulishness, but because I felt very strongly, and still do, that it was such an important forge of English and British nationhood.

Britain and France stood alone in the Great War for so long. If it were not for the British Navy preventing the Germans from leaving port, it is quite likely that the…

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‘’Texts and Textiles’’ : Finding Manuscripts in Unusual Places | The Conveyor

Re-blogged from ‘’Texts and Textiles’’ : Finding Manuscripts in Unusual Places | The Conveyor

Image from: Charlotte Klack-Eitzen, Wiebke Haase and Tanja Weißgraf, Heilige Röcke. Kleider für Skulpturen in Kloster Wienhausen, Regensburg 2013.

Image from: Charlotte Klack-Eitzen, Wiebke Haase and Tanja Weißgraf, Heilige Röcke. Kleider für Skulpturen in Kloster Wienhausen, Regensburg 2013.

On Wednesday June 4, students, scholars, and visitors gathered around a table in Queen’s College to examine the parchment binding of an early book from the college’s collection. Dr. Henrike Lähnemann remarked on the reuse of the parchment, and invited her audience to feel the parchment — to recognize its texture and thickness. As Dr. Lähnemann’s research has shown, these qualities make parchment not only a suitable book binding, but an ideal dress lining.

Dr. Lähnemann, chair of German Studies at Newcastle University, presented the fifth lecture in a series organized by the Workshop for Manuscript and Text Culture. Her talk, titled ‘’Text and Textiles: Manuscript Fragments in Medieval Dresses,’’ introduced the audience to research that began in 2011, after textile conservators discovered fragments of medieval manuscripts lining the hems of dresses at the Cistercian convent of Wienhausen in Northern Germany. The dresses in question, made by nuns in the late fifteenth century, clothed the convent’s statues…

via ‘’Texts and Textiles’’ : Finding Manuscripts in Unusual Places | The Conveyor