Historical Links and News

  • Books and Articles Online.
  • Books online.
  • Alphabetical by Author Surname.

    Early Gothic Saint-Denis, Pamela Z. Blum, University of California Press, 1992, USA.
    Get it here. The methods employed in the archaeological investigation of the central portal at Saint-Denis are outlined here in full, in hopes that they can instruct a future generation of archaeologists and historians of art concerned not only with medieval sculpture, but also with that of other periods.

    A Pictorial History of Costume From Ancient Times to the Nineteenth Century, Bruhn, Wolfgang and Tilke, Max, Dover Publications, 2004.
    Get it here. Invaluable pictorial history takes readers on a grand tour of the world, starting in ancient Egypt and culminating in Paris in the late 19th century. More than 1,900 items of clothing are shown in beautiful, accurately rendered illustrations — from furs, veils, ruffs, and pointed bodices, to cloaks, leggings, waistcoats, and breeches. Color and black-and-white.

    Textiles and Clothing 1150-1450, Elisabeth Crowfoot, Frances Pritchard, Kay Stanliand, Museum of London, Boydell Press, 2001, UK.
    Get it here
    Making the hairnet as described in the above book: a pdf file howto and a non pdf howto. Among the most evocative items to be discovered by archaeologists are the scraps of silk and wool and other fabrics that signal so eloquently their owner's status and concerns. Such clothing and textile finds have figured prominently in excavations of medieval sites in London in the past two decades; they have included knitting, tapestries, silk hair-nets and elaborately patterned oriental, Islamic and Italian fabrics, which reveal for the first time the wide range of cloths available to medieval Londoners; there are beautifully made buttons, and buttonholes and edgings which display superb craftsmanship and a high level of needlework skills; the way that clothes were cut and sewn can be studied in detail.

    The Lady and the Virgin: Image, Attitude and Experience in Twelfth Century France, Gold, Penny Schine, University of Chicago Press, 1985.
    Get it here. Penny Schine Gold provides a bold analysis of key literary and artistic images of women in the MiddleAges and the relationship between these images and the actual experience of women.

    Medicine of the Thirteenth Century, Handerson, Henry Ebenezer, Project Gutenberg, 2005.
    E-book is here. Gilbertus Anglicus: Medicine of the Thirteenth Century

    Medieval Costume in England and France, The 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries, Houston, Mary G., Dover Publications, 1996.
    Get it here. Carefully researched, meticulously detailed account of the style and construction of period costumes. Includes descriptions and illustrations of royal apparel, elaborate ecclesiastical dress and vestments, academic and legal garments, and civilian dress of all classes. Also discusses jewelry, armor, textiles, embroidery and hairdressing.

    Medieval Clothing and Textiles, Netherton, Robin and Owen-Crocker, Gale R., Boydell Press, 2005.
    Get it here. The study of medieval clothing and textiles has aroused great attention in recent years, as part of the growing concern in material culture as a whole; apart from its own intrinsic interest, it has much to reveal about life at the time. This exciting new series aims to offer all those interested in the subject the fruits of the best research in the area.

    Medieval Costume and Fashion, Norris, Herbert, Dover Publications, 1999.
    Get it here. A superb panoramic study of clothing worn in the Middle Ages. A meticulously researched text is enhanced with nearly 700 illustrations depicting all manner of apparel — from fur-trimmed cloaks and brocaded robes of courtiers and the nobility to simpler mantles, tunics and trousers worn by merchants, huntsmen, and other commoners.

    History of British Costume from the Earliest Period to the Close of the Eighteenth Century, Plance, James, Kessinger Publishing, 2005.
    Get it here.

    Histoire de Paris, Piton, Camille, Adamant Media Corporation.
    Voila ici.

    The Writings of Medievval Women: An Anthology, Thiebaux, Marcelle, Routledge, 1994.
    Get it here. Enlarged and revised with a new introduction and new textual materials, individual introductions, critical commentaries, and updated bibliographies, this new second edition of 'The Writings of medieval Women' will appeal to an even wider readership.

    Old Time Makers of Medicine, Walsh, James Joseph, Project Gutenberg, 2006.
    E-book is here. Great physicians in early Christian times -- Great Jewish physicians -- Maimonides -- Great Arabian physicians -- The medical school at Salerno -- Constantine Africanus -- Medieval women physicians -- Mondino and the medical school of Bologna -- Great surgeons of the medieval universities -- Guy de Chauliac -- Medieval dentistry: Giovanni of Arcoli -- Cusanus and the first suggestion of laboratory methods in medicine -- Basil Valentine, last of the alchemists, first of the chemists -- Appendices: St. Luke, the physician. Science at the medieval universities. Medieval popularization of science.


  • Online links.
  • Primary Sources.
  • Die Goldhauben und Textilien der hochmittelalterlichen Gräber von Villach-Judendorf. Article in German about womens hair accessories worn in the 12th century.
    The Maciejowski Bible. Folio of the 12th century illuminated manuscript scanned online.
    Maciejowski Bible. More images from this illuminated manuscript.
    Stowe 944. Detailed record for this illuminated manuscript dated c. 1031.
    Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts. Sourced from the British Library Digital Catalogue.
    Livius. Collection of articles on ancient-Dark Ages history.
    The Bayeux Tapestry. Primary source for the Battle of Hastings.
    Beatus de Saint-Sever. Illuminated manuscript from 11th century France.
    Herbals and Early Botanicals. Books for sale on this subject.

  • Reenactment Groups.
  • Australian Register of Living History Organisations. Lists of every reenactment group in Australia, by period.
    Greater Bay Costumers Guild. San Francisco Bay area costumers guild.
    Saga Vikings. Viking reenactment group from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
    The Queensland Living History Federation Inc. The represntatitve body for historic reenactment of all eras in the state of Queensland, Australia.
    Full Tilt Joust. 14-16th century jousting group based in New South Wales, Australia.
    AAF. Ancient Arts Fellowship, reenacting 700AD-1066AD, based in Canberra and the ACT.
    New Varangian Guard. Viking reenactment group, Australia-wide.
    The Grey Company. Dark Ages reenactment, based in Perth, Western Australian. Longest running living history group in Australia, founded in 1984.

  • Costumes for sale.
  • Medieval Moccasins. Suppliers of period footwear.
    Cote and Cutler. Suppliers of period clothing and accessories.
    Lara's Corsets and Gowns. Corsetry and gowns for women reenactors.
    Custom Renaissance Dress. Clothing for the Renaissance period.

  • Supplies for Reenacting.
  • White Wolf and the Phoenix. Suppliers of weaving looms.
    Birka Traders. Australian and UK suppliers of Dark Ages, Viking and Medieval supplies.
    AWL Leather. Medieval shoes suppliers in Australia.
    Plantagenet Shoes. Historical footwear made in the UK.
    Realm of Regalia. Handmade trims for period clothing.
    The Costumer's Manifesto. THE one stop resource for links to period clothing from every period imaginable.
    Armour and Weapons for Australian Reenactors. Weapons, tents, clothing and other supplies.
    Medieval Names Archive. Collection of historical names.
    Russian Costume. Research on historic Russian clothing.
    Russian Medieval Costume. Includes patterns and guides for making medieval Russian costume.
    Mountain Woman's Weaving. Tablet woven braid for historic costume for sale. Based in Queensland, Australia.

  • Coins and Antiquities.
  • Ancient Roman coins and antiquities. Romanorvm is a web and mail-order business dealing in ancient coins, particularly Roman coins. Through our web site you can search our database of available coins or find supporting information on collecting ancient coins.

  • Food and Drink.
  • Medieval Cookery. A collection of medieval recipes with modern redactions.
    Recipe Archive. Food and drink collection listed by dish.



  • News reports
  • From various newspapers online, text reproduced in case the articles go offline and/or into archives.

    Remains of medieval bishops identified
    UKTV History, Sky News, 2008.

    Archaeologists have identified the remains of medieval bishops buried at Whithorn Priory in Galloway, Scotland, 600 years ago.

    Archaeologists have identified the remains of medieval bishops buried at Whithorn Priory in Galloway, Scotland, 600 years ago.

    The bones of the six bishops were discovered over 40 years ago, but have only just been identified using the latest techniques for scientific analysis of remains.

    Thought to have died between 1200 and 1360AD, the bishops were found during excavations at the priory between 1957 and 1967, but their identity has remained a mystery until now. Other items, such as fragments from vestments, silver altar vessels and a gold pontifical ring were also unearthed.

    Archaeologists from Edinburgh-based Headland Archaeology have employed state of the art analysis to determine who the bishops were and how they died, with the examinations even revealing that they came from southern Scotland or Cumbria and what they ate.

    The six remains were known to come from senior ecclesiastical figures, but radiocarbon dating has identified them has bishops John (died 1209), Walter (died 1235), Gilbert (died 1253), Henry (died 1293), Michael (died 1359) and Thomas (died 1362).

    Funded by Historic Scotland, the research shows that the bishops lived on a diet of good meat and marine fish such as cod. Experts claim that the studies will create an interesting picture of the lives of clergy in Scotland during the Middle Ages.


    Digging for the truth at Rushen Abbey
    Isle of Man Today, 18th June 2008

    THE protective covers are coming off at Rushen Abbey as archaeologists gear up for their annual excavations at the Island's most important religious site. Archaeologists from the Centre for Manx Studies, on behalf of Manx National Heritage, along with local volunteers, will return to continue their work to build a fuller picture of what life was like for the people who lived in and around the abbey during its time as a medieval monastery.

    The 2007 digs unveiled evidence of the later life of the structure of the abbey.

    Allison Fox, curator of archaeology for Manx National Heritage, explained: 'Slowly but surely we're starting to get more of an insight into how people lived on the site at Rushen Abbey, both when it was a home for the monks and after it was demolished.

    'Finds of roof tiles and medieval glass have indicated that, rather than being just demolished, the abbey buildings were carefully and systematically dismantled — probably to reuse much of the material — Medieval recycling!

    'We've also found some really interesting small examples of the everyday things used by people.'

    The star find of last year's excavation was a finely-carved bone 'ear-scoop' — a very handy tool to remove unwanted wax!

    This year, once again, all of the finds from the excavations will be cleaned, recorded and labelled on-site, so visitors will be able to see everything that's come out of the ground.

    The excavations, which began this week, will continue to Friday, August 1.

    Volunteer guides from the Friends of Manx National Heritage are on site most days to help explain the latest archaeological discoveries.


    Ancient skeletons unearthed at Reepham
    North Norfolk News, 2 June 2008.

    A glimpse of mediaeval life - and death - in the heart of Norfolk has been revealed after more than 60 skeletons were found under a town centre street.

    Contractors charged with laying pipelines in part of Reepham, in north Norfolk, made the grim discovery as they opened a trench in the town's Church Street.

    But the road's name gave some clue to the fate of the bodies.

    Archaeology work carried out since the discovery last year has found that underneath Church Street there was part of an old graveyard.

    Just 70cm beneath the road are possibly hundreds of skeletons, all facing east, 63 of which were partially or wholly dug up after a licence from the Coroner's office was granted.

    Pete Crawley, of Norfolk Property Consultants, a trading arm of Norfolk County Council, said most of the burials dated to the medieval period - a time when people were buried in shrouds, not coffins.

    Many of the adults were found to have died aged 35 to 50 and had marks of spinal disease, possible TB and osteoarthritis. One had a broken leg.

    Mr Crawley said life in Reepham, a busy market town before the 1200s, would have been hard.

    “Life was hard and many of the people often got problems with arthritis and joint complaints. People died at a younger age on average.

    “The skeletons seem to cover a range of ages and sexes and represent a general society, although there are more males than females.”

    Unlike today, the bodies were buried according to their sex and age - women and men were separated and children had their own area of the graveyard, linked to the parish church of St Mary's.

    One had a stone pillow and another had material from other dead bodies spread around the edge of it, it is not known why.

    It shows how well managed medieval cemeteries were and how comfortable people were with death by having a cemetery right in the centre of a town.

    “In the medieval period it was better to be seen and therefore remembered and then you could be prayed for whilst you waited in purgatory for the judgement day,” he said.

    The work has also confirmed a long held belief that Church Street was a new road built over part of the graveyard between the 1500s and 1700s.

    This was part of 'a pretty radical alteration' or re-planning of the town in the early post mediaeval to later mediaeval period, Mr Crawley said.

    Pottery dated 30 burials to Saxon and medieval times, but Roman greyware, early Saxon pottery, including Ipswich ware and sandy ware, and mid-Saxon pottery, including Thetford ware and St Neot's ware, was also found.