Category: 13th Century

The last ruins of Dunwich, Suffolk’s lost medieval town

The tiny village of Dunwich clings to the edge of the Suffolk coast and is in many ways a pretty but unremarkable place, a sleepy settlement a long way from any large towns.  There’s a beach, a place to buy ice cream, a little…

Ely Place: a street in central London that used to be part of Cambridgeshire

The heart of London is full of strange old places with unusual names and odd stories, but there is one place that for a very long time was not a true part of London at all.  Ely Place, just to the north of Holborn…

New Romney: a thriving medieval port devastated by a storm

It’s easy to look at a map of the British Isles and assume that the outline of land that’s so familiar to us has been that way for millennia.  However, the coastline – particularly in the east – has changed dramatically over the centuries,…

The historian and the baron: tales from two churches in a Lancashire village

I visited the Lune Valley again recently, that picturesque corner of Lancashire that I’ve found to be rich in history and fascinating old churches.  This visit was no different – driving into the village of Hornby, a striking octagonal church tower caught my attention….

The extraordinary ossuary at St Leonard’s Church, Hythe

The church of St Leonard sits on a hillside in the pretty coastal town of Hythe in Kent, overlooking the English Channel.  Its history goes back at least 900 years, perhaps even further – a lot of the churches in the area have pre-Norman origins….

Pennygown: the ruined chapel and medieval effigies of a Hebridean burial ground

I first came across the ruined chapel whilst on a wildlife trek – we had stopped near the little town of Salen to watch harbour porpoises in the Sound of Mull.  Intrigued as I was by the ruined chapel and its surrounding burial ground,…

The many reinventions of Winchester Castle’s Great Hall

Winchester, England’s ancient capital, is home to a great many fascinating old buildings.  The area was originally settled in the Iron Age, then became the Roman town of Venta Belgarum and there has been a cathedral in the city since the 7th Century.  King…