Apart from his red hair, beard, giant girth and his equally gargantuan appetite for wives, the one thing we all associate with Henry VIII is the event that the authors of 1066 and All That called, with an eye for a memorable spelling mistake, ‘the Disillusion of the Monasteries’.
In the late 16th century, leading courtier Sir Henry Lee, anticipating a visit by Queen Elizabeth I, created a new garden and park on his manorial estate at Quarrendon on the edge of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. The result was something exceptional even by the standards of that dynamic age: an artificial landscape suffused with the [...]
Theories about the date and purpose of Stonehenge are to be tested through the first excavations to be permitted inside the stone circle since 1964. Scheduled Monument Consent has been granted for a two-week excavation by Tim Darvill of Bournemouth University, and Geoff Wainwright, President of the Society of Antiquaries, which was completed on 11 [...]
Myths and mystery surround Henry VIII’s favourite ship, the Mary Rose. Now, a new museum, dedicated solely to this ancient vessel, will reveal her history and dispel the rumours.
In 1535, in anticipation of a visit from Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Sir Nicholas Poyntz tore down his kitchen block and built a range of luxury royal apartments. They are still there, and the full report on their rediscovery has just been published.
Builders repairing the wall that separates Peterborough cathedral from the town beyond have found a remarkable group of late Saxon grave markers.
A Bronze Age ‘Beaker' burial skeleton has been uncovered by archaeologists in east Kent. The 4,000 year old remains were found in a small grave at the centre of a double ring-ditch, all that remains of an earth barrow at Monkton, Isle of Thanet. Although 'Beaker' burials are rare in this part of the country, similar [...]
Two rare gold coins of the rebel Roman emperor Carausius have been discovered on a construction site in the Midlands. Gold coins of Carausius are extremely rare. Only 23 are known, and the last was found as long ago as 1975 in Hampshire.
Why did some people survive the Black Death, and others succumb? At the time of the plague – which ravaged Europe from 1347 to 1351, carrying off 50 million people, perhaps half the population – various prophylactics were tried, from the killing of birds, cats and rats to the wearing of leather breeches (protecting the [...]
University of Exeter archaeologists have discovered a first century AD Roman fort in south east Cornwall that is only the third Roman fort ever to have been found in the county.
A Bronze Age axe hoard has been discovered at a site near Swanage, on the Isle of Purbeck, in south Dorset. Over 300 axe heads were found by metal detectorists, who initially thought they had found an unexploded bomb, so great was the signal from their equipment.
In the mid-1980s, a group of archaeology graduates excavated a Roman villa in the Cotswolds but the true significance of the villa is only just being revealed: not only is it the earliest known example of a Roman stone building in the Cotswolds (built AD 75–100), it stands within a late Iron Age enclosure that also contains [...]
The traditional image is of backward, hostile, bluepainted hordes led by a red-haired fury. Unlike the Celtic sophisticates of the South East, with their wheel-thrown tablewares and imported wines, the Norfolk Iceni were rural primitives. Or were they? Megan Dennis, specialist in Late Iron Age metalwork, pays tribute to the high culture of Boudica’s people.
Hand axes from the Ice Age have been dragged up from the North Sea, just off Great Yarmouth. The 28 hand-axes are over 100,000 years old and were found along with bones and teeth in gravel dredged from the sea floor.
James Morrison takes CA inside the growing danger to maritime archaeology posed by private salvers – is there any 'middle ground'? When uniformed Spanish Civil Guard officers boarded a US-registered commercial archaeology vessel off Gibraltar in July 2007, amid rumours its crew were hiding the location of a £250 million hoard of gold and silver [...]
Evidence that some of our prehistoric ancestors travelled considerable distances has come from two graves in Upper Largie, near Kilmartin in Argyll and Bute.
Bath – Aquae Sulis – was one of the jewels of Romano-British civilisation. What happened to it when the Romans left? Roman specialist James Gerrard has been studying the tantalising evidence for the end of Roman Bath.
When Sir Neil Cossons retired as Chairman of English Heritage in June 2007, his farewell party was held in a building overlooking St Pancras Station. This was a fitting venue given the extent of Neil’s personal involvement in the transformation of William Henry Barlow’s revolutionary train shed – the world’s largest singlespan structure when it [...]
No, not some new dieting fad - what beetles, lentils and anchovies have in common is their value as indicators of ancient climate change. In a special issue of the journal Fisheries Research (Volume 87, November 2007), an international group of ecologists and historians have drawn upon archaeological material, tax accounts, church registers and monastic account [...]
Participants in a poll to name Scotland’s most treasured place put Victoria Colliery at the top of the poll. The mine, in Newtongrange, Midlothian, opened in the 1890s and became renowned as one of the first Scottish ‘super-pits’, with a workforce of almost 2,000 at its peak.