In the Middle Ages, life was communal, and the basic building structure was the open hall. Even comparatively grand structures, such as manor houses, consisted mainly of a large open hall with a fire at the centre, where the smoke escaped up to the rafters and through the thatched roof. A good example of such [...]
The medieval castle is one of the great glories of British archaeology. The finest are those in North Wales, the products of the conquest of Wales by Edward Ist, in the years just before 1300. One of the most majestic is Conwy (or Conway), and here Arnold Taylor, the former Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments [...]
Before the conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1283, the Welsh Kingdoms were flourishing. Yet archaeologically, little is known of this period. There are ‘native’ Welsh castles, but these are late and peripheral: the centre of Welsh culture lay in the royal courts – the ‘llys’ (pronounced “leese”). For the first time, one of [...]
Newark Castle has always been something of a problem. The west front, facing out onto the River Trent, is a magnificent structure, still standing three stories high, well-known to travellers along the Great North Road. But what lay behind it? A major research excavation was carried out using mostly volunteer excavators to investigate the castle.
The closing years of the independent Scottish kingdom were turbulent times in the Anglo-Scottish borders. When in 1603, King James VI of Scotland became James I of England, one of his major steps was to impose law and order on the border country and to put down the border reivers who were terrorising the area. [...]
In the 18th and 19th centuries, hundreds of thousands of people crossed the Atlantic to a New World in America. Why? The Flora MacDonald Project, of the University of Sheffield is following the fortunes of a group who crossed from the Hebrides to Nova Scotia, or New Scotland, in what is now Canada.