A Tour of St Mary the Virgin, Iffley, Oxford

This blog post is on the church of St. Mary the Virgin, Iffley in Oxford, quite possibly the finest Romanesque parish church in all of England. The building dates from the late twelfth century and has been subject to remarkably little change. The west facade of the church is quite simply breath-taking, with beautiful rows …

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A Tour of the Medieval Defences of Southampton

Southampton in Hampshire is often overlooked as a heritage destination. This is perhaps understandable as it is a large and busy port, with the beautiful cathedral city of Winchester only a short distance away. Yet Southampton is fortunate enough to possess some of the best surviving urban medieval fortifications in England. This was due to …

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Windsor Castle and the Epiphany Rising of 1400

(An engraving of Windsor Castle, Berkshire, dating from 1658 by Wenceslas Hollar, from Wikipedia) At the beginning of 1400 an attempt was made to overthrow Henry IV by a group of disaffected nobles.[1] The attempt was made on 4 January when the king and the court were celebrating the Christmas festivities at Windsor Castle. The …

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Edward I at Conwy Castle on Christmas Day 1294 and the Madog ap Llywelyn Rebellion

On Christmas Day 1294 King Edward I was at Conwy Castle in north Wales. He was attended by many members of his nobility and household. It would ordinarily be expected that this would be a happy occasion with the king being able to enjoy residing in one of his grand new castles in Wales, which …

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The Rhys ap Maredudd Rebellion and the Siege of Dryslwyn Castle in 1287

By 1283 Edward I of England had succeeded in conquering Wales, with the native Welsh dynasty of the house of Gwynedd all but wiped out. Yet the English conquerors were forced to contend with years of rebellions by the Welsh. One of these uprisings was led by Rhys ap Maredudd who took up arms against …

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