Filed under 13th century history

Inside St Peter’s Bristol

Inside St Peter’s Bristol

When we were campaigning to save Bristol’s Castle Park, we were repeatedly told this mediaeval church was at risk of falling inwards, weakened by the fire that destroyed it in The Blitz. But it’s still standing and now volunteers have access to it to help maintain the adjoining garden. It’s misnamed the Physic Garden, but … Continue reading

Parish Boundary Markers Bristol

Parish Boundary Markers Bristol

I love obscure bits of history, and parish boundary markers are great because you really have to poke around with your eyes open to spot them. They were used to mark the parish boundaries of mediaeval cities, to establish who had to pay church rates, who attended churches, and as legal documents in property sales. … Continue reading

Medieaval Selfie Stick?

Here’s a very strangely modern image It’s part of a medieval manuscript: At first I thought it was a joke, but it is in the museum of anthropology in Cambridge, a display on children in history, so look closer: The boys are playing on hobby horses, so playing at jousting, with their poles. What seems … Continue reading

Between Gargoyles and Grotesques

Between Gargoyles and Grotesques

A lot of people get these two terms mixed up. Gargoyles are the strange creatures that loom out of the sides of old churches to channel water away from the building; their mouths/throats are lead lined to protect them from erosion. Grotesques are strange faces. The term originates from the faces and masks found when … Continue reading

Crosses and Public Spaces

Crosses and Public Spaces

I am fascinated by the creation, marking and use of public space. The centre of many towns and cities had Market or High Crosses which were the focus for communities. This is from Francis Watkins and the Dollond Telescope Patent Controversy describes the region near Charring Cross/Trafalgar Square in central London. The latter continues to be the … Continue reading

‘The Good Life’ or Malnutrition?

Saturday’s i had an article featuring Monty Don, tv gardening presenter, who criticised the popular 1970s sitcom The Good Life, based on a suburban couple played by Felicity Kendal and Richard Briers who trie d to be self sufficient. Don claims: “No one seriously waned to know how to separate curds from whey  or render … Continue reading

Popes and Ventriloquy

I love reading about early theatre performances. In the early 18th century the first Prime Minister Robert Walpole was annoyed at the many scurrilous plays and comedies insulting him and his ministry so he passed the Licensing act of 1737 which censored public performances and continued into the 20th century. This led to shows advertising … Continue reading