My History Blog, Focussing mostly on Roman and Mediaeval Times


14/02/2014
  Scottish History: King David and the Civil War (Part 1)

With the conflict between Henry’s daughter and appointed heir, Matilda, and his nephew Stephen who also claimed the throne, things got really interesting in Northumbria.

Among other adventures, Alnwick Castle and its lord Eustace fitz John will come back into focus again. Ivo de Vescy, who had received the castle in 1095, erected the first Norman stone fortifications. His daughter married Eustace fitz John who was given the right to the castle and title. Eustace fitz John made a career under Henry I (I have mentioned him as one of the ‘colleagues’ of David already before he became king of Scots). The marriage to the rich heiress Beatrix de Vescy (before 1130) gave Eustace Alnwick and other lands in Northumbria, another marriage lands in Malton in Yorkshire, and he evolved as one of the key players during the reorganisation of the Northumbrian society under Norman control. Eustace also was one of the justiciars of the North and Keeper of Bamburgh Castle.

When Henry I died in December 1135, Matilda was busy in Anjou where her husband had to teach some barons who was boss. So Stephen de Blois, a grandson of William the Conqueror, acted fast and snatched the crown; the crowning ceremony took place on December 22. Most of the influential lords were willing enough to follow him – likely not wild about a female ruler to begin with, even less one married to an Anjou lord, ancient rivals of the Normans. Among them was Eustace fitz John who swore fealty to Stephen and thus was allowed to keep the honours he held under Henry.

Alnwick Castle

King David of Scots, on the other hand, saw the unrest as chance to expand his territories into Northumbria which he claimed as heritage for his son from the late Matilda of Senlis. The fact that he could use his oath to Matilda (Henry’s daughter; we should start numbering the girls, too) as a pretext for armed action was just the icing on the cake. He swept down south and conquered Carlisle, Wark, Alnwick and Newcastle, though Bamburgh resisted his efforts. Carlise and Newcaste are said to have fallen 'by guile' - maybe the garrisons did not suspect David's real motive for entering town and castle. I don't know if David and his former friend Eustace met during that campaign; it would have been an interesting encounter, to be sure.

There were men from Galloway and Moray in David’s army, and perhaps from the Isles, too. He really must have called his levies fast, esp. considering travel in winter. The host did a lot of harrying the countryside, and the chroniclers, namely those of Hexham which fell victim to the raids, had no good word to spare for David. No matter the Scottish king was Christian, they came up with all those topoi in Bede's tradition (1), about pagan armies invading Christian England, including the babies torn from their mothers’ wombs and put on spikes, and horses stabled in churches. But since also the pro-David Ailred of Rievaulx makes some critical remarks about the army – though not about David himself; he blames the undisciplined lot from Galloway in for the booty – the campaign certainly was one of the nastier ones and it alienated several Northumbrian and Cumbrian lords who previously had been David’s supporters. David had to take hostages to keep the defeated lords in line.

David came as far south as Durham where he met with the army Stephen had hastily assembled. But instead of fighting a big battle, both men decided to enter negotiations, which was more frequent in the early and high Middle Ages than many people think. They agreed upon a treaty whereby David would retain Carlise while Newcastle and Wark went back to King Stephen (and Alnwick to Eustace). David’s son Henry was granted the title of Earl of Huntingdon which David had forfeited during his rebellion, and Henry would swear fealty to Stephen for Huntingdon and Carlisle. But no oath was required from David, and he also obtained the promise that if the defunct earldom of Northumberland ever were reinstated, Henry would be the prime candidate to hold it. Everyone saved his face; David went back to Scotland, the Galwegians back to Galloway with a sack full of shiny stuff Hexham and other places never got back, while Henry accompagnied Stephen to the Easter Court in Winchester.

Alnwick Castle, Constable’s Tower

Several nobles were not happy about the way Stephen had treated the affair with David; and honouring Henry so highly (fe. giving him the place next to himself at the Easter banquet 1136), among them Simon de Senlis, Henry’s step-brother. He had gotten the Northampton part of his mother’s heritage, but Henry got Doncaster in recompense so overall fared a lot better than Simon. Others were Ranulf II Earl of Chester who wanted Carlisle back, and Archbishop William de Corbeil of Canterbury (no idea what his reason was). Ranulf publicily accused Henry of treason during a banquet, Henry felt dishonoured, Stephen failed to reconcile the men, and David called his son back while Ranulf of Chester left the court in anger as well.

Another relationship that had gone sour for David after the death of King Henry was the one with Archbishop Thurstan of York who now again - and with the backing of Pope Innocent II - claimed metropolitan supremacy over the sees in Scotland. Bishop John of Glasgow was obliged to go into exile for several years since he still refused to swear an oath to Thurstan. The consecration of the new cathedral in Glasgow was overshadowed by these problems. But it's interesting to note who was present at that consecration: besides Earl Henry (David's son) and William fitz Duncan of Moray, there were several Gaelic magnates, the earls (mormaors) of Strathearn and Fife, and Fergus of Galloway, all men who had no immediate connection with the diocese of Glasgow. Notable as well is the absence of several of David's Norman friends, like Robert de Bruce of Annandale; though Hugh de Morville and another Norman lord would join him on his way from Glasgow to Cadzow. The whole affair looks like a war council more than a religious meeting.

Hexham Abbey, east nave

In spring 1137, grievances had added up for David who argued that Stephen had gone back on his part of the treaty. This time Stephen was busy in Normandy dealing with Matilda, and could only send some of his nobles against David. Most of them were Northumbrian lords who had suffered from the raids. The two armies met at Newcastle, but again, a truce was agreed upon, partly due to Archbishop Thurstan. The six months should give Stephen time to decide about the earldom of Northumberland. There was no mention of Matilda's claim to the throne.

At some point during these developments, Eustace fitz John must have changed sides, though I could not find a final argument for the exact date. King Stephen relieved him of the keepership of Bamburgh which likely offended Eustace. It is also possible that he began to see the chance of a strong Northumbria under David as more realistic than Stephen's limited power. Eustace's change of sides also brought some minor lords over to David.

Stephen, who had gained a fair success in Normandy, said no to any claims of Henry of Scots to the earldom of Northumberland, and that was the end of it. So in January 1138, David's host swept south again, plundering and making itself very unpopular by lack of discipline (David had to personally stand in for the safety of Hexham, for example, and William fitz Duncan fought some men over plundering from allies).The army went through the middle of the country, left alone the lands of Eustace fitz John and isolated the pro-Stephen castle at Bamburgh. Walter d'Espec's castle at Wark withstood a siege and David could only leave a besieging force under William when he moved further south to Hexham, but was forced to withdraw on the approach of King Stephen at the end of February.

Stephen retaliated by leading his army up north and into the lands of David, harrying and plundering in turn. He avoided David’s centre at Roxburgh, either because he wanted to escape a trap David is said to have set there, didn't bring siege engines or thought plundering the countryside would bring David back to the negotiation table, or because he just was inept like that. Owan tries to make Stephen look capable here, but I can’t see that.

Bamburgh Castle, the reconstructed King’s Hall

It seems that Stephen’s foray into Scotland only showed David that the king had neither the ability nor the ressources to get through with a defeat of David in his own land, and so David pushed his claim again and set up another grand style invasion northward. This time he came down along the east coast, while William fitz Duncan led an army mostly of men from Galloway through Cumbria and gained a victory against the English at Clitheroe, grabbing lands in Lancastershire which William claimed by his wife Alice de Rumilly of Skipton. He'd married the lady just the year before and one may wonder what politics lay behind a connections that would give David's nephew a claim to lands in Lancastershire. It can't have been to Stephen's liking.

David besieged Bamburgh and managed to break the outer defenses albeit not the inner bailey, but he isolated the castle. He then took Norham Castle that was held for the Bishop of Durham, though failed to turn the bishop over to his cause which meant he could not take Durham itself (where a big castle still sits near the cathedral). The armies united on the way to York and at that point the Northumbrian lords who did not follow David realized that this was more than the average harrying the countryside sort of campaign. David wanted to extend his lands to include Yorkshire and St.Cuthbert's Land (County Durham). Exact numbers of his army can only be estimated; the 22,000 of the sources are likely an exaggeration.

The Northumbrians were led by William Earl of Aumarle and Ralph of Orkney for Bishop Thurstan of York. Other leaders were Walter d'Espec, Robert Bruce (who held land not only in Annandale but also in Cleveland), a member of the Percy family, Richard de Courcy, Roger de Mowbray (2) and others - a close-knit group of Norman landholders in northern England with mutual relationships by marriage.

Both parties met at Cowton Moor near Northallerton in Yorkshire. We have a detailed description of the ensuing battle by Ailread of Rievaulx (see ‘main sources’ at the end of the text). Of course, Ailred is not unbiased and the speeches of the parties involved are his invention. Speeches attributed to historical characters have been a way for authors to sneak their own ideas into historiography since Tacitus (3), if not earlier.

Rievaulx Abbey, main nave seen from the side
Rievaulx was the house from which David's biographer Ailred of Rievaulx came.

Ailred (born in 1100) was a member of King David's court for ten years until he left to become a monk in Rievaulx in 1134. He knew David, his son Henry, and several other participants in the civil war quite well. Judging by his Lament for King David, he must have genuinely liked the king, religious motives and exaggerations of the lament aside. His historiographic texts (which also include a geneaology of the kings of England and a history of Edward the Confessor) were aimed at Henry II, son of Matilda and named as successor of King Stephen; thus likely written after 1152.

Ailred’s true hero in the Relatio di Standardo (translated as Battle of the Standard) is Henry, the son of King David, who is described as a paragon of Christian virtues and braveness. David’s role was corrupted because of employing those ‘evil Galwegians’ and listening to the wrong advisors (a note we can find in the Lament as well, as only 'sin' David committed).

Negotiations took place before the battle, the delegation may have been led by Robert Bruce, David's old friend. He promised he would argue for Henry's claim to Northumberland with Stephen, but David - correctly, I think - did not believe in any success of such an endeavour. In Ailred's Relatio di Standardo, Robert Bruce gets a nice speech, reminding David of their time together, of the many services he and other Norman lords had lend him when he came to kingship, of the evil of listening to wrong advisors and keeping those 'barbarian Scots' around (well, David was their king, after all). According to Ailred, David was about to embrace Robert, when William fitz Duncan called Bruce a traitor and the peace came to naught. Robert then formally renounced his homage and the lands he held as fief from David. That latter part is confirmed by other sources and would have been the proper way to end a feudal relationship.

The other man who gets a speech by Ailred is Walter d'Espec, founder of Rievaulx Abbey. He was an old man at the time but obviously still able to encourage an outnumbered army. The Scots were many but had brittle spears and no discipline, and the Normans had already defeated a whole list of enemies, often while outnumbered as well. He also refers to the defeat of King Malcolm at Abernethy. The Gauls (as Ailred calls the Normans opposing David) fought for the good cause and God would be with them. God got some assistance by the saints Peter of York, Wilfrid of Ripon, and John of Beverley whose banners had been attached to a ship's mast mounted on a cart, which gave the battle its name. The Normans formed a single wedge with some light cavalry and infantry (mostly archers) flanking.

Northumbrian landscape
Not the exact place of the Battle of the Standard, but the typical landscape of the area

The scene moves back to David's war council. He wants to deploy the Norman knights on his side in the first rank to meet the knights on the other side, but the Galweginas, emboldened by their victory at Clitheroe, want to have that honour for themselves and insist they will not run. The Earl of Strathearn advises David against it, but the king agrees. I admit I do wonder a bit about that since it was indeed not a tactically sound decision. How strong was the position of Fergus of Galloway?

So the Scottish army deployed its forces in the following manner: First rank the Galwegians under their king Fergus; second rank the men from Cumbria and Teviotdale and probably the minor Northumbrian lords following Eustace (mixed infantry and knights), led by Henry and Eustace fitz John; third rank the men from Lothian and the Isles, the latter probably led by Somarled. King David and his personal entourage (those were of course trained knights) led the last line consisting of men from Moray, Fife and other areas in Scotland proper, to aid whatever group may need it.

The battle took place on August 22, 1138. The Galwegians held the onslaught of the knights and salvas from the archers for some time but eventually broke. If Ailred is to be believed, this was the moment when Henry showed his braveness. He tried to stop the route of the Galwegians and charged deep into enemy lines. King David made an attempt to hold the last two lines that were carried on back by the fleeing Galwegians after the Lothian leader, Earl Gospatric II had been killed by an arrow. What I find odd is that Ailred says he dismounted, but maybe he led the Moray infantry contingent against the oncoming Normans for a while. He was already 58 at the time but not past his fighting years, it seems. David – who I suppose remounted at some point - managed to screen a somewhat orderly retreat since most of the leaders succeeded in leaving the field alive; the only prisoner we know of is William Comyn, David’s chancellor. Eustace fitz John escaped to Alnwick, wounded, most of the others made it to Carlisle.

Henry managed to break through the surrounding enemy with his bodyguard, and then the feigned to join the pursuing Normans. There’s a nice little legend about Henry giving his armour to a poor farmer on the way to Carlisle, but that only covers the fact that the leaders of the Scottish army obviously preferred to not be easily recogisable. Henry was united with his father in Carlisle two days after the battle.

Carlisle Cathedral
It was founded by Henry I and expanded by David

The Battle of the Standard was a defeat, but by no means a decisive one since David kept most of his army intact, and his leading nobles survived. Neither the Normans under William of Aumale nor King Stephen – who also faced the rebellion of Robert of Gloucester, Empress Matilda’s illegiitmate half-brother, at the Welsh borders - had the strength to take any advantage of their victory and didn’t even try to follow David into Cumbria.

Both sides tried to consolidate their position. The English/Northumbrian lords took Malton Castle, one of Eustace fitz John’s possessions (thogh Alnwick was never threatened) while David continued his siege of Wark, but for most the former borders were respected. In September Alberic Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia and legate of Pope Innocent II, came to Scotland to talk with David about religious issues, particularly the bishop of Glasgow, but soon found himself involved in peace negotiations between David and Stephen. David turned out to be quite a fox when it came to getting the best of it. For one, Bishop John of Glasgow was allowed to return from exile, but more, the truce with England allowed him to continue the siege or Wark while the English were bound to forego invasions. In return, David convinced the Galwegians and Islemen to return at least the female prisoners they had taken to be sold as slaves.

The castle finally surrendered in November, after Walter d’Espec gave permission, and David acted generously in providing the garrison with mounts (they had eaten their horses) to travel to Durham; acknowledging their braveness. I suppose the importance of Wark at that point was more a moral than a military one.

Stephen and his lords at first were unwilling to grant David and Henry much; especially the Northumbrian nobles who had seen their lands ravaged by David’s army. But Queen Matilda managed to convince her husband that a war in the north was not worth the effort and that he had more urgent problems in England, with the rebellion of Robert of Gloucester (an illegitimate half-brother of the empress Matilda). A stable buffer zone would be the best solution. Since she also was David’s niece (her mother was David’s sister Mary who had married Eustace of Boulogne), she took an active part in the negotiations. The other Matilda, Henrsy’s daughter, and her claim to the English throne were never mentioned. David knew that Stephen had the actual power to grant him possessions, while Matilda was still rather powerless.

Durham Cathedral,
(Photo taken from the train) Carla has a post about it here

A settlement was agreed upon in Durham on April 9th, 1139 (Second Treaty of Durham). David’s son Henry was finally given the earldom of Northumberland though minus the castles of Bamburg and Newcastle. He was also restored to the earldom of Huntingdon which he had forfeited in 1137, and he did homage to Stephen for all these possessions. The Northumbrian lords in turn had to swear fealty to Henry. David kept Carlisle and Cumbria, got lands in St. Cuthbert's County in recompense for Bamburgh, and promised to ‘remain loyal’ to Stephen, whatever that means. Not much, it would turn out. ;) He also gave some hostages, among them Hugh de Morville, Earl Gospatric III of Dunbar, and - according to Richard of Hexham - Fergus of Galloway, though I'm not sure the latter makes sense, him being an independent king. It was more likely his son Uhtred (4). No hostages provided by Stephen are mentioned.

So David basically got what he set out to gain at the beginning of his conflict with England though he could not extend his lands into Yorkshire; the Tyne would remain the border. Stephen got peace in the north, but a really pissed off Ranulf of Chester who wanted Carlisle back and went into open rebellion. He tried to capture Henry at the siege of Ludlow, but Stephen rescued the young man. Stephen also made sure there were no more incidents like during the Easter celebrations in 1136, and arranged Henry's marriage to Ada de Warenne.

David consolidated his position in Cumbria, expanded Carlisle Castle, and he also issued his own coins (thanks to the silver mines of Cumberland); the first 'Scottish' money.

Then the empress Matilda invaded in September 1139.

Alnwick Castle, keep mit main tower entrance

The peace at Durham had also consolidated the postion of Eustace fitz John. He regained many of his possessions in Northumberland (though I could not figure out if that included Malton Castle in Yorkshire) and got other lands in Henry's earldom of Huntingdon (maybe to make up for Malton?).

In Alnwick Castle, Eustace built the circular keep and the towers surrounding the inner bailey, as well as the outer curtain wall. Parts of the 12th century Norman masonry can still be seen in the curtain wall and other spots like the arch over the inner gate. The size of the castle has not been altered since Eustace's time though the living quaters were modernised, a barbican added and other changes took place over the centuries. Alnwick Castle remained a formidable stronghold during the War of the Roses when the Percy family held it (yeah, there is material for more posts *sigh*).

Alnwick Castle, view from rampart to Postern Tower

Footnotes
(1) Of course, the Picts and Britons invading Northumbria in the 7th century were mostly Celtic Christians, not pagans, but in Bede's view, they were rotten heretics who celebrated Easter at the wrong date and and thus capable of all sorts of atrocities. Richard of Hexham still calls the men from Galloway 'Picts' though they were a mix of Britons, Gaels and Norse at that time and had never been Picts.
(2) Roger de Mowbray was not related to Robert de Mowbray. Robert's wife had been granted annulment of her marriage and married Nigel d'Aubray. But they got a divorce, too, and Nigel married Gundred de Gournay. Their son Roger, ward of the Crown after his father's death in 1129, entered adulthood in 1138 and was given the forfeited lands of Robert de Mowbray (Montbray) in Normandy and Yorkshire, whose name he took.
(3) Most famous are the speeches he gives to Arminius in the Annals and to Calgacus in Agricola which say more about Tacitus’ political sympathies.
(4) According to an endnote in Owan's biography, the passage seems to be corrupted.

Main Sources
Frank Barlow: The Feudal Kingdom of England 1042-1216. 5th edition, Edinburgh 1999
Robert Bartlett: England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings 1075-1225. 5th edition, Oxford University Press, 2003
Edmund King: King Stephen. Yale English Monarchs. Yale University Press, 2010
Richard Oram: David, The King Who Made Scotland. Tempus Publishing Ltd, 2004
Richard Oram: Domination and Lordship, Scotland 1070-1230. The New Edinburgh History of Scotland, Edinburgh 2011
Ailred of Rievaulx: The Historical Works, translated by J.P. Freeland, edited by M.L. Dutton. Cistercian Publications 56, 2005
Ian W. Walker: Lords of Alba, The Making of Scotland. Sutton Publishing, 2006
 
Comments:
Wow, look what happens when we fear women in charge. :)
Did you get to go in King’s Hall in Bamburgh Castle? It looks very interesting from the outside.
 
Firstly, I was happy that you got the date of Stephen's coronation right. Wikipedia, for instance, has it wrong, claiming him to be crowned on 25 December.

Secondly, a query: was the afore mentioned Fergus of Galloway the same who later rebelled against David's grandson, Malcolm IV?
 
And most importantly, bravo for the scale of your research! I'm highly impressed! Thank you for the fascinating read :-)
 
Constance, it looks interesting from the inside, too. 19th century ideas of what a Mediaeval hall would have looked like. :-)

Kasia, thank you. Yes, it is the same Fergus. He was around quite some time to cause trouble.
 
Really enjoyed your research in this post - I'm quite interested in the reign of Stephen. Once again, your great pix remind me how much I've neglected the North of England.
 
Was Matilda of Senlis the daughter of William the Conqueror's niece Judith and Earl Waltheof, the one who married Simon de Senlis, or a near relation, or what? I agree about numbering the girls, we need a way to keep everyone straight when there seems to have been this obsession with using the same handful of names for everyone!

Avoiding Roxburgh might have been rather sensible, assuming it was as formidable a fortress then as it was in the 14th C, when it was one of the last English-held fortresses to be taken by Robert Bruce during the Wars of Independence. Stephen could probably have wasted an entire campaign besieging it to not much effect.
 
Great pics and really informative post. Rievaulx is one of my fave places in the world, and I must visit Alnwick and Bamburgh again sometime - haven't been there since I was a teenager.
 
Carla, yes, she had been married to Simon de Senlis in first marriage and had two sons with him (though the younger one only appears as a sort of satellite in the non fiction I read). I had no idea Roxburgh was that big, there's not much left today.

Kathryn, thank you. Yeah, you should visit those places. And Dunstanburgh.
 
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The Lost Fort is a history blog based on my journeys in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and other places. It includes essays on Roman and Mediaeval history and architecture, as well as some Geology, illustrated with my own photos of old castles and churches, Roman remains, pretty towns and beautiful landscapes.

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I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who still hasn't got an Instagram account.
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Vernawahlshausen
Mediaeval Murals

Reconstructed Sites

Palatine Seat Tilleda
The Defenses

Viking Settlement Haithabu
Haithabu and the Archaeological Museum Schleswig
The Nydam Ship

Miscellanea

Other Mediaeval Buildings
Lorsch, Gate Hall
Palatine Seat and Monastery Pöhlde

Along Weser and Werra
Uslar - Pretty Old Houses
Treffurt - A Walk through the Town
Weser Ferry
Weser Skywalk


England

Towns

Chester
A Virtual Tour of the Town

Hexham
Old Gaol

York
Clifford Tower
Guild Hall
Monk Bar Gate and Richard III Museum
Museum Gardens
Old Town
Along the Ouse River

Castles

Castles in Cumbria

Carlisle
Introduction
Henry II and William of Scotland
The Edwards

Castles in Northumbria and Yorkshire

Alnwick
Malcolm III and the First Battle of Alnwick

Richmond
From the Conquest to King John
From Henry III to the Tudors

Scarborough
From the Romans to the Tudors
From the Civil War to the Present
The Architecture

Churches and Cathedrals

Hexham Abbey
Introduction

York Minster
Architecture


Scotland

Towns

Edinburgh
Views from the Castle

Stirling
The Wallace Monument

Castles

Central Scotland

Doune
A Virtual Tour
History: The Early Stewart Kings
History: Royal Dower House, and Decline

Stirling
Robert the Bruce and Stirling Castle

West Coast Castles

Dunollie and Kilchurn
Castles Seen from Afar

Duart
Guarding the Sound of Mull

Dunstaffnage
An Ancient MacDougall Stronghold
The Wars of Independence
The Campbells Are Coming
Dunstaffnage Chapel

Abbeys and Churches

Inchcolm Abbey
Arriving at Inchcolm

Other Historical Sites

Picts and Dalriatans
Dunadd Hill Fort
Staffa


Wales

Towns

Walks in Welsh Towns
Aberystwyth: Castle and Coast
Caerleon: The Ffwrwm
Conwy: The Smallest House in Great Britain

Castles

Edwardian Castles

Beaumaris
The Historical Context
The Architecture

Caernarfon
Master James of St.George
The Castle Kitchens

Conwy
The History of the Castle
The Architecture

Norman Castles

Cardiff
History

Chepstow
History: Beginnings unto Bigod
History: From Edward II to the Tudors
History: Civil War, Restoration, and Aftermath

Manorbier
The Pleasantest Spot in Wales

Pembroke
Pembroke Pictures
The Caves Under the Castle

Welsh Castles

Criccieth
Llywelyn's Buildings
King Edward's Buildings


Scandinavia

Norway

Castles and Fortresses

Defense over the Centuries
Akershus Fortress: Middle Ages
Akershus Fortress: Architectural Development
Vardøhus Fortress

Sweden

Towns

Stockholm
The Vasa Museum


Russia

The Splendour of St.Petersburg

Cathedrals
Isaac's Cathedral
Smolny Cathedral

The Neva
Impressions from the The Neva River


Poland and the Baltic States

Lithuania

Historical Landscapes
The Curonian Spit


Belgium and Luxembourg

Belgium / Flanders

Towns

Antwerp
The Old Town

Bruges
A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Bruges

Ghent
A Virtual Tour through Mediaeval Ghent

Tongeren
Roman and Mediaeval Remains

Luxembourg

Luxembourg City
A Virtual Tour of the Town


France

Strasbourg
A Virtual Tour of the Town


Other Times

Neolithicum to Iron Age

Ages of Stone and Bronze

Development of Civilization
European Bread Museum, Ebergötzen
Open Air Museum Oerlinghausen

From Stone to Bronze
Paleolithic Cave 'Steinkirche' in the Harz mountains
Gnisvärd Ship Setting on Gotland

Pre-Historic Orkney
Ring of Brodgar - Introduction
Ring of Brodgar - The Neolithic Landscape
Skara Brae
Life in Skara Brae


Post-Mediaeval Times

Powder and Steam

Development of Weapons
Historical Guns

Steampunk and Beyond
The Fram Museum in Oslo
Vintage Car Museum, Wolfsburg


- Germany
- United Kingdom
- Scandinavia
- Baltic Sea


Beautiful Germany

The Baltic Sea Coast
The Flensburg Firth
Rugia - Jasmund Peninsula and Kap Arkona
A Tour on the Wakenitz River

Harz National Park
Arboretum (Bad Grund)
Bode Valley and Rosstrappe Cliff
Ilse Valley and Ilse's Rock
Oderteich Reservoir
Rappbode Reservoir
Views from Harz mountains

Nature Park Meissner-Kaufunger Wald
Hessian Switzerland

Nature Park Solling-Vogler
The Hutewald Forest
The Raised Bog Mecklenbruch

Thuringian Forests
Oberderdorla and Hainich National Park

Rivers and Lakes
The Danube in Spring
Edersee Reservoir
A Rainy Rhine Cruise
River of the Greenest Shores - The Moselle
Vineyards at Saale and Unstrut

Parks and Palaces
Botanical Garden Göttingen
Hardenberg Castle Gardens
Wilhelmsthal Palace and Gardens

Wildlife
Harz Falcon Park
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The Baltic Sea Life
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The North Sea Life

Seasons

Spring
Spring at the 'Kiessee' Lake
Spring in the Rossbach Heath (Meissner)

Summer
Memories of Summer
Summer Hiking Tours 2016

Autumn
Autumnal Views from Castle Windows
Autumn Photos from Harz and Werra
Autumn in the Meissner
Autumn at Werra and Weser

Winter
Spectacular Sunset
Winter at the 'Kiessee' Lake
Winter Wonderland - Views from my Balcony


Across the Channel - United Kingdom

Mountains and Valleys
Sheep Grazing Among Roman Remains
West Highland Railway

The East Coast
By Ferry to Newcastle
Highland Mountains - Inverness to John o'Groats
Some Photos from the East Coast

Scottish Sea Shores
Crossing to Mull
Mull - Craignure to Fionnphort
Pentland Firth
Staffa
Summer Days in Oban
Summer Nights in Oban

Wild Wales - With Castles
Hazy Views with Castles
Shadows and Strongholds
Views from Castle Battlements

Wildlife
Sea Gulls


Land of Light and Darkness - Scandinavia

Norway

The Hurtigruten-Tour
A Voyage into Winter
Along the Coast of Norway - Light and Darkness
Along the Coast of Norway - North of the Polar Circle

Norway by Train
From Oslo to Bergen
From Trondheim to Oslo

Wildlife
Bearded Seals
Dog Sledding With Huskies
Eagles and Gulls in the Trollfjord


Shores of History - The Baltic Sea

Baltic Sea Cruise

Lithuania

Nida and the Curonian Spit
Beaches at the Curonian Spit




Historia
Geologia

Comblogium (Blog Roll)
Conexiones (Links)

- Roman History
- Mediaeval History
- Other Times / Miscellanea


Roman History

Wars and Frontiers

Maps
Romans in Germania

Traces of the Pre-Varus Conquest
Roman Camp Hedemünden
New Finds in 2008

The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
Museum Park at Kalkriese

The Battle at the Harzhorn
Introduction

Along the Limes
Limes Fort Osterburken
Limes Fort Saalburg

Roman Frontiers in Britain
Hadrian's Wall

Rebellions
The Batavian Rebellion

Roman Militaria

Armour
Early Imperial Helmets
Late Roman Helmets
The Negau B Helmet

Weapons
The pilum
Daggers
Swords

Other Equipment
Roman Saddles

Life and Religion

Religion
The Mithras Cult
Isis Worship
Curse Tablets and Good Luck Charms

Everyday Life
Bathing Habits
Children's Toys
Face Pots
Styli and Wax Tablets

Public Life
Roman Transport - Barges
Roman Transport - Amphorae and Barrels
Roman Water Supply

Roman villae
Villa Rustica Wachenheim

Miscellaneous
Legend of Alaric's Burial


Mediaeval History

Feudalism
Feudalism, Beginnings
Feudalism, 10th Century
The Privilege of the deditio
A Note on handgenginn maðr

The Hanseatic League
Introduction and Beginnings
Stockfish Trade


Germany

Geneaologies

List of Mediaeval German Emperors

Geneaology
Anglo-German Marriage Connections
Heinrich the Lion's Ancestors

Biographies

Kings and Emperors
King Heinrich IV
Emperor Otto IV, Introduction

Princes
Otto the Quarrelsome of Braunschweig-Göttingen
The Dukes of Braunschweig-Grubenhagen
Otto of Northeim
The Ludowing Landgraves of Thuringia
Albrecht II and Friedrich I of Thuringia

Counts and Local Lords
The Marshals of Ebersburg
The Counts of Everstein
The Counts of Hohnstein
The Lords of Plesse
The Counts of Reichenbach
The Counts of Winzenburg

Famous Feuds

Local Feuds
The Lüneburg Succession War
The Thuringian Succession War - Introduction
The Star Wars

Royal Troubles
Otto IV and Bishop Adalbert II of Magdeburg


England and Normandy

From the Conquest to King John

Normans, Britons, and Angevins
The Dukes of Brittany and the Honour of Richmond

From Henry III to the War of the Roses

Great Fiefs
The Earldom of Richmond and the Duchy of Brittany


Scotland

Kings of Scots

House Dunkeld
Malcolm III and Northumbria
Struggle for the Throne: Malcolm III to David I
King David and the Civil War (1)
King David and the Civil War (2)

Houses Bruce and Stewart
Robert the Bruce and Stirling Castle
The Early Stewart Kings

Scottish Nobles and their Quarrels

Clan Feuds
MacLeans and MacDonalds
A Scottish Wedding


Wales

Princes and Rebels

The Princes of Gwynedd
The Rise of House Aberffraw

The Rebellions
From Llywellyn ap Gruffudd to Owain Glyn Dŵr


Scandinavia

Kings and Vikings

Kings of Norway
King Eirik's Scottish Marriages

Famous Nobles and their Feuds
Alv Erlingsson of Tønsberg


Other Times / Miscellanea

Neolithicum to Iron Age

Scandinavia and Orkney
The Neolithic Landscape of Orkney
Life in Skara Brae
Ship Setting on Gotland

Post-Mediaeval History

Discoveries
Otto von Guericke and the Magdeburg Hemispheres
Raising a Wreck, Now and Then (Vasa Museum in Stockholm)

Explorers
Fram Expedition to the North Pole
Fram Expedition to the South Pole

History in Literature and Music

History in Literature

Biographies of German Poets and Writers
Theodor Fontane

Historical Ballads by Theodor Fontane (my translation)
Archibald Douglas
Gorm Grymme
Sir Walter Scott in Abbotsford
The Tragedy of Afghanistan

My own Novels in Progress
The Roman Trilogy
The Saga of House Sichelstein
Kings and Rebels

History in Opera

Belcanto and Historicism
Maria Padilla - Mistress Royal
The Siege of Calais in Donizetti's Opera

Fun Stuff

Not So Serious Romans
Aelius Rufus Visits the Future Series
Building Hadrian's Wall
Playmobil Romans

Royal (Hi)Stories
Kings Having a Bad Hair Day
The Case of the Vanished Wine Cask

Historical Memes
Charlemagne meme
Historical Christmas Wishes
New Year Resolutions
Aelius Rufus does a Meme
Rules for Writing Scottish Romances

Funny Sights
Tourist Kitsch in St.Petersburg


Geological Landscapes

The Baltic Sea
Geology of the Curonian Spit
Chalk Cliffs on Rugia
Flint Fields on Rugia

The Harz
Bode Valley and Rosstrappe Cliff
The 'Hübichenstein' Rock
Karst Formations in the Southern Harz
The Lonau Falls
The Rhume Springs

Meissner / Kaufunger Wald
Blue Dome near Eschwege
Diabase and Basalt Formations
Karst Formations

Solling-Vogler
Raised Bog Mecklenbruch
Hannover Cliffs

The Shores of Scotland
Staffa

Palaeontology

Fossils
Ammonites


*********************

Links leading outside my blog will open in a new window. I do not take any responsibility for the content of linked sites.

History Blogs - Ancient

Roman History Today
Ancient Times (Mary Harrsch)
Bread and Circuses (Adrian Murdoch)
Following Hadrian (Carole Raddato)
Mike Anderson's Ancient History Blog
Mos Maiorum - Der römische Weg
Per Lineam Valli (M.C. Bishop)
Zenobia (Judith Weingarten)

Digging Up Fun Stuff
The Anglo-Saxon Archaeology Blog
Arkeologi i Nord
The Journal of Antiquities (Britain)
The Northern Antiquarian
The Roman Archaeology Blog

History Blogs - Mediaeval

Þaér wæs Hearpan Swég
Anglo Saxon, Norse & Celtic Blog
Casting Light upon the Shadow (A. Whitehead)
Norse and Viking Ramblings
Outtakes of a Historical Novelist (Kim Rendfeld)

Beholden Ye Aulde Blogges
A Clerk of Oxford
Daily Medieval
Historical Britain Blog (Mercedes Rochelle)
Magistra et Mater (Rachel Stone)
Michelle of Heavenfield (Michelle Ziegler)
Senchus (Tim Clarkson)
Viking Strathclyde (Tim Clarkson)

Royal and Other Troubles
Edward II (Kathryn Warner)
Henry the Young King (Kasia Ogrodnik)
Piers Gaveston (Anerje)
Lady Despenser's Scribery
Simon de Montfort (Darren Baker)
Weaving the Tapestry (Scottish Houses Dunkeld and Stewart)

A Mixed Bag of History
English Historical Fiction Authors
The Freelance History Writer (Susan Abernethy)
The History Blog
History, the Interesting Bits (S.B. Connolly)
Mediaeval Manuscripts Blog
Mediaeval News (Niall O'Brian)
Time Present and Time Past (Mark Patton)

Thoughts and Images

Reading and Reviews
Black Gate Blog
The Blog That Time Forgot (Al Harron)
Parmenion Books
Reading the Past
The Wertzone

Imaginations
David Blixt
Ex Urbe (Ada Palmer)
Constance A. Brewer
Jenny Dolfen Illustrations
Wild and Wonderful (Caroline Gill)

German Travel Blogs
Alte Steine
Meerblog
Reiseaufnahmen
Sonne und Wolken
Teilzeitreisender
Travelita
Unterwegs und Daheim

Highland Mountains
The Hazel Tree (Jo Woolf)
Helen in Wales
Mountains and Sea Scotland

The Colours of the World
Shutterbugs


Research

Archaeology
Past Horizons
Archaeology in Europe
Orkneyar

Roman History
Deutsche Limeskommission
Internet Ancient Sourcebook
Livius.org
Roman Army
Roman Britain
The Romans in Britain
Vindolanda Tablets

Not so Dark Ages
Burgundians in the Mist
Viking Society for Northern Research

Mediaeval History
De Re Militari
Internet Mediaeval Sourcebook
Kulturzeit
The Labyrinth
Mediaeval Crusades
Medievalists.Net

Castles
Burgenarchiv
Burgerbe
Burgenwelt
Exploring Castles
The World of Castles

Miscellaneous History
Heritage Daily
The History Files

Mythology
Ancient History
Encyclopedia Mythica

Online Journals
Ancient Warfare
The Heroic Age
The History Files

Travel and Guide Sites

Germany - History
Antike Stätten in Deutschland
Burgenarchiv
Strasse der Romanik

Germany - Nature
HarzLife
Naturpark Meissner
Naturpark Solling-Vogler

England
English Heritage
Visit Northumberland

Scotland
The Chain Mail (Scottish History)
Historic Scotland
National Trust Scotland

Books and Writing

Interesting Author Websites
Bernard Cornwell
Dorothy Dunnett
Steven Erikson
Diana Gabaldon
Guy Gavriel Kay
George R.R. Martin
Sharon Kay Penman
Brandon Sanderson
J.R.R. Tolkien
Tad Williams

Historical Fiction
Historical Novel Society
Historia Magazine

Writing Sites
Absolute Write
TheLitForum.com
National Novel Writing Month


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