The Lost Fort

My Travel and History Blog, Focussing mostly on Roman and Mediaeval Times


22 Dec 2016
  Merry Christmas

I wish everyone a merry and peaceful Christmas.


My Christmas forest

I've been asked for more photos of my pretty Christmas decorations. I picked my wood turned splinter tree forest this year, since it has grown a bit. I try to collect another tree or two every year.

Some roe with a fawn.

The last years I've chosen some wooden animals to fill the forest. They are worked by turning as well. I got the single roe a few years ago, but this year I totally fell in love with the roe mom and her fawn (though it is out of season in winter).

A rabbit

There is a shop on the local Christmas market that sells original crafts from the famous workshops in the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge). I also got me this little rabbit back in November. Since it was right during Nano, it may well be a plotbunny. :-)

A little squirrel

This adorable squirrel was an addition from last year. I got one for my father as well since he likes the bushy tailed cuties.

Forest with nativity scene in the foreground

Another view of the forest seen from the side where I put the little carved nativity scene from Israel. It is a different work of craft but I set this one up every year; it was the last gift of my late mother.

The Christmas pyramid with an incense smoker (Räuchermännchen) in the background

This is a heritage from my great-grandmother. I finally managed to repair the pyramid - one of the wee angels had flown off - and thus it is part of the decoration again this year. It is another fine example of hand crafted work from the Erzgebirge.
 


18 Dec 2016
  Dowager Queens, Skirmishes, and a Bonnie Prince - The History of Doune Castle, Part 2

Doune Castle had been the favorite residence of the Duke of Albany since 1401 at latest - he wrote letters dating from Doune Castle regularly since 1401 - as well as his son Murdoch and Murdoch's wife Isabella. The place was already a fitting abode for a duke, but it was not yet complete in the 1420ies.

After the execution of the Albany Stewarts, the importance of Doune Castle declined. It became a hunting lodge while the main seat of the Stewart kings was the nearby Stirling Castle. That is the likely reason why the castle was never completed - some windows in the southern curtain wall point at intended buildings along that wall.

Window openings in the southern curtain wall

After King James I was murdered in Feburary 1437, Isabella Stewart regained most of her titles and estates, though Doune Castle remained a royal possession and the title of the Duke of Albany was later given to a son of King James II as second creation.

The death of James I left Scotland with an underage king (James II was six when his father was assassinated) and a regency again. Queen Joanna, who was wounded in the fray but escaped the murder of her husband, was more or less kept prisoner at Stirling Castle. But when he came to adulthood, James II would deal with the power greedy men who made his childhood a misery, first among them the Douglas earls. He personally killed William 8th Earl of Douglas (Feburary 1452)

The Duchess' Chamber

James II married Mary of Guelders in 1449. He died in August 1460 during the siege of Roxburgh Castle (which was still held by the English) when a cannon exploded near him. Unfortunately, James III (* 1451) was underage as well. But Mary of Guelders proved a strong woman and partook in the regency, together with Bishop James Kennedy. Doune Castle was her dower house which she visited several times.

In England, the War of the Roses was in full fray. Mary supported the Lancastrians and gave King Henry VI and his wife Margaret of Anjou shelter when they fled to Scotland after the Battle of Towton (March 1461). But their relationship detoriated when Duke Philippe of Burgundy, Mary's great-uncle, allied himself with the Yorkist king Edward IV. Margaret went to France to seek aid there, while King Henry was hiding out in Northumberland (where he got captured in 1465).

Mary of Guelders died in December 1963, her son James III died in the battle of Sauchieburn in June 1488 against a rebel army led by his own son. His wife, Margaret of Denmark, had received Doune Castle as dower house, but she died two years before her husband.

The Great Hall

James IV married Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII, first of the Tudor dynasty on the English throne. James died at the disastrous Battle of Flodden Field in 1513. Margaret survived her husband for 28 years, again receiving Doune Castle as dower house. And again the Stewart king was too young to rule - James V was born only a bit more than a year before his father's death. The usual dance of regents ensued.

Margaret remarried Archibald Douglas 6th Earl of Angus (1514), who acted as one of the regents for the king, but they had a falling out and got divorced in 1527 (James V had meanwhile become king in his own right). Margaret then married Henry Stewart 1st Lord Methven, a descandant of Murdoch of Albany. His brother became James Stewart 1st Lord of Doune. James's son, another James, would become Lord of Doune and Earl of Moray by his wife in 1570. Thus Doune Castle came into possession of the Moray earls who held it until the 20th century.

Margaret Tudor died in 1541, King James V in 1542. Again, he left behind a child, and a daughter to boot: Mary Queen of Scots (* 1542).

Minstrel's gallery in the great hall

Doune Castle obviously was not in best repair in the 1520ies, since its then keeper, William Edmonstoun, wrote to the dowager Queen Margaret that the castle could house her and her gentlewomen, but not the rest of her attendants. She interpreted that as refusal to fulfill his duties, and upon marriage to Henry Stewart installed James Stewart as keeper (see above).

The castle seems to have been in good enough repair for Mary Queen of Scots (reigned 1442-1567, executed 1587) to stay there several times; she occupied the suite of rooms in the kitchen tower. I won't go into details about that interesting and unfortunate woman in this post, though.

After Mary was imprisoned in England, Doune was held by the 2nd Lord Doune for the queen in 1570, but he eventually surrendered to the regent, the Earl of Lennox. The castle and its pleasant surroundings attracted the interest of the young King James VI who in 1581 spent the considerable sum of £ 300 on repairs and improvements. But when he became King of England as well in 1603, he left Scotland and royal interest in Doune Castle ceased.

Four-light dais window in the great hall

Doune was never involved in a major military expedition, but its proximity to the more important Stirling Castle brought it into the focus of action nevertheless. During the civil war, Doune was held by the Royalist James Graham Marquess of Montrose before the battle of Kilsyth (August 1645), but after the royal army lost at Philipphaugh a month later, Montrose had to flee into exile. Another skirmish took place near the castle in 1654 when the Royalists under Sir Mungo Murray fought some Covenanter troops during the so-called Glencairn Rising which ended in a peace treaty, the Act of Pardon and Grace.

Doune was back on the royal side during the Jacobite Risings of 1715 and 1745. The castle was held by a MacGregor of Glengyle for Prince Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie. It was used as prison after the victory of Falkirk in early 1746 when some 150 government 'redcoats' were held prisoner in the castle. Six of them managed to excape from the chamber above the kitchen by knotting bedsheets together and climbing out of a window. More men would have gone that way had not the sheets ruptured. Those redcoats were lucky that Doune has no nasty, damp and dark dungeon. :-)

Curtain walls

Afterwards, the castle was no longer used and deteriorated. By 1800 it was a ruin without roofs. It was George Stuart, 14th Earl of Moray, who commissioned repair works in the 1850ies. The timber roofs were replaced and the wooden panelling in the Lord's Hall added, among other repairs and restorations. I could not find out whether any of the Moray earls ever used the castle since then.

It was given to the care of Historic Scotland by the 20th earl in 1984. Doune Castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument catergory A and open to the public (when there is no filming going on).

Literature
Doreen Grove: Doune Castle; guidebook by Historic Scotland, Edinburgh 2007

 


11 Dec 2016
  Kings and Stewarts - The History of Doune Castle, Part 1

We've had a look at the architecture of Doune Castle back in October. This post is going to deal with its history.

The name Doune derives from the Gaelic word dún, fort, but archaeological traces for a fortified structure on the promontory at the conflucence of the Ardoch into the Teith date no further than the 13th century and are now overlaid by the Duke of Albany's castle from the late 14th century. There was a Roman camp on the flat ground north of the castle, though, dating to the time of Agricola (about AD 83-55).

Doune Castle, Gatehouse Tower seen from the outside

To get an image of the time when the Stewarts of Albany rose to political power, we'll have to sort some geneaology again. King Robert I the Bruce had succession problems. His younger brother and heir Edward had died in 1318. His daughter Marjorie (with his first wife Isabella of Mar) had died the year before, but she left behind a son with her husband, Walter Stewart, the High Steward of Scotland, a boy named Robert for his grandfather. Sure, the boy was still in his crib, but at least he was male and closely related to the king, so Robert the Bruce had the parliament enact an entail that named baby Robert as his successor.

But then Robert the Bruce got lucky. In 1324, he produced a son of his own with his second wife, Elisabeth de Burgh. The boy was named David. Baby Robert was nine at the time, maybe old enough according to Mediaeval standards to realise that he just found himself ousted of the top job (1).

Great Hall and Gatehouse Tower

Robert the Bruce died in 1329, leaving behind an underage heir and an underage ex-heir - Robert's father Walter had died in 1327. So we got the usual power struggle of guardians; I'll spare you the details and lots of unfamiliar names.

David was married to Joan of the Tower, daughter of King Edward II and Isabella of France at the tender age of four (1328); the bride was seven. The marriage would last 34 years but remained childless.

The marriage also did not prevent Joan's brother Edward III from supporting Edward Balliol, an old rival of the Bruce clan, in his grasp for the Scottish crown. Edward III won the Battle at Halidon Hill in 1333 and Balliol became king. Robert Stewart, now aged 17, fought in the battle, commanding the centre. The battle was a disaster for the Scots; a number of high ranking nobles fell, among them the regent Archibald Douglas. Robert Stewart managed to escape to Dumarbarton Castle at the west coast. He had been brought up in the Gaelic speaking world around Renfrew and the Clydesdale and there he found allies for his attempt to regain his lands and his position.

Courtyard seen from the Lord's Hall
(through glazed windows, thus I could not avoid some reflections)

David and Joan fled to France where they stayed at Chateau Gaillard. Edward Balliol and the Disinherited, Scottish nobles who had lost their possessions under Robert the Bruce, faced the pro-Bruce magnates from the very beginning of Edward's kingship. Men like Robert Stewart, John Randolph Earl of Moray (both joined regents and often at loggerheads), and the Douglas family managed to build a following of minor nobles and tenants, some even from their former lands which Edward Balliol's followers had taken, and fought a sort of guerilla war. King Edward III of England had his hands full in France an could not lend sufficient support to Balliol. Eventually the supporters of King David prevailed, and king and queen could return to Scotland in summer 1341. David was now 17; old enough to rule by himself.

At that time, the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) was well underway. France and Scotland, both having problems with the supremacy of English kings, were allied in the so-called Auld Alliance. Under its terms King Philippe IV of France asked King David II to to attack the English in the north and create a second front. After King Philippe rather spectacularly lost the Battle of Crécy in August 1346, king David thought there would not be too many defenders in northern England and invaded Yorkshire in October. But he progressed so slowly that an army could rally. David lost the Battle at Neville's Cross near Durham to the English archers and managed to get himself captured. Earl Randoph fell in battle.

Gate tunnel with yett at the farther end

Robert Stewart escaped. The Lanercost Chronicle says he fled a coward, but maybe it was a prudent move - he was the heir of the king, after all, and at this point no one knew where David was (hiding under a bridge, as it turned out). He became regent again.

Edward Balliol saw a second chance, but he never got enough support to defeat the pro-Bruce faction. King Edward III could only give him limited military assistance due to his wars in France. Balliol ceded any claims to the Scottish crown to him in 1356 and Edward III made one last effort to subdue the Scots, the Burnt Candlemas chevauchée in the same year which petered out because of the lack of supplies (2).

King David was held in honourable captivity, was allowed his own household and contacts to Scotland. He also negotiated the conditions for his release. It only took King Edward and David 11 years. *grins* Main points were the restoration of the Disinherited, naming Edward's son John of Gaunt as heir, and the pay of a ransom. Meanwhile in Scotland, Robert Stewart and other magnates were busy playing the usual power games. But in one point they all agreed: No English Heir To The Scottish Throne.

King David was finally released in 1357 upon payment of a huge ransom (3) due in several rates. There was no more talk about naming one of King Edward's sons as heir. David left his unloved wife back in England with her brother. But he had no children with his later wives and mistresses, either.

When King David II returned, he - pretty successfully - tried to curb the power games of the magnates by granting and taking away fiefs and influential positions. He even imprisoned Robert Stewart for several months in 1368 to make it clear who was the king. The last decade of his rule was comparatively peaceful and economically stable despite the ransom that had to be collected anually (4). King David died in Feburary 1371. The Bruce dynasty ended with him.

Guardroom in the gate tunnel

Robert Stewart had used his time as regent to ensure the legitimacy of his children with Elisabeth Mure, among them John, Earl of Carrick (born 1337, the future Robert III); Robert, Earl of Menteith and Fife (born 1340, the future Duke of Albany, who commissioned the building of Doune Castle some time prior to 1381); and Alexander, Lord of Badenoch (born 1343, the future Earl of Buchan). He also married one daughter into the Douglas family, another wed John MacDonald, Lord of the Isles. David (* 1357), the eldest son of his second marriage was created Earl of Strathearn (5). Thus the Stewarts were in some way connected with two thirds of the important earldoms in Scotland.

Robert Stewart was 55 when he finally became king, with three grown up sons to actively participate in ruling Scotland - not always in accord with their father, or each other (6). While King David II tried to dominate his nobles, Robert II delegated authority to his sons and else played the great families against each other. It worked quite well during the first years of his reign.

One problem were the English enclaves in the ever unruly Border lands (like Berwick. Roxburgh and Jedburgh) and Scots from that area who gave their allegiance to the English king. Officially, Robert condemned the Scottish attacks on English possessions but one can assume that he was not really unhappy about them, especially after the death of King Edward III in 1377, when retaliations were not to be excpected from his successor Richard II who had his hands full at home.

Gatehouse Tower

But matters went pear shaped in 1384. An Anglo-French truce that included Scotland under the Auld Alliance was ignored and English castles attacked and taken. John of Gaunt, an uncle of King Richard II led a punitive attack as far as Edinburgh. Robert's eldest son John Earl of Carrick and his ally, the Earl of Douglas, wanted to strike back - against the wishes of the king. Meanwhile in the north, Alexander Earl of Buchan, aptly nicknamed the Wolf of Badenoch, used his position as Justiciar and Lieutenant of the North not to keep order, but to enrich himself an run roughshot over the rights of the minor nobility, and King Robert was unable to curtail his activites. The king's council was not happy about these developments, removed the king's authority and appointed the Earl of Carrick as lieutenant of the kingdom.

It turned out that Carrick could not solve the problems, either. On the English front, the Scots won the battle of Otterburn in August 1388. Harry 'Hotspur' Percy of Northumberland was taken captive, but his most famous enemy, the Earl of Douglas fell. That left Carrick short a most important ally and the pendulum in the council swung back against him. The guardianship of Scotland was given to the king's second son, Robert Stewart Earl of Fife and Menteith.

Robert immediatiely took action; he removed Alexander of Buchan from his position as Jusiticiar in the North and appointed his own son Murdoch of Fife instead. The ailing King Robert II's last major political act was touring the northen part of his realm to reestablish feudal bonds. He died in April 1390.

Gallery in the Lord's Hall

Robert's son John Earl of Carrick became king and changed his name to Robert, which makes him Robert III of Scotland, since John was considered an unlucky name for a king. He was not a young man, either, and suffered from the consequences of a riding accident. So the role of his son, David Duke of Rothesay (* 1378), in governing Scotland was considerable. The other powerful man was the king's brother Robert Stewart, who now took the title of Duke of Albany. Other players in the game were the Douglas earls.

Problems between the de facto mightiest men in Scotland culminated in February 1402. David had allied himself with the deposed Alexander of Buchan and contested the Duke of Albany's influence. When David's lieutenancy expired, Albany - allied with Archibald 4th Earl of Douglas (7) - took David captive and imprisoned him in Falkland Castle where the Duke of Rothesay died a few weeks later, some say of starvation, others of dysentery. Albany was acquitted of any complicity in his nephew's death, which was blamed on 'divine providence', but rumours remain until today (8).

Fun fact aside: Duke of Rothesay and Earl of Carrick are presently among the titles in the collection of HRH The Prince Charles.

A Strife of Stewarts. :-) Painting in the Museum of Bannockburn

Whether or not the Duke of Albany was guilty of murder, or condoning murder, King Robert's younger son James no longer felt safe in Scotland. Plans were made to send him to France, but his cortège was intercepted by Archibald Douglas, and James was forced to hide out on the island of Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth. I've seen the place, it is full of shrieking birds and bird poo, and no royal abode. When James finally found a ship bound for France, it was attacked by pirates and James was delivered to the English king Henry IV in March 1406 (9).

King Robert III died a month later. Maybe the fate of his youngest son was the last stroke to bring that ill and unhappy man down.

View from a passage way down to the Duchess' Hall (which is today missing its ceiling)

With King James captive in England, Robert Stewart of Albany became regent. But he kept having problems with other members of the nobility. One particularly troublesome enemy was Donald MacDonald, 2nd Lord of the Isles, with whom Stewart quarreled about the earldom of Ross which he wanted for his second son. That led to the battle of Red Harlaw in July 1411, with heavy losses on both sides, though Donald eventually withdrew. The Stewart forces were led by Alexander Stewart Earl of Mar, an illegitimate son of Alexander of Buchan.

James met with another Scottish prisoner in England, a man I suppose he'd rather not have met: Murdoch Stewart of Fife, son of the Duke of Albany.

Murdoch (* 1362) had been appointed Justiciar of the North in 1389 and worked together with his father. In 1402, another of those border feuds with England erupted, and the Scots sent an army under Murdoch Stewart and Archibald Douglas down into Northumbria. It didn't end well. The Scots lost the battle of Homildon Hill near Newcastle; both Douglas and Murdoch Stewart were taken captive. The latter was sent directly to King Henry IV of England whilst Douglas remained with his favourite enemy, Harry Hotspur Percy until July 1403 when Hotspur lost the battle of Shrewsbury (10).

Kitchen Tower

Robert Stewart was lucky that King Henry had his hands full with both internal and Welsh problems and left Scotland alone, else the king may have used the loss of several miliary leaders to invade the country. Murdoch returned after 12 years of captivity in England. James would have to wait longer, and he was royally pissed that there was ransom money to be had for Murdoch Stewart but not for him.

Robert Stewart Duke of Albany died, aged 80, in 1420. His obituary by Walter Bower, abbot of Inchcolm, describes him a kind and generous man, brave and prudent, an 'ornament of nearly all the virtues'. That is probably rather exaggerated, but it does serve as a counterpoint to the chronicles and research books that paint him solely as a power greedy monster and murderer. Robert Stewart could well have been both, greedy for power and generous, sometimes kind and sometimes cruel.

His edest son Murdoch took over the regency. Meanwhile, James was still languishing in England. Sure, his captivity did not involve dungeons and oubliettes, and he received a knightly education, but he nevertheless was a prisoner and wondered why the regent did not work harder on getting him out of this mess. One thing we know, when he finally did return to Scotland in spring 1224, he went after his Albany Stewart relations with a vengeance.

Henry IV had died in 1413. James got along rather well with his successor Henry V (11), even accompagnied him in a war to France (so much for the Auld Alliance). He married Joanna Beaufort, daughter of the Earl of Somerset and a niece of King Henry V - the match was one of the conditions for his return to Scotland, but it seems to have been a love match as well; James had it bad enough to write love poetry.

The Scottish nobles must have had mixed feelings about the return of their estranged king with his English wife and English habits, not to mention paying taxes to cover the ransom - again. His reign would see troubles and revolt, but the start was off with a flourish.

Stirling Castle, one of the main seats of the Stewart Kings

Murdoch Stewart and his sons Walter and Alexander - whom James had knighted upon his coronation - were arrested in autumn 1424, after Murdoch's brother John of Earl Buchan and their ally Archibald 4th Earl of Douglas had been killed in France (12). Murdoch's youngest son, James the Fat, escaped to Ireland from where he stirred a rebellion which failed. King James took this as reason to have them tried for treason and executed in Stirling Castle in May 1425. Murdoch's wife Isabella was confined in Tantallon Castle.

Interestingly, among the peers who sat in the jury that condemned the Albany Stewarts were the 5th Earl of Douglas and the Earl of Mar, who some years before had led Duke Robert's forces at Harlaw.

Doune Castle became a royal possession and served as hunting lodge and dower house for the next decades. More about the castle here.

Doune Castle, the curtain walls

Footnotes
1) But he was reinstalled as heir presumptive should David die without issue in 1326. Parliaments tended to be less optimistic than kings.
2) His fleet at Berwick was destroyed by a storm.
3) I've found different numbers in the sources, probaby due to the different coins which were in use then: 100.000 mark silver, or £ 66,666 pound. The ransom was never fully paid anyway.
4) Michael Brown paints a more positive image of David's reign than Tranter. I'm inclined to follow his detailed analysis - though presented in a very abbreviated form in this post - over Tranter's description.
5) There was another son who died early, and a bunch of daughters. Robert had more children from a second marriage to Euphemia of Ross.
6) Unfortunately, Brown's book ends with the death of King David II, so I had to rely on the rather biased Tranter, the short albeit less biased article on the Duke of Albany in the guidebook, and online sources for Robert II, Robert III, and James I. The volume about the Stewarts in the excellent New Edinburgh History of Scotland is unfortunately out of print.
7) Archibald Douglas, great nephew of the Douglas earl who fell at Otterburn, was married to a sister of David of Rothesay.
8) I'm not going to decide for one side of the argument; there are reasons for both. For one, to rise to power the way Robert Stewart of Albany did took a ruthless streak, including political murder. On the other hand, David was not King Robert's only son, and I wonder if Albany would go so far as to kill several nephews to become king, though his ally Archibald Earl of Douglas did attack King Robert's younger son James s few years later, probably trying to prevent him from escaping to France. On the other side, death by dysentery is not impossible considering the hygienic conditions of the time. There could also have been a combination of not exactly starvation, but bad food - which implies lack of care for a prisoner of rank - and subsequent illness that led to David's demise.
9) Another unanswered question is whether someone alerted the pirates of James' whereabouts. The Stewarts had some experience with absentee kings, after all, and Henry IV might well prove a true descendant of Edward III and keep James in England for a long time. Which turned out he did.
10) Archibald Douglas sided with his former enemy against Henry IV - not at least because the king claimed all prisoners, something Harry Percy refused. Percy fell at the battle of Shrewsbury and Douglas ended up prisoner of King Henry. He was released on parole in order to collect his ransom in 1405; it was finally paid as late as 1408..
11) Henry V died in 1422, leaving behind his baby son Henry VI under the regency of his uncles.
12) The Battle of Verneuil. It was an English victory (the English were led by the Duke of Bedford) against the French and their allied Scottish army led by Archibald Earl Douglas and John Stewart Earl of Buchan, who was Douglas' son-in-law.

Literature
Michael Brown: The Wars of Scotland 1214-1371; The New Edinburgh History of Scotland vol. 4, Edinburgh 2004
Doreen Grove: Doune Castle; guidebook by Historic Scotland, Edinburgh 2007
Nigel Tranter: The Story of Scotland, Glasgow 1987
 




The Lost Fort is a travel and history blog based on my journeys in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and central / eastern Europe. It includes virtual town and castle tours with a focus on history, museum visits, hiking tours, and essays on Roman and Mediaeval history, illustrated with my own photos.


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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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Richmond
History: Conquest to King John
History: Henry III to the Tudors
Architecture

Scarborough
History: Romans to the Tudors
History: Civil War to the Present
Architecture

Roman Remains

Wall Fort Birdoswald
The Dark Age Timber Halls

Wall Fort Segedunum
Museum and Viewing Tower
The Baths

Other Roman Sites
The Mithraeum at Brocolita
The Signal Station at Scarborough


Scotland

Towns

Edinburgh
Views from the Castle

Stirling
The Wallace Monument

Castles

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

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

Stirling
History: Robert the Bruce

Castles at the Scottish West Coast
Duart Castle
Dunollie and Kilchurn

Abbeys and Churches

Inchcolm Abbey
Arriving at Inchcolm

Neolithicum and Bronze Age

Neolithic Orkney
Ring of Brodgar
Skara Brae

Brochs and Cairns
Clava Cairns
The Brochs of Gurness and Midhowe - Introduction

Picts and Dalriatans
Dunadd Hill Fort
Staffa


Wales

Towns

Aberystwyth
Castle and Coast

Caerleon
The Ffwrwm
The Roman Amphitheatre
The Baths in the Legionary Fort

Conwy
The Smallest House in Great Britain

Castles

Beaumaris
History
Architecture

Caernarfon
Master James of St.George
The Castle Kitchens

Chepstow
History: Beginnings unto Bigod
History: Edward II to the Tudors
History: Civil War

Conwy
History
Architecture

Criccieth
Llywelyn's Buildings
King Edward's Buildings

Pembroke
Photo Impressions
The Caves Under the Castle

Castles in Southern Wales
Cardiff
Manorbier


Denmark

Museums and Reconstructed Sites

Viking Museum Roskilde
To come


Norway

Castles and Fortresses

Akershus Fortress in Oslo
History: The Time of King Håkon V
Architecture

Vardøhus Fortress
History

Museums / Reconstructed Sites

The Fram Museum in Oslo


Sweden

Museums and Reconstructed Sites

The Vasa Museum in Stockholm

Neolithicum and Bronze Age

Gotland
Gnisvärd Ship Setting


Finland

Towns

Porvoo
Mediaeval Porvoo


Estonia

Towns

Tallinn
The History of Mediaeval Tallinn


Latvia

Towns

Riga
The History of Mediaeval Riga


Lithuania

Historical Landscapes

The Curonian Spit
Geology of the Curonian Spit


Poland

Towns

Gdańsk / Danzig
History of Mediaeval Gdańsk
Mediaeval and Renaissance Gdańsk

Kraków
The Old Town
Jewish Kraków - Kazimierz and the Ghetto

Wrocław / Breslau
The Botanical Garden
The Wrocław Dwarfs

Castles

Ogrodzieniec Castle
A Virtual Tour
History: First Castle to the Boner Family


Czechia

Towns

Cheb / Eger
The Old Town

Karlovy Vary / Karlsbad
Brief History of the Town

Kutná Hora
The Sedlec Ossuary
The Medieaval Town and St.Barbara's Church


Belgium

Towns

Antwerp
The Old Town

Bruges
Mediaeval Bruges

Ghent
Mediaeval Ghent

Tongeren
Roman and Mediaeval Remains


Luxembourg

Towns

Luxembourg City
A Tour of the Town


City Trips

St.Petersburg (Russia)
Impressions from the Neva River

Strasbourg (France)
A Tour of the Town


Hiking Tours and Cruises

Germany

The Baltic Sea Coast
Flensburg Firth
Rugia: Jasmund Peninsula and Kap Arkona
Rugia; The Pier of Sellin
Rugia: More Photo Impressions
A Tour on the Wakenitz River

The Lüneburg Heath
Hiking Tours in the Lüneburg Heath

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

Nature Park Meissner-Kaufunger Wald
Around Bad Sooden-Allendorf
Hessian Switzerland

Nature Park Solling-Vogler
The Forest Pasture Project
Raised Bog Mecklenbruch

Nature Park Reinhardswald
Old Forest at the Sababurg

Thuringian Forests
Oberderdorla and Hainich National Park

Rivers and Lakes
Bruchteiche / Bad Sooden Allendorf
The Danube in Spring
Edersee Reservoir
A Rainy Rhine Cruise
The Moselle
Vineyards at Saale and Unstrut
Weser River Ferry
Weser Skywalk

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

Seasons
Spring in the Botanical Garden Göttingen
Spring in the Hardenberg Castle Gardens
Spring at the 'Kiessee' Lake
Spring in the Meissner
Memories of Summer
Summer Hiking Tours 2016
Autumn in the Meissner
Autumn at Werra and Weser
Winter at the 'Kiessee' Lake


United Kingdom

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
Scotland by Train
West Highland Railway


Wild Wales - With Castles
Views of Snowdownia
Views from Castle Battlements

Wildlife
Sea Gulls


Scandinavia

The Hurtigruten-Tour / Norway
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


The Baltic Sea

A Baltic Sea Cruise

The Curonian Spit in Lithuania
Beaches at the Curonian Spit
Geology of the Curonian Spit



Mediaeval History
- General Essays
- Specific Topics

History by Country
- Germany
- England
- Scotland
- Wales
- Denmark
- Norway
- Sweden
- Livonia
- Lithuania
- Poland
- Bohemia

Roman History
- The Romans at War
- Roman Life and Religion

Other Times
- Neolithicum to Iron Age
- Post-Mediaeval History
-
Miscellanea
- Geology


Mediaeval History

General Essays

Mediaeval Art and Craft

Mediaeval Art
The Choir Screen in the Cathedral of Mainz
The Gospels of Heinrich the Lion
Mediaeval Monster Carvings
The Upside-Down World
The Viking Treasure of Hiddensee

Medieaval Craftmanship
Goldsmithery
Medical Instruments

Mediaeval Warfare

Mediaeval Weapons
Swords
Trebuchets

Castles and Fortifications
Dungeons and Oubliettes


Specific Topics

Feudalism

The History of Feudalism
The Beginnings
Feudalism in the 10th Century

Privileges and Special Relationships
The Privilege of the deditio
A Note on handgenginn maðr

The Hanseatic League

The History of the Hanseatic League
Introduction and Beginnings

Hanseatic Architecture
Examples of Brick Architecture
Hall Houses (Dielenhäuser)

Goods and Trade
Stockfish Trade

Towns of the Hanseatic League
Riga
Stralsund
Tallinn / Reval

The Order of the Teutonic Knights

Wars and Battles
The Conquest of Danzig
The Siege of Vilnius 1390

The Vikings

Viking Ships
The Nydam Ship


Some historical events are linked under more than one country / subtitle due to the overarching nature of history.


History by Country

Germany

Geneaology

List of Mediaeval German Emperors

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

Kings and Emperors

The Salian Dynasty
King Heinrich IV

House Welf and House Staufen
Emperor Otto IV, Introduction

Princes and Lords

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

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

Feuds and Rebellions

Royal Troubles
Otto IV and Bishop Adalbert II of Magdeburg

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


England

Kings of England

King Henry IV
King Henry's Lithuanian Crusade

Normans, Britons, Angevins

Great Noble Houses
The Dukes of Brittany
The Earls of Richmond

Contested Borders

Northumbria
King Stephen's Troubles with King David of Scots


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, Part 1
King David and the Civil War, Part 2

Houses Bruce and Stewart
The Early Stewart Kings

Local Troubles

Clan Feuds
MacLeans and MacDonalds
A Scottish Wedding

Scotland and England

The Wars of Independence
Alexander of Argyll
The Fight for Stirling Castle


Wales

Welsh Princes

The Princes of Gwynedd
The Rise of House Aberffraw

Wales and England

A History of Rebellion
Llywellyn ap Gruffudd to Owain Glyn Dŵr


Denmark

Kings of Denmark

House of Knýtlinga
Harald Bluetooth's Flight to Pomerania

Danish Rule in the Baltic Sea

The Duchy of Estonia
Danish Kings and German Sword Brothers


Norway

Kings of Norway

Foreign Relations
King Eirik's Scottish Marriages
King Håkon V's Swedish Politics
Beginnings of the Kalmar Union

Feuds and Rebellions

Rebels
Alv Erlingsson of Tønsberg


Sweden

Troubles and Alliances

Scandinavian Unity
Beginnings of the Kalmar Union


Livonia
(Latvia and Estonia)

Livonian Towns

Riga
The History of Mediaeval Riga

Tallinn
The History of Mediaeval Tallinn


Lithuania

Lithuanian Princes

The Geminid Dynasty
Troublesome Cousins - Jogaila and Vytautas

The Northern Crusades

The Wars in Lithuania
The Siege of Vilnius 1390


Poland

Royal Dynasties

The Jagiełłonian Kings
Władysław Jagiełło and the Polish-Lithuanian Union

The Northern Crusades

The Conquest of Pomerania / Prussia
The Conquest of Danzig


Bohemia

Royal Dynasties

The Bohemian Kings of House Luxembourg
King Sigismund and the Hussite Wars


Roman History

The Romans at War

Forts and Fortifications

The German Limes
The Cavalry Fort Aalen
Limes Fort Osterburken
Limes Fort Saalburg

The Hadrian's Wall
Introduction
The Fort at Segedunum / Wallsend

Border Life
Exercise Halls
Mile Castles and Watch Towers
Soldiers' Living Quarters
Cavalry Barracks

Campaigns and Battles

Maps
The Romans in Germania

The Pre-Varus Invasion in Germania
Roman Camp Hedemünden
New Finds in 2008

The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
Museum Park at Kalkriese

The Battle at the Harzhorn
Introduction

The Batavian Rebellion
A Short Introduction

Miscellaneous Events

The Legend of Alaric's Burial

Roman Militaria

Armour
Early Imperial Helmets
Late Roman Helmets
The Negau B Helmet

Weapons
Weapon Finds at Hedemünden
The pilum
Daggers
Swords

Other Equipment
Roman Saddles


Roman Life and Religion

Religion and Public Life

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

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

Architecture
Roman Public Baths

Domestic Life

Roman villae
Villa Urbana Longuich
Villa Rustica Wachenheim

Everyday Life
Bathing Habits
Children's Toys
Face Pots


Other Times

Neolithicum to Iron Age

Germany

Development of Civilisation
European Bread Museum, Ebergötzen
The Hutewald Project in the Solling
Open Air Museum Oerlinghausen

Neolithic Remains
Stone Burials of the Funnelbeaker Culture
The Necropolis of Oldendorf

Bronze Age / Iron Age
The Nydam Ship

Scotland

Neolithic Orkney
The Neolithic Landscape of Orkney
Ring of Brodgar
Skara Brae
Life in Skara Brae

Bronze Age / Iron Age
Clava Cairns
The Brochs of Gurness and Midhowe - Their Function in Iron Age Society

Scandinavia

Bronze / Iron Age
The Ship Setting of Gnisvärd / Gotland


Post-Mediaeval History

Explorers and Discoveries

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

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


Miscellanea

History in Literature and Music

History and Literature

The Weimar Classicism
The Weimar Classicism - Introduction

Theodor Fontane
Short Biography of Theodor Fontane
Fontane Ballads, translated by me
Archibald Douglas
Gorm Grymme
Sir Walter Scott in Abbotsford
The Tragedy of Afghanistan

History in Opera

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

Not so Serious History

Romans
Building Hadrian's Wall
Playmobil Romans

Mediaeval Times
Kings Having a Bad Hair Day
The Case of the Vanished Wine Cask

Other
Rules for Writing Scottish Romances


Geology

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
Sandstone Formations: Daneil's Cave
Sandstone Formations: Devil's Wall
Sandstone Formations: The Klus Rock

Meissner / Kaufunger Wald
Blue Dome near Eschwege
Diabase and Basalt Formations
Karst Formations
Salt Springs at the Werra

Solling-Vogler
Raised Bog Mecklenbruch
Hannover Cliffs

The Shores of Scotland
Staffa

Fossils and Other Odd Rocks

Fossilized Ammonites
The Loket Meteorite


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