Medieval Britain

The Aberdeen Bestiary
The Aberdeen Bestiary was written and illuminated in England around 1200. The website includes access to the Bestiary as well as notes, sketches and other evidence of how it was designed and executed. The entire manuscript has been digitised using Photo-CD technology, thus creating a surrogate, while allowing greater access to the text itself. The digitised version, offering a display of full-page images and detailed views of illustrations and other significant features, is complemented by a series of commentaries, and a transcription and translation of the original Latin.

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
The AHRC offers funding, grants, awards, and skills training that may be relevant to UK medievalists.

The Anglo-American Legal Tradition
Documents from Medieval and Early Modern England from the National Archives in London. This site now contains about 9,250,000 frames of historical material from the U.K. National Archives from the years 1176 to the Early Modern period. There is no charge for access and documents can be browsed online or downloaded. The main document series on the site are CP40 (court of common pleas plea rolls), KB27 (court of king’s bench plea rolls), KB26 (king’s bench and common pleas plea rolls from Henry III), E159 and E368 (exchequer memoranda rolls), C33 (chancery orders and decrees), CP25(1) (feet of fines), DL5 (duchy decrees and orders), and REQ1 (court of requests orders and decrees). Examples of other series are also available. The AALT website runs through the O’Quinn Law Library at the University of Houston under a non-commercial license from the U.K. National Archives. This website is straightforward and easy to use, and also contains sample transcriptions to help users understand the scripts involved, as well as advice on reading court cases.

The British Academy
List of members of the British Academy involved in Medieval Studies. The link brings you to the homepage; to find current British Academy members involved in Medieval Studies, search ‘Medieval Studies’.

British History Online
British History Online is the digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles.

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature
Not specifically medieval, The Cambridge History contains a significant number of entries, with essay topics ranging from poetry, fiction, drama and essays to history, theology and political writing.

Celtic Inscribed Stones Project
CISP is undertaking a collaborative, interdisciplinary study of Medieval Celtic inscriptions. One of its main objectives is the compilation of an accessible, comprehensive and authoritative database of all known inscriptions. By bringing this material together in one place and making it readily available our goal is to turn what is a largely untapped resource into usable material. The scope of the project is the Celtic-speaking regions of the early middle ages, (Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Brittany, the Isle of Man, and parts of western England, in the period approximately AD 400-1100). Included are all stone monuments inscribed with text, whether in the Celtic vernacular or Latin, in the Roman alphabet or ogham (but excluding runic inscriptions). This site and database are easy to use, with plenty of explanatory material and even a downloadable PDF manual for more detailed information on the database. It is possible to browse indexes of the sites of stones, the names of the stones, indexes of the personal names mentioned in inscriptions and maps of the sites. The database also allows inscription (and more complex) searches. In general this is a very useful site; users should note however, that the site is no longer maintained, as the project is completed.

The Charters of William II and Henry I
During a century and more after the Norman Conquest of England the most important evidence for the workings of the realm are the charters confirming to principal churches and higher aristocracy their tenure of lands and various associated legal rights, or of other privileges, such as rights to take or exemption from tolls, and the writs issued by the king to protect the exercise of these rights. The overall aim is to collect, edit, and interpret the royal acts issued in the names of two English kings, William II (reigned 1087 to 1100), and his brother Henry I (reigned 1100 to 1135), who was also duke of Normandy from 1106 until 1135. Royal acts, mainly charters but also writs and other letters, are the prime documentary source for the period, providing the means to understand the workings of the realm in a way not possible from chronicles and other narrative sources. The files currently available on this site represent about an eighth of the material to be included in the final edition, which will be published as a multi-volume book.

City Witness: Medieval Swansea
A thriving port, a marcher base for the lords of Gower, and a multi-cultural urban community, Swansea was an important centre in the Middle Ages, comparable with many other historic European towns. Yet the medieval legacy of Swansea is almost invisible today. This project aims to further our understanding of medieval Swansea, to forge connections between the modern city and its medieval antecedent, and through digital mapping and textual analysis to reveal how medieval individuals from different cultural and ethnic communities understood and represented their town.

Corpus of Early Medieval Coin Finds
A project to gather together into a single database all of the single finds of coins minted between AD 410-1180 found in the British Isles.

The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland
The aim of the project – still in progress – is to photograph and record all Romanesque surviving sculpture. To do this, volunteer fieldworkers describe, measure and photograph Romanesque sites. The project editors convert the raw materials of their research into an electronic archive. Church plans, generously made available by the Church Plans Online project, are included where available as an additional visual aid.

Council for British Archaeology
Website for the Council for British Archaeology. A good starting point for information about archaeology in Britain and the rest of the world.

Curse Tablets of Roman Britain
Of the provinces of the former Roman empire, Britain is among the most fertile in curse tablets. From such substantial groups of documents, written or at least deposited in the same place, we can recover much information about the traditions of writing curse tablets, the rituals that accompanied the inscribing of curses and the context in which people thought it appropriate to create their curses, potentially a stigmatised activity because of its magical associations. The majority of tablets have come to light in southern Britain around the Severn estuary, but they have also been found in London and Kent, on the Hamble estuary in Hampshire to the south and in the east Midlands and East Anglia. They have been found in towns with cosmopolitan populations and at remote shrines. To judge from the dating evidence of their scripts, tablets were written throughout the period of the Roman presence in Britain, but the predominance of ‘Old Roman Cursive’ among the dated tablets suggest a peak in the second and third centuries AD. Curse tablets are a precious source of evidence for the words and wishes of the town and country people of Roman Britain, albeit expressed in a very particular form. To judge from the names of those who commissioned or wrote them and the items that they seek to recover, the authors of curses are of relatively modest status.

Dafydd ap Gwilym.net
This site provides English translations of the poetry of Dafydd ap Gwilym (c.1315/1320 – c. 1350/1370), regarded as one of the leading Welsh poets and amongst the great poets of Europe in the Middle Ages.

Database of Middle English Romance
The Database of Middle English Romance seeks to make this rich body of literature more readily accessible to the modern reader, both academic and non-academic. Key information, including (where known) date and place of composition, verse form, authorship and sources, and extant manuscripts and early modern prints, is provided for each romance, as is a full list of modern editions, and a plot summary designed to allow readers to negotiate more easily the extraordinary diversity of the genre. There are direct links to all of the modern editions that are available online. The database is searchable by manuscript, by a set of fifty ‘key words’ (representing common motifs and topics found in more than one romance), by verse form, and by plot summary.

Dictionary of Old English
The Dictionary of Old English (DOE) defines the vocabulary of the first centuries (A.D. 600-1150) of the English language. The DOE complements the Middle English Dictionary (which covers the period A.D. 1100-1500) and the Oxford English Dictionary, the three together providing a full description of the vocabulary of English. This project is still in progress, but the dictionary is regularly updated and annual reports are available.

Early English Books Online
Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700 – from the first book printed in English by William Caxton, through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and the tumult of the English Civil War.

Early English Laws
Early English Laws is a project to publish online and in print new editions and translations of all English legal codes, edicts, and treatises produced up to the time of Magna Carta 1215.

English Heritage
This organization maintains a number of key medieval sites in Britain. Also the portal for English National Monuments.

English Monastic Archives
The English Monastic Archives project comprises a systematic guide to the types and current locations of documents generated by medieval English monasteries, but not, as a rule, to the information contained within those documents.

Forests and Chases of England and Wales c. 1000 to c. 1850
The purpose of the project is to raise awareness of, and excite interest in, the proposal to conduct systematic groundwork towards a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary investigation of the medieval and post-medieval spatial, temporal, functional, and cultural survival and significance of the Forests and Chases of England and Wales. Data exists in documnets, maps and plans, literature, and fieldwork.

The Gascon Rolls Project 1317-1468
The history of the Plantagenet government, its nature, exercise and legacy, in the overseas possessions held by the English kings as dukes of Aquitaine in south-west France during the Middle Ages (1154-1453) has attracted a considerable body of scholarly publication and interest. The published primary sources for its study are, however, very incomplete, full of gaps and of variable quality. The Gascon Rolls Project is an attempt to fill this gap by providing an online database, including regularly updated calendar editions of the rolls themselves.

The Gatehouse: The Comprehensive Online Gazetteer and Bibliography of the Medieval Castles, Fortifications and Palaces of England, Wales, the Channel Isles and the Isle of Man
This site aspires to be a comprehensive listing of the medieval castles, castle sites, fortified houses, urban and coastal defences and other fortifications of England, Wales, the Channel Isles and the Isle of Man built or in use from 1000 to 1600. The site is regularly updated with location information, some brief site details, carefully considered web links and a full academic bibliography.

Geoffrey Chaucer’s weblog
I here neyther that ne this, for when my labor doon al ys and have made al my rekenynges I goon hom to my hous anoon and, also domb as any stoon, I sitte at another book tyl fully daswed ys myn look. Certes, I oghte to get outte more. Thou kanst fynde myn feede for liveiournale at the username ‘chaucerhathblog,’ sum swete soule hath sette yt vp for me.

Guto’r Glyn.net
English translations of the poetry of Guto’r Glynn (c. 1412-c.1493), a Welsh language poet and soldier of the era of the Beirdd yr Uchelwyr (“Poets of the Nobility”) or Cywyddwyr (“cywydd-men”), the itinerant professional poets of the later Middle Ages. He is considered one of the greatest exponents, if not the greatest, of the tradition of “praise-poetry”, verse addressed to a noble patron. In addition this page explains life in 15th century Wales and the Marches.

The History of Women Religious of Britain and Ireland
The History of Women Religious of Britain and Ireland (H-WRBI) network encourages research of women religious and makes available material to facilitate that research. The network is broad in scope and time period, covering the history of women religious from medieval to modern times. The network includes academics, archivists, students and others interested in this area of study.

Ieldran Database – The Early Anglo-Saxon Cemetery Mapping Project
The Early Anglo-Saxon Cemetery Mapping Project provides locations, summaries, and information about citation and collections for numerous cemeteries from the mid-fifth to early seventh centuries in England. Each site can be clicked on to reveal more information about the cemetery, the burials, associated artefacts, references for books and journal articles written about the cemetery, and where the original excavation materials, human remains and artefacts are kept.

LangScape
The Language of Landscape (LangScape) is an on-line searchable database of Anglo-Saxon estate boundaries, descriptions of the countryside made by the Anglo-Saxons themselves. It provides a point of departure for the exploration of the English landscape and its place-names in the period before the Norman Conquest. At LangScape’s core is a comprehensive corpus of boundary surveys drawn up in charters during the Anglo-Saxon period and surviving in manuscripts dating from the 8th to the 18th centuries; each text has been checked against its manuscript source or has been freshly transcribed and is available on the website in both semi-diplomatic and edited form, together with a word-for-word translation.

Mapping Medieval Chester: place and identity in an English borderland city c.1200-1500
This project brings together scholars working in the disciplines of literary studies, geography, archaeology and history to explore how material and imagined urban landscapes construct and convey a sense of place-identity. The focus of the project is the city of Chester and the identities that its inhabitants formed between c.1200 and 1500. A key aspect of the project is to integrate geographical and literary mappings of the medieval city using cartographic and textual sources and using these to understand more how urban landscapes in the Middle Ages were interpreted and navigated by local inhabitants. One particularly innovative dimension of this is the project’s use of information technologies both as a means of exploring these ‘mappings’ of medieval Chester, for example through the use and development of a Geographical Information System (GIS) to create a map of Chester as it was c.1500, and as a means of widening access and public interest in Chester’s medieval past and in medieval urban studies generally by linking literary and cartographic sources in digital media. The project will thus not only extend our understanding of how placed-identities were forged in the medieval city through local association and relationships with imagined and material urban landscapes, but also foster transferable methodologies and working models for integrating visual and textual digital data sources in humanities computing projects.

Mapping the Medieval Countryside: Places, People, and Properties in the Inquisitions Post Mortem
Mapping the Medieval Countryside is a major research project dedicated to the online publication of medieval English inquisitions post mortem (IPMs). These inquisitions, which recorded the lands held at their deaths by tenants of the crown, comprise the most extensive and important body of source material for landholding in medieval England. They describe the lands held by thousands of families, from nobles to peasants, and are a key source for the history of almost every settlement in England (and of many in Wales). They are indispensable to local and family historians as well as to academic specialists in areas as diverse as agrarian history and political society. The project will publish a searchable English translation of the IPMs covering the periods 1236 to 1447 and 1485 to 1509. From 1399 to 1447 the text will be enhanced to enable sophisticated analysis and mapping of the inquisitions’ contents. The online texts will be accompanied by a wealth of commentary and interpretation to enable all potential users to use this source easily and effectively.

Mapping the Realm 
English cartographic constructions of fourteenth-century Britain.

Medieval English Towns
The aim of this site is to provide historical information about cities and towns in England during the Middle Ages, with particular but not exclusive emphasis on medieval boroughs of East Anglia and on social, political and constitutional history. A growing selection of primary documents (translated into English) relevant to English urban history is included.

The Middle English Compendium
This has been designed to offer easy access to and interconnectivity between three major Middle English electronic resources: an electronic version of the Middle English Dictionary, a HyperBibliography of Middle English prose and verse, based on the MED bibliographies, and a Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse, as well as links to an associated network of electronic resources.

The National Archives
Britain’s historical records.

Norton Anthology of English Literature
The Norton Online Archive is an ongoing project that includes fully edited texts, ranging from the Middle Ages through the Victorian Period. These texts were included in previous editions of the Norton Anthology, and are intended principally as a supplement to the new Seventh Edition.

People of Medieval Scotland 1093-1314 Database
This project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and combining the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and King’s College London, has investigated how a recognisably modern Scottish identity was formed during the period 1093-1314. Drawing on over 6000 contemporary charters, it constructed a unique database which will provide biographical information about all known people in Scotland between 1093 and 1286. This database is freely available to all.

PoNE: The People of Northern England database 1216-1286
This database of the people in the counties of Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorland is drawn from two types of material, one financial and one legal. The financial material is drawn from pipe rolls from 1219 to 1286, and the legal material from plea rolls from 1219 to Trinity term 1275. It is a unique database since nothing comparable has been constructed before for any English county.

PASE Domesday – The Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England Domesday Book Database
PASE Domesday is a database linked to mapping facilities designed to facilitate the identification of English landholders in Domesday Book.

REED N-E: Records of Early English Drama North-East
REED’s mission is to locate, transcribe, and edit all surviving documentary evidence of drama, minstrelsy, and public ceremonial in England before 1642. Website contains performance texts, modern editions, and a useful page of links to the study of drama.

Reflections of the Yorkist Realm 
Reflections of the Yorkist Realm is a website created by historian David Santiuste and photographer Rae Tan. It features images of places associated with the Yorkist period of English history (the late fifteenth century), together with complementary text. The Yorkist period is best known for the Wars of the Roses, a series of bloody civil wars, but Rae and David have also chosen locations that can be linked to more peaceful aspects of the time, such as religious life and trade. Other places have been singled out because of their connections with important individuals, including King Richard III. Rae’s photographs are striking images, filled with drama. David uses the photographs as starting points for brief discussions of each of the chosen locations, drawing out the stories of the people who knew them. With the combination of Rae’s images and David’s words, this is a unique interpretation of medieval heritage.

Richard II’s Treasure
The treasure roll of Richard II, compiled in 1398/9, offers a rare insight into the magnificence of a late medieval English king. The roll, unknown until it was rediscovered in the 1990s, describes in exceptional detail the crowns, jewels, and other precious objects belonging to the king and to his two queens, Anne of Bohemia and Isabelle of France. This website brings the treasure to life through images – of the roll, of Richard himself and of many exquisite objects.

Rockingham Forest Trust Resource Centre
The Forest lies in the county of Northamptonshire, England. These web pages provide unique insight into the changing character of the rural historic landscape of Rockingham Forest from the medieval period through to the late 19th century. The evidence presented shows how what we value in the present landscape originated, which informs how to conserve it. The website includes maps of the forest and surrounding area over time, a short history, and aerial photographs of the area.

The Roads of Roman Britain
This website, launched by the Roman Roads Research Association in Spring 2018, provides a comprehensive online resource focusing on Roman roads in Britain. Covering all of Britain’s Roman roads, the Gazetteer, when completed, will be the first survey of Britain’s Roman Roads since Ivan Margary’s final edition of Roman Roads in Britain in 1973, now woefully out of date and often inaccurate. The Association aims to provide an up to date evaluation of each Roman road and, since new discoveries are being made all the time, this online resource provides flexibility to make amendments and additions. A fully up to date interactive map is currently under development.

Strata Florida Project
Information on the Strata Florida project run by the University of Wales, Lampeter. The project aims to set Strata Florida in its social, political and landscape contexts, to include not just the period of the Abbey’s existence, but also its antecedents from the later Iron Age onwards and its successors up to the present day.

The Taxatio Database
taxatio is an assessment for taxation and the taxatio with which this database is concerned is often called the Pope Nicholas IV taxatio because it was carried out on the orders of that pope. For nearly 250 years virtually all ecclesiastical taxation of England and Wales was based on this extremely thorough and detailed assessment. It is a unique source for the medieval period: no other complete survey of its kind survives for any part of medieval Europe. An edition of one of the many extant manuscripts of the assessment was produced by the Record Commission in 1802: Taxatio Ecclesiastica Angliae et Walliae Auctoritate P. Nicholai IV, ed. T.Astle, S.Ayscough and J.Caley. All the detailed material concerning the values of ecclesiastical benefices in this printed edition (the ‘spiritualities’ part of the assessment as distinct from the ‘temporalities’ part) has been entered onto the database. The database is easy to understand, but users need to know specific church names, as it is not possible to browse the tables.

TOEBI: Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland
The organisation aims to promote and support the teaching of Old English in British and Irish Universities, and to raise the profile of the Old English language, Old English literature and Anglo-Saxon England in the public eye. The website contains information on joining TOEBI, details on meetings and conferences, and a good Anglo-Saxon links/resources webpage.

The Wessex Parallel WebTexts Project
An electronic anthology of Middle English works in prose and verse, together with background material for use in teaching. Each edition will include a short introduction, a colour reproduction of the MS, the Middle English text, a Modern English translation, notes, a full glossary, and a booklist. Annotated translations of some longer Middle English works will also be provided, as well as supplementary material.