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Characteristics of Gothic Cathedrals in France and their Structural Elements

Cathedrals represent some of the finest examples of interconnections architectural, aesthetic, functional, but also the structural design of the building

St Augustine’s Abbey recreated digitally

St Augustine’s Abbey – part of Canterbury’s World Heritage site – has been ‘rebuilt’ in virtual reality as part of a ground-breaking collaboration between English Heritage and the University of Kent.

The Medieval History of the Pantheon

One of the great landmarks of ancient Rome is the Pantheon. Built around the year 126 AD by emperor Hadrian, it initially served as a temple to all gods. However, in the Early Middle Ages the Pantheon would be repurposed.

Original castle gates and doors: A Survey

Our survey will consider timber gates, doors and portcullis grilles that are still performing their original function with a brief overview of construction methods.

Crenellations: Crowning Castles

Crenellations are one of the most recognizable elements of a medieval castle. These upright projections resemble teeth, bared at invaders to prevent their attempted entries and at allies to show the owner’s strength. Each upright section is called a merlon or crenel, and they protected defenders from attacks. Defenses could be further increased by the […]

The Vaults of Santa Maria Novella and the Creation of Florentine Gothic

Historians of Gothic architecture, among them Louis Grodecki, have noted that Santa Maria Novella is one of the most beautiful examples of Italian Gothic without attempting to specify just what it is that sets Santa Maria Novella apart.

Petrified Powers: Materials, Forms, and Theories of Medieval Islamic Talismans

Persis Berlekamp is working on Islamic talismans created in the 12th to 15th centuries, focusing on objects from the Seljuk, Mongol and Timurid milieux.

From Ringwork to Stone Fortification: Power and the Evolution of Anglo-Norman Castles in North-Eastern Ireland

It focuses on two key and archaeologically well-explored castles: Trim and Carrickfergus, and their supporting fortification networks.

The Cathedral and the City

Another fantastic talk. Professor Caroline Bruzelius talks to us about medieval art, architecture, and the role of the cathedral in Medieval society.

Flatness and Depth: Classic Disney’s Medieval Vision

Since a castle is its corporate logo, we should hardly be surprised that castles, as well as other elements of medieval architecture, figure prominently in a host of classic-era Disney films.

Restauratio and Reuse: The Afterlife of Roman Ruins

As sustainability becomes ever more critical to the architectural profession, it is worth noting that the practice of recycling has a long history.

Gleanings from the 1253 Building Accounts of Westminster Abbey

Between 1220 and 1266, Salisbury Cathedral was built at a cost of £28,000.

Book Review: Hidden Britain by Alvin Nicholas

Tourism with a twist? Tired of the same old tours and droning guides? Alvin Nicholas’s book on manors, mansions, castles, nooks and crannies, reveals there’s more to Britain than meets the eye.

Climate Change and Medieval Sacred Architecture

This study attempts to provide illustrations of how climate may have influenced architectural features during the Middle Ages.

The Religious Reuse of Roman Structures in Anglo-Saxon England

The study examines burials associated with Roman structures, and churches on or near Roman buildings, to demonstrate that the physical remains of Roman structures had a significant impact on the religious landscape of Anglo-Saxon England despite the apparent discontinuity between many Roman and early-medieval landscapes.

Video shows the reconstruction of an Early Medieval Turf House

This time-lapse video shows the reconstruction of an early medieval turf house in the northern Dutch town of Firdgum.

Hidden Complexities of the Frankish Castle

This thesis is devoted to crusader castles and has a geographical focus on the Near Eastern regions.

Medieval Lisbon: Jerónimos Monastery

Of the four medieval #placestosee in Lisbon, Jerónimos Monastery, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, was my favourite. The monastery is located in Belém, a suburb of Lisbon, that is famous for the 16th century monastery, as well as for its world famous pastry shop, Pastéis de Belém…

Researching Architectural History Through Archaeology: The Case of Westminster Abbey

For half a millennium, scholars have researched and written about the history and architecture of Westminster Abbey, using documents and visual inspection. One might therefore assume that the architectural history of this iconic building is well understood, and in some respects it is.

Halls, ‘hall-houses’ and tower-houses in medieval Ireland: disentangling the needlessly entangled

This short paper addresses what I regard as two critical issues in Irish castellological research: the definition of the ‘hall-house’, and the relationship of buildings so identified with the tower-houses of the later middle ages.

Anglo Saxon House: A Reconstruction

Four videos from Woodlands.co.uk on how trees were used in the Middle Ages

How Hagia Sophia was Built

Stories and legends from the Patria on how the greatest church of the Byzantine world was built

The Medieval Cathedral: From Spiritual Site to National Super-Signifier

Although the cathedrals were often mutilated, emptied of their relics, treasures, and clergy, their close association with national glory and the sense of fascination that association had brought about kept them from being closed or destroyed entirely.

The Politics of the Gate: Byzantine City Walls and the Urban Negotiation of Imperial Authority

From its violent birth as the surviving portion of a civilization engulfed by invaders to its violent death as a lone city overwhelmed by irresistible assault, the Byzantine Empire was a state walled against perpetual siege.

Localizing the Holy Land: The Visual Culture of Crusade in England, circa 1140-1307

Analyzing diverse visual material, from images of the military orders on seals, and monastic maps of Palestine in manuscripts, to royal chambers with paintings of holy warfare and the display of Holy Land relics at court, my project juxtaposes sacred and secular commissions made for crusaders and affiliates of chivalric culture.

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