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

Moylough castle - Photo by 	liam murphy / Geography.org.uk

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

anglo saxon house reconstruction

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

How Hagia Sophia was Built

hagia sophia - Photo by Scott MacLeod Liddle / Flickr

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

Cologne Cathedral - Photo by globetrotter_rodrigo / Flickr

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

Restored section of the Theodosian Walls at the Selymbria Gate.  Photo by  Bigdaddy1204 / Wikicommons / Flickr

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

Holy Sepulchre Chapel, Winchester Cathedral  - photo by Christophe.Finot / Wikicommons Media

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.

Inside Lincoln Cathedral

Inside Lincoln Cathedral

A behind the scenes look at Lincoln Cathedral

White Castle and the Dating of the Towers

White Castle Wales - photo by Rob Phillips / Flickr

Paul Remfrey makes a detailed case for dating the towers to 1229-31, and 1234-39, built by Hubert de Burgh.

Foundation Myths in Medieval and Renaissance Italy

Plaque of Regola, the VII rione of Rome. (Dailyphotostream.blogspot.com)

The 3 papers featured here looked at the development of the civic identities of Florence, Genoa and Rome through art, architecture and foundation legends.

The building of Castles and the administration of Sweden

Kalmar Castle in Sweden

Throughout Sweden the King began to build castles on the basis of foreign models in the middle of the 13th century. It is about the new art of castle building under Anglo-Norman and German influence.

The Defensive Role of Church Round Towers: A Re-Assessment

St Peter's church, Bruisyard, Suffolk  - Wikicommons

Towers were erected essentially to house church bells so was the defensive roll of the tower incidental to that roll or integral to its purpose?

Building Materials in Anglo-Saxon Churches and Towers

Burnham Deepdale - St Mary's church - VisualMystery / Flickr

Church historians know that the Romans had used a wide range of building materials, which in theory could also have been used in construction during the Anglo-Saxon period.

BOOKS: Medieval Ireland


In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, here are some great books on medieval Ireland!

Medieval Horse Stable: The Results of Multi Proxy Interdisciplinary Research

medieval horse

A multi proxy approach was applied in the reconstruction of the architecture of Medieval horse stable architecture, the maintenance practices associated with that structure as well as horse alimentation at the beginning of 13th century in Central Europe.

How a 13th-century royal chapel influenced the history of France

La Crypte de la Sainte Chapelle - photo Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P./ Flickr

UCLA art historian Meredith Cohen and her fascination with the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris

Gothic Wonder: New Book examines the spectacular buildings of Medieval England

Ely Cathedral - photo by Steve Cadman / Flickr

In his book, Gothic Wonder, Professor Paul Binski explores a period in which English art and architecture pushed the boundaries to produce some of Europe’s most spectacular buildings and illuminated manuscripts.

Repair? Restore? Re-Design?: The North Porch of Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

The North Porch of Durham Cathedral was conceived as part of the great Norman building campaign of Durham Cathedral, complete by 1133.

Castle Planning in the Fourteenth Century

Bolton Castle

Although in this paper it is proposed to follow trends in domestic demands and observe their effect on the form of the castle, this aspect should not properly be treated in isolation and if little mention is made of the military element it must be remembered that this is, nevertheless, always present.

Medieval Gothic Cathedrals were built from iron and stone, researchers find


Using radiocarbon dating on metal found in Gothic cathedrals, an interdisciplinary team has shown, for the first time through absolute dating, that iron was used to reinforce stone from the construction phase.

Which Medieval English Cathedral are you?

Which english cathedral is this

Everyone loves visiting England’s wonderful medieval cathedrals. However, it’s not quite as easy as taking a multiple-choice internet quiz! At last, now you can find out which one of the diocesan mother churches of the Middle Ages can be assigned to your exact personality type!

‘Hag of the Castle:’ Women, Family, and Community in Later Medieval Ireland

Sheela-na-gig from the Fethard wall in Fethard, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, detail, 12th c.

In a letter written as part of his work for the Irish Department of the Ordnance Survey in 1840, Thomas O’Conor recorded his reaction to a “Sheela- na-gig” sculpture—the image of a naked woman shown exposing her genitalia (fig. 1)—that he saw on the old church at Kiltinane, Co. Tipperary.

Places to See: Notre Dame – Part I

Western facade of Notre Dame Cathedral

Part I of my initial visit to stunning Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.

Labyrinths in medieval churches: An investigation of form and function

Amiens Labyrinth - Flikr

This thesis analyzed the designs of a select group of labyrinths set into the pavements of Gothic churches in northern France.

The Archaeology of St Paul’s Cathedral

St Pauls Cathedral in 1540

Recent work has brought together what we know of the Anglo-Saxon and medieval cathedrals beneath and around Wren’s St Paul’s, the City of London’s most important historic building and monument.

Places to See: Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chappelle, Paris.

Travelling to Paris ? Add this beautiful thirteenth century Capetian chapel to your MUST-SEE list for your next visit!

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