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Kilpeck Church in Context

For many, Kilpeck church is the quintessential example of an English parish church. Its very appearance has been influenced through restoration by an antiquarian’s view on how the medieval church should look. In this building the efforts and agendas of successive generations of historians, archaeologists, art and architectural historians have all been brought together, answering some questions but constantly posing others and developing new ways of understanding the building in context, whether that be physical, social or cultural. Kilpeck remains something of a special place for scholar and visitor alike.


Related Topics

The Tomb of Simon de Montfort

The Tomb of Simon de Montfort

The fate of the remains of Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, has long been a mystery. Since his death at the battle of Evesham in 1265, one foot of the dismembered corpse has been confidently traced to Alnwick abbey in Northumberland, from where it disappeared, probably at the Reformation. A skull displayed in the Almonry Museum and Heritage Centre at Evesham may belong to a member of the Montfort family. Stories abound, of secret tunnels under the River Avon, and of remains collected by Montfort’s widow and interred in St Mary’s abbey, Kenilworth. In this booklet Dr Cox reviews the evidence for an alternative last resting place of Earl Simon’s bones, and outlines the circumstances under which they might be recovered and identified. A challenge thus awaits us to provide for Simon de Montfort the discovery and preservation accorded to the last Plantagenet king of England, Richard III.

Osney, Wykes, Trivet & The Evesham Chronicle

Osney, Wykesm Trivet & The Evesham Chronicle

Four translations of accounts of the Battle of Evesham of 1265 from Osney, Wykes Trivet and the Evesham Chronicle. All of them are important sources and extracts from them are quite often quoted or referred to by historians. Recently translated from the original Latin they will provide a sense of narrative and assist the reader’s understanding of the battle and the different viewpoints of the various chroniclers.

Simon de Montfort

Biography of Simon de Montfort

Simon de Montfort was a man in pursuit of an elusive dream, a figure of paradox even today. Medieval chroniclers say that he was handsome, intelligent, fair-minded and able, but his enemies found him arrogant, cold and driven by ambition alone. His faith led him to take up the Crusader’s cross and, even a century after his death, men venerated him as a saint. Yet he scandalised the pious by marrying a young widow sworn to a holy oath of chastity. He was a Frenchman who came to symbolise English nationalism. Landless and without influence he talked a king into granting him and earldom then led a rebellion against his benefactor. He was brutally outspoken, once telling the same king that he belonged in a mad-house, and totally uncompromising. He alienated his allies yet men would have followed him to Hell. In an age of fixed truth he was unafraid of change. His downfall was sudden, dramatic and tragic. Patrick Rooke has written an enlightening summary of a man who was adventurer, idealist and enigma, a man of his times in an age of conflict, betrayal, human frailty, broken dreams, imperishable hopes and enduring legends.

Two Pilgrimages: Winchcombe and Hailes

Two Pilgrimages: Winchcombe and Hailes

Pilgrimage is the most essential of medieval studies – that’s a conclusion which Tim Porter has drawn from years of reading, research and exploration. Religion, politics, economics, travel, industry, art, architecture – pilgrimage opens into all these fields, and many more! And it cuts across classes and genders like nothing else, because nobody could be denied the vocation, if it was held to be genuine. Scores of places had some kind of pilgrimage attached to them: but the Gloucestershire/Worcestershire region was especially rich, with a host of saints and shrines reflecting every aspect of the ethos. Hailes and Winchcombe in particular offer in a nutshell so much of what we need to know.

Battle of Evesham junior guide
Battle of Evesham junior guide
Battle of Evesham junior guide

Written by Ian Priest and with illustrations and additional material by Tony Westmancoat is an introduction to the Battle of Evesham for younger readers, with illustrations to colour. Ian and Tony are members of Circa 1265, a living history and re-enactment group focused on the Second Baronial Revolt and the Battle of Evesham.


Gwenllian, cover

1275… a cry for help from a woman who is kidnapped at sea. Present day. Dutch archivist Fenna van Wijk is helping architect Ned Thompson to sift through a stack of ancient papers kept in an untouched archive in an old English manor house in Lincolnshire. Among manuscripts dealing with the holy Gilbert of Sempringham, they discover a letter from 1275, written by Eleanor de Montfort, the young bride to be of Welsh prince Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. During their research, Fenna stumbles upon a mysterious child: Gwenllian. The English king Edward I had this infant locked away for ever in a cloister in … Sempringham. When Fenna and Ned try to understand this harsh decision, they find more than they bargained for.

“Gwenllian” is our first move into serious historical fiction.