Beaumaris Castle is one of the most remarkable castles in North Western Europe. Built on a marsh in the 1290s it protected the key roadway to Norman Ireland. This short video takes you on a breathtaking tour of the castle and its incredible defences.
My second book which is on The Black Death is nearing completion and I have started to think about publicity and launches. The hard copy (as opposed to audio) launch, which will happen sometime in early 2016, is a relatively straightforward process – lots of books, a nice venue and people like yourself. What could… Read more »
Over recent days controversy has emerged over film footage of the Queen of England with her arms raised in a Nazi salute. That this has caused outrage seems ridiculous. She was aged no older than seven years of age. It does however question the beliefs of her the Queen Mother and more importantly those who… Read more »
Fans of Game of Thrones will be familiar with the painkiller ‘Milk of the Poppy’ a powerful drug in the fantasy series. Some of the show is based on medieval history and strange as it may sound medieval opium based drugs are not complete fiction. While medieval medicine was rudimentary at best opiates were available.… Read more »
This podcast, the third in my exclusive series on the Black Death, examines life in the immediate wake of the plague. The survivors had just lived through what many thought was the end of the world as up to 50% of the population had died. With little understanding as to what had happened, people lashed… Read more »
Ballymoon Castle is one of the most mysterious medieval buildings in Ireland. It was abandoned before construction work was completed and there is no record of when it was begun or who built it. Find out more here. If you want to join my upcoming day trip through medieval Ireland find out more and book… Read more »
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This Friday (April 24th at 7p.m.) in Rothe House, Kilkenny I will be presenting some of my research on the Black Death in public talk entitled Survival in a Medieval Crisis – The Bruce Invasion and Black Death in medieval Kilkenny. If you are in the South-East come along. You can book tickets by contacting… Read more »
The Black Death is synonymous with destruction, death and massive change. When I planned my upcoming book on what was known as the Great Mortality, I settled on ‘1348, A Medieval Apocalypse – The Black Death in Ireland’. Even if somewhat sensationalist it worked. It’s accessible, non-academic and most importantly explained what I thought the… Read more »
The battle of the Four Courts in 1922 was the event that triggered the Irish Civil War. In the midst of this battle an archive of Irish historical documents stretching back centuries was destroyed.
This Saturday (March 28th) at 1 p.m. I am organising a tour of medieval Dublin. Check out my video for what to expect. Tickets cost €20 (which includes access to Christchurch Cathedral and crypt). Book your place by filling on your details in the form below.
There is no greater human taboo than cannibalism. It has been reviled by almost all societies through history and is generally punished by the harshest means. Nevertheless it does appear to be a feature of human behavior when we are faced desperate conditions. For example there were hundreds of instances recorded during the siege of… Read more »
Its often remarked on how George RR Martin drew inspiration from medieval history for his Game of Thrones epic. Indeed its far more similar than you might imagine. The ten quotes below are a mixture taken from Martin’s Game of Thrones and Gerald of Wales’ famous Conquest of Ireland (Expugnatio Hibernica) written in 1189. Its… Read more »
Last week reports that Channel 4 were considering commissioning a comedy based on the Great Famine caused outrage. It is without doubt a controversial subject. Over 800,000 people died from starvation and related diseases. The horrors of 1845 – 51 triggered mass-emigration from the island that only came to an end in the late 20th… Read more »
Weather forecasters are predicting this winter could be one of the worst in decades. However no matter how bad it gets, it could be worse – a lot worse. In this article I take a look at four of the worst medieval winters when rivers froze while famine, war and even cannibalism stalked the land… Read more »
On February 23rd 1939 The Irish Times printed in full a manifesto from an Irish anti-Semite AJ Browne spokesperson for the racist The Irish Ireland Research Society. The article under the headline “New Enemy: The Jew” was a lengthy tirade against Jews in Ireland and world wide repeating conspiracies of blood libel and supposed Jewish… Read more »