Ӕthelflӕd, Lady of the Mercians and defeater of the Great Viking Army

June 12th 2018 marks eleven hundred years since the death of one of the most remarkable women that England has ever produced. Few have heard of Ӕthelflӕd (and fewer can spell her name) yet she was a warrior queen, absolutely the equal of Boudicca or Elizabeth I. Ӕthelflӕd was Alfred the Great’s eldest child, and …more

A rare complete medieval stirrup

A complete medieval stirrup has been recorded from Quainton in Buckinghamshire.  Contributing to the record was Helen, a local volunteer, Ros, the then FLO for Buckinghamshire, and Rob from the PASt Explorers team.  The record can be found on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database here: BUC-1A3216. This type of stirrup is relatively rare, though it is …more

Powerful Anglo-Saxon Women

Today is International Women’s Day, and this year is the centenary of the first women voting in a UK general election. So I’d like to look today at a few objects that show us the power of Anglo-Saxon women, and where this power came from. We get hints of this power from written history, but …more

Festive Finds: PAS Christmas Countdown #12

The Nativity The story of the Nativity has been represented in many different formats throughout history.The Virgin Mary and child have been depicted in paintings, sculpture and even on more functional objects. It is a story that is known to all across the Christian world and many more beyond that. It’s no surprise that scenes from the …more

Festive Finds: PAS Christmas Countdown #11

Reliquary During the Medieval period life was governed by the Church and Bible. Everything you did during your earthly life would impact your soul after death and decide if you went to heaven or hell and how long you would spend in purgatory. A part of this highly religious life was the idea of pilgrimage, …more

Festive Finds: PAS Christmas Countdown #10

Modern Day Santa Claus In modern day Western society Father Christmas is instantly recognisable, by his red and white clothes, white beard and sleigh full of presents. He is an image of Christmas spirit, goodwill to all men and for children a magical man who gives them gifts. How did this version of Santa Claus …more

Festive Finds: PAS Christmas Countdown #9

Origins of Saint Nicholas The jolly man in the red and white who brings children presents every Christmas Eve in his sleigh pulled by reindeer is the result of hundreds of years of stories, legends, tradition and marketing campaigns. The ‘real’ Father Christmas hasn’t been completely forgotten, with popular culture even referring to him as …more

Festive Finds: PAS Christmas Countdown #8

Krampus It has to be remembered that Christmas is not only about the children who are rewarded for being nice. Many countries have stories to encourage all children to be well behaved in the build up to Christmas. In some countries they are told that they will receive something instead of presents, such as coal, or even worse …more