Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Upcoming Event: Anne Kirkham Lecture on 8 December

Detail from the title page in a printed Dutch Book of Hours (Antwerp: Adrien van Liesvelt, 1494)
John Rylands Library Special Collections 15464 © The University of Manchester

Hark the Herald… Angels in the John Rylands Library’s Books of Hours

A lecture for Manchester Medieval Society by Dr Anne Kirkham (Art History and Visual Studies, The University of Manchester)

Date: 8 December 2016
Time: 6 p.m.
Venue: John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester
Attendance: Members - free; Non-members - £5 (waged)/£2 (unwaged)

There will be a dinner with the speaker following this talk. If you would like to attend, please email our treasurer Dr Hannah Priest to book a place.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Manchester Dress and Textile Discussion Group Programme 2016-17

All meetings are 5-6pm, and are held in Seminar Room 1, The Graduate Suite, Ellen Wilkinson Building, unless otherwise stated.

Friday 18th Nov 2016: Charles Farris (Westminster): The Administration of Cloth and Clothing in the Great Wardrobe of Edward I

Thursday 23rd Feb 2017: Julie Wertz (Glasgow): The art and science of Turkey red dyeing in 19th-century Scotland

Thursday 30th Mar 2017: Maureen Carroll (Sheffield): Cultural and Ethnic Identities in Dress Behaviour in Roman Germany

Thursday 20th Apr 2017: Elizabeth Coatsworth (MMU): Clothing the Past: Circumstances in which Medieval Garments Survive
For more information, please contact Alexandra Lester-Makin or Ursula Rothe

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Upcoming Event: Kathryn M Rudy Lecture on 20 October

The Hague, KB, Ms 75 G 2, fol. 64v-65r: a very dirty manuscript

The Dirt and the Book: How Signs of Wear Reveal Handling of Prayer Books in the Middle Ages

with hands-on element

A lecture for Manchester Medieval Society by Dr Kathryn M. Rudy (Senior Lecturer in Art History, University of St Andrews)

Date: 20 October 2016
Time: 6 p.m.
Venue: John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester
Attendance: Members - free; Non-members - £5 (waged)/£2 (unwaged)

Monday, 23 May 2016

Manchester Medieval Society Excursion 2016

Post written by Joanna Robertson, MA student (University of Manchester)

This year’s annual Medieval Society excursion was on Saturday 14th May, and we travelled to North East Wales. And Wales welcomed its Manchester visitors with bright sunshine!

Flint Castle

Flint Castle. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

The first site was Flint Castle, standing above the saltmarsh and mudflats, along the River Dee, with the Wirral as a backdrop. This strategic position, west of Chester, was where Edward I built his first castle, to support his campaign against the Welsh. Begun in 1277, under the supervision of James of St George, building work continued into the 14th century. Shakespeare reminds us that Richard II gave himself up to Henry Bolingbroke at Flint Castle, after he left the security of another castle at Conwy. Flint Castle is moated, has an outer ward, three circular towers and a free-standing great tower or donjohn. The building stone used was millstone grit ashlar and sandstone and was re-used locally, when parliamentary forces ordered the dismantling of the castle. The adjacent town of Flint was laid out in a grid pattern, still visible as one looks down Church Street.

Flint Castle. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

Flint Castle. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

Maen Achwyfan

Maen Achwyfan Cross. Photo credit: Joanna Robertson

The next visit was to a much smaller stone structure, yet Britain’s tallest wheelcross, at Maen Achwyfan. It stands in a grass field, inside a fenced enclosure. As it is on the North Wales Pilgrim Trail, a small hidden box contains a stamp for one’s passport! This is a tall, carved stone cross, dated to the 10th or 11th century. The intricate patterns reflect both Viking and Celtic influences and its purpose is still the subject of speculation. It could be a ‘lamentation’ cross or a boundary marker for the Basingwerk Abbey lands.

Maen Achwyfan Cross. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

St Winefride’s Well

Our climb up from the coast and towards Holywell afforded excellent views over the Dee Estuary, now far less navigable than during the medieval period. The town of Holywell, associated with the nearby shrine of St Winefride, was our lunch stop. It has a wide high street, with a weekly market, a right granted to the monks of Basingwerk Abbey. Its many fine Georgian frontages indicate the wealth derived from the industrial past of the Greenfield Valley.

St Winefride's Well. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

A short walk down the valley side brought us to the entrance to St Winefride’s shrine, still a place of pilgrimage with associated interpretation. Committee member Maureen Mulholland introduced us to Winefride, her rapacious suitor, his beheading her, a gush of water from the spot where her head fell and the restorative powers of her uncle Beuno! The well has been a pilgrimage destination since the 7th century, with visits from royalty. The last monarch to visit was James II, who prayed for a son (although Princess Victoria also visited with her uncle King Leopold of Belgium). The visitor centre is decorated with information panels and discarded crutches from people miraculously cured, having bathed in the waters of the spring. A chapel was built in about 1500, probably for Margaret Beaufort, around three sides of the well and further buildings have been added to the site. Nobody in our party bathed in the large pool but some filled their water bottles from the ‘holy’ tap!

St Winefride's Well. Photo credit: Joanna Robertson

St Winefride's Well. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

St Winefride's Well. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

Basingwerk Abbey

Basingwerk Abbey. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

Our final destination was the Abbey at Basingwerk. I briefly introduced its history to the group, as I’ve recently completed some research on the site for an MA essay. Founded as a Savigniac house by the powerful baron Ranulf of Chester, it received gifts from both Anglo-Normans and the Welsh. It was richly endowed with lands and assets on the Wirral, in Derbyshire and from across the Kingdom of Gwynedd. The Cistercian style layout is still visible in a tranquil wooded setting. And the nearby Café at the Abbey was a welcome last stop!

Basingwerk Abbey. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

Basingwerk Abbey. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Upcoming Events: Duncan Sayer Lecture on 14 April

Adventus Saxonum: Migration, DNA and Identity in the Early Middle Ages
2016 Joint Meeting of the Manchester Medieval Society and the Manchester Centre for Anglo Saxon Studies

Speaker: Dr Duncan Sayer (Reader in Archaeology, University of Central Lancashire)
Date: Thursday 14 April
Time: 6pm
Venue: John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester

Attendance: Free

For more information, please contact the Manchester Medieval Society

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Craft in Medieval and Early Modern England

John Rylands Library, Deansgate
2 June 2016

This one-day conference will consider different ways in which the term ‘craft’ helps us to think through and articulate our approach to the medieval and early modern sources (in a range of media) that we work with. These, in turn, help us to think about the diverse possible manifestations and significations of the term ‘craft’ in premodern culture.

Keynote speakers:

Catherine E. Karkov (Leeds): ‘The Craft of Concealment’

Sarah Salih (King’s College, London): ‘Wondrous Pagan Crafts’

Speakers (University of Manchester):

Anke Bernau: ‘The Artificial Curiosity of Craft’
Catherine Casson: ‘Crafting Reputation: Strategies for Economic Success in English Medieval Towns’
Irene O’Daly: ‘Crafting Prayer: Rylands Latin MS 18 (Arbor Caritatis et Misericordiae) and the Art of Salvation’
James Paz: ‘The Craft of Wayland the Smith: Technology and Magic, Artifice and Deception’
Elaine Tierney: ‘Crafting the Ephemeral City: Sheds in Early Modern London’

Registration will open March 1st, 2016.

The programme will run between 10am-5pm.

Cost for the day:
(1) Including lunch: £15 / £10 concessions
(2) Excluding lunch: £10 / £5 concessions

For further information, contact either Dr Anke Bernau or Dr James Paz, or visit the event webpage.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies: Toller Lecture 2016

Women Write the Past – Old English, New Literature and the Romance of Scholarship
Professor Clare Lees (King’s College London)

Mary Bateson (1865-1905)

Monday, 7th March, 6pm
Historic Reading Room, John Rylands Library, Deansgate

Followed by a free wine reception.
Further details, please contact Dr Charles Insley, Department of History, or Dr James Paz, Department of English.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Upcoming Event: Professor Paul Fouracre Lecture on 18 February

Satellite imagery of Saint-Wandrille-Rançon, Google Earth

Taming the Wild, and Wilding the Tame: Town and Country in Early Frankish Hagiography

Speaker: Prof. Paul Fouracre, Professor of Medieval History (University of Manchester)
Date: 18 February 2016
Time: 6p.m
Venue: Samuel Alexander A112, University of Manchester

Attendance: Members - Free; Non-members - £5 (waged), £2 (student/unwaged)

Please note: there will be a brief AGM before this lecture. For more information, please contact Georg Christ (Secretary).