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    Housed in the British Museum is one of the most extraordinary medieval instruments. Dating from the early fourteenth century, this is the only surviving citole, a type of plucked instrument. Its edges are covered with intricate carvings depicting woodland scenes with real and imaginary creatures. This particular instrument was modified in the sixteenth century, and turned into a violin for Queen Elizabeth I. Thus the soundboard, fingerboard, and other fittings all postdate the Middle Ages.

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    A lovely longbow made from English Yew with antler nocks and 225 year old leather for the grip. The whole story of its creation is interesting and well worth a read.


    Leather bracers, 1360s, Tartu, Estonia. Iron details had all but rusted away completely. Leather is most likely horse leather & cuir bouilli. Metal details were riveted to the leather base - steel strips alternately with rows of rivets & also buckles. Likely waxed or greased for weatherproofing. Possibly made locally or in Germany. In Tallinn, leather arm guards are mentioned among defense equipment distributed to males around 1360. The first discovery of medieval leather arm guards in Europe.

    Medieval Renaissance Studded Arm Bracers Corset Lacing Style

    From : I have received a copy of the archaeology diagram from the Mary Rose Trust, this gives accurate dimensions of the nock (i.e. 15mm wide and 65mm long)

    The majority of the arrow were made of poplar, others were made of beech, ash and hazel. Draw lengths of the arrows varied between 61 and 81 centimetres with the majority having a draw length of 76 centimetres. Only small fragments of the feathering survives. These have been identified as either goose or, more probably, swan. The arrows had a nock cut into the ends, with a horn reinforcer inserted at right angles to it. The arrow heads have completely rusted away.

    Archer's Wrist Guards from the Mary Rose, 1545

    The end of a Yew War Bow dating from circa 1500, ready to accept a horn nock. One of 250 War Bows discovered on The Mary Rose.

    Primitive Archery Gear :: English Longbow Broadheads :: Ace Classic Medieval Points from 3Rivers Archery. Sold in a 6-pack. Score!

    "The parchment is hairy" is a medieval proverb that means, on one of its multiple levels,"wasting time in fruitless labor," i.e. the scribe made a mistake and has to start all over again, or the scribe felt that the text wasn't worth time and effort. Or, good grief, related to nuns having abortions rather than being found out. There's more than meets the quill with this  ripe medieval phrase, as you'll learn here. It is deeply embedded in, and revealing of, medieval ecclesiastical culture.

    The QUILL part of a feather is the stiff, hollow and transparent base of a feather shaft where the feather attaches to the chickens body.  Quills were the everyday writing tools from the Medieval era through the beginning of the Industrial Age, when they were gradually replaced by more durable metal pen nibs, and then by fountain pens, ballpoint pens, and rollerball pens.

    Celtic Knotwork Dagger

    St. Martin’s Church, Canterbury, England, is the oldest parish church in continuous use. In 668 St. Martin’s was known to be the private chapel of Queen Bertha of Kent, a Christian Frankish Princess whose husband allowed her to practice her religion in the building which, according to Venerable Bede, had been in use before Roman times.

    A medieval saboteur will occasionally encounter an alert guard. If the guard does not warn the camp, the discovered saboteur has the option to fight the guard and continue his mission. He cannot rely only on his agility and tricks against a disciplined guard. The saboteur will take several blows. To minimize the damage, the saboteur can wear a scaled or plated bracer on his non-dominant arm. When the arm is flexed, it positions the plate to deflect incoming blows aimed at the organs.