🎧 Gone Medieval
From long-lost Viking ships to kings buried in unexpected places; from murders and power politics, to myths, religion, the lives of ordinary people: Gone Medieval is History Hit’s podcast dedicated to the middle ages, in Europe and far beyond.
🎧 Vikings in Poland
Poland is not normally thought of as an important part of the Viking world. But as a key geographical location on the Baltic Sea, it was in fact a crucial meeting point between east and west. So what kind of presence did the Vikings have in Poland? And what was the connection between the region a...
🎧 Cult of St. Swithun
According to tradition, if it rains on Saint Swithun's bridge in Winchester on St. Swithun’s day — 15 July — it will continue for 40 days. But who was the real Swithun? And why has his historical importance as an Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester been overshadowed by his reputation as a miracle ...
🎧 Origins of Carols
The Christmas carols we sing each year have their roots in medieval church music. But as Matt Lewis finds out in this episode, carols were not just for Christmas but could be sung in different settings all your round.
To find out the origins of carols, Matt talks to Micah Mackay, who is a doctor...
🎧 Battle of Maldon
Dr. Cat Jarman finds out more about a fragment of Old English poetry that depicts one of the defining conflicts of 10th century England - the Battle of Maldon. Its 325 lines immortalise the bloody defence by Earl Byrhtnoth and the Anglo-Saxons against the Vikings which took place on the banks of ...
🎧 Finding Richard III
In recent weeks, cinema audiences have been enjoying The Lost King, which tells the story of the efforts of amateur historian Philippa Langley to find the remains of Richard III - lost for more than 500 years - beneath a social services car park in Leicester.
In this episode of Gone Medieval, Ma...
🎧 Myths and Nature in Medieval Britain
Humanity's relationship with the wilderness has been a theme of myths and legends for thousands of years. Such stories can offer a unique insight into the medieval mind and its concept of the wild.
In this episode of Gone Medieval, Dr. Cat Jarman ventures out into ancient Selwood Forest in Wilts...
🎧 The Real King Wenceslas
At this time of year, many of us will find ourselves singing about a royal personage who braves the snow on the Feast of Stephen – the Second Day of Christmas – so that he can distribute alms to a poor peasant. But who was the real Good King Wenceslas and was he as pious and saintly as the Christ...
🎧 878 AD: A Key Anglo-Saxon Year
878 AD witnessed a pivotal moment in the history of England as an emerging, unified nation, with the defeat of the Vikings by Alfred the Great at the Battle of Edington.
Now, a new immersive history experience is opening in Winchester, titled 878 AD. Winchester featured heavily in the world of A...
🎧 Hanseatic League
Growing from a few North German towns in the late 12th century, the Hanseatic League — a powerful network of merchant guilds and market towns — dominated trade across almost 200 settlements in seven modern-day countries. But how did it function and manage to become so successful over such a vast ...
🎧 Britain's Lost Kingdoms
Britain was once a mosaic of small kingdoms, some of which have vanished without a trace.
In his new book Lost Realms, Thomas Williams, uncovers the forgotten stories of nine kingdoms that fell while others - such as Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria and Gwynedd - prospered.
In this episode of Gone ...
🎧 Czech Braveheart: Jan Žižka
Jan Žižka is the legendary Czech national hero who led Hussite forces against three crusades and never lost a single battle. His rise to military greatness is now told in the feature film titled Medieval, starring Ben Foster and Sir Michael Caine - the most expensive Czech film ever made.
🎧 Vikings: Surviving Winter
Vikings are often depicted as fearless warriors, but they were not immune to the harsh realities of northern weather. They not only survived in countries such as Greenland and Iceland but thrived. How did they adapt to the unforgiving ice and snow?
In this episode of Gone Medieval, Dr. Cat Jarm...
🎧 Jews in Medieval England
Medieval England’s relationship with the Jewish community was complex and, at times, brutally violent and cruel. In 1290, the entire population of some 3,000 Jews was expelled from the country by King Edward I.
In this edition of Gone Medieval, Matt Lewis talks to Dr. Dean Irwin, whose research...
The Crusades are well-known but only part of the complex history of the medieval Near East. During the same era, the region was completely remade by the Mongol invasions. In a single generation, the Mongols upended the region’s geopolitics.
In this edition of Gone Medieval, Matt Lewis talks to...
🎧 The Rise of Christianity
In the fourth century AD, the Christian faith exploded out of Palestine, overwhelming the paganism of Rome, converting the Emperor Constantine in the process. Almost a thousand years later, all of Europe was controlled by Christian rulers, and the religion was deeply ingrained within culture and ...
🎧 Vlad the Impaler
Vlad the Impaler - Vlad Dracula - is one of history’s most brutal figures, who has enjoyed a bizarre afterlife as a cult character. Although a hero to his Romanian countrymen, the name Dracula has since become a global byword for horror.
In this Hallowe’en edition of Gone Medieval, Matt Lewis fi...
🎧 Executions in Medieval London
Public executions were a major part of Londoners’ lives from the twelfth century right through to the nineteenth. Now the Museum of London Docklands has brought the rarely told and often tragic human stories behind these events to a superb new exhibition, containing a range of fascinating objects...
🎧 Vikings in Britain: New Evidence
Archeological evidence of the Vikings as far north as Northumbria has practically been non-existent. On Gone Medieval in May 2021, Dr. Cat Jarman reported on a brand-new Viking site in Northumberland, 15 years after metal detectorists started carefully documenting their finds in the area.
🎧 Who were the Africans in Medieval Britain?
Earlier this month, it was reported that DNA analysis of the skeleton of a 10-year-old girl buried in Kent in the 7th century showed she was of West African descent. Thirty-three per cent of her DNA suggests that the girl’s grandfather or great-grandfather was probably from the Esan or Yoruba peo...
🎧 King Charles VI of France
On 21 October 1422 - 600 years ago - King Charles VI of France died at the age of 53 after reigning for 42 years. He was known as both Charles le Bien-Aimé (the Beloved) and Charles le Fou (the Mad) - the latter a reference to the mental health episodes that frequently dogged his life. Because he...
🎧 Medieval Pubs
For centuries, the pub has played a central role in our lives and communities. Throughout Britain, there are many pubs saying that they are the oldest - some of them even claim to have Medieval origins.
In this episode of Gone Medieval, Dr. Cat Jarman welcomes back award-winning buildings archae...
🎧 African History in the Medieval Period
Were sub-Saharan African people present in Medieval Europe? Despite their absence from many histories, they were, arriving as traders, as explorers, as warriors, or - for those only known from archaeological discoveries - for many reasons that we may never find out.
In this episode, Matt Lewis ...
🎧 Ogham: A Forgotten Medieval Alphabet
Across the world, a wide range of writing systems developed in diverse societies and Medieval Europe was no different. Apart from the Latin alphabet, many will be familiar with the use of runes. But did you know that in Ireland and Britain, right at the start of the Medieval period, a different a...
🎧 DNA and Jewish Persecution in Medieval Britain
When the skeletons of six adults and 11 children were found at the bottom of a Medieval well in Norwich in 2004, they were thought perhaps to be the victims of plague or famine or civil unrest. Now scientific advances in DNA analysis have made it possible to not only age the victims, but identify...