Time for Medieval Gardening 

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, overlooking the Dordogne River in Périgord

Medieval Gardens from 500 – 1500

Some may think that medieval gardens were all about cabbages, beans and medicinal herbs. But gardens wee also intended for lush and frivolous play. Some, even, became exquisite pieces of art

Eleanor's garden in Winchester Castle. A reconstruction by Sylvia Landsberg. Source: Wikipedia

Heavenly Delights in Medieval Gardens

Medieval garden books offer a wide variety of inspiration for the avid gardener. Here is alist of some of the best introductions

Emilia in her Garden. From the novella by Boccacio. Österreichise Nationalbibliothek. Source: Wikipedia

Gardens of Music and Delight

Medieval Music was both inspired by gardens and inspiring for gardeners. Four recordings are exceptionally delicious in their sound and delicacy and embalm the soul at this season

Deail of mural showing the Capella Sassetti, where St. Francis was stigmatized. By Ghirlandaio 1483

The Garden of St. Francis

St. Francis is known for his devotion to nature and patron saint for the environment. However, it is not that easy to know exactly how Francis really thought about nature. One key offers “his garden”

Lucas Chranach the Younger. The Vineberg, detail. 1569.

The Garden of Martin Luther

“I have planted a garden and dug a well. Now, come and be crowned with a wreath of roses and lilies…”

Poland, National Museum of Warsaw. Source: Wikipedia
Forked Crucifixes from c. 1300

In an unusually dramatic way, a Crucifixus Dolorosus depicts the suffering and dying Christ hung on a living tree. Such forked crucifixes became important features in late medieval churches were regarded as miraculous and were often the destination of pilgrimages.

Deposition of the body from the crucifix Cathedral in Leon

Arnulf of Leuven – Salve Mundi Salutare

In the Late Middle Ages, the immersion into the corporeal horrors of the crucifixion led to a new devotional practice, the contemplation of the wounds. Arnulf of Leuven led the way


Wienhausen. Sepulchre or Christ in Tomb. Source: Wikipedia
The Wienhausen Sepulchre and the Risen Christ

Wienhausen, a Convent near Lüneburg, has preserved a remarkable heritage of religious art in the form of murals, sculpture, textiles, and texts. Touching the Risen Christ was the high point

The Jewish cemetery in Prague. Source: Private Prague Guide
Passion in Prague 1389

One of the more evocative places in Prague is the Jewish churchyard and the Altneuschul, the oldest active synagogue in Europe. Built in gothic style in 1270 it was the scene of a terrible pogrom in 1389.

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, overlooking the Dordogne River in Périgord

Medieval Gardens from 500 – 1500

25. April 2017

Some may think that medieval gardens were all about cabbages, beans and medicinal herbs. But gardens also came to be intended for lush and frivolous play

A Danish high school student participates in the "Where Are You From?" outreach program. Credit: Anders Traerup, Aarhus University

The Danes: Homogeneity in DNA Witness to their “Tribal” Character

23. April 2017

When studied by foreigners, Danes always end up as being characterised through their “tribal” lifestyle. New studies of the DNA confirms this trait

Pomerania. Landscape © MoverOne

Climate and Migrations in Early Medieval Germany

23. April 2017

What role did the Early Medieval climate changes play in the creation of the post-Roman world? Did people migrate because of the cooling weather?

Excavations in Trondheim beneath St. Clemens © NIKU

Early Viking Settlement Beneath St. Olaf’s Shrine

21. April 2017

In 2016, the the church of St. Clemens where St. Olaf was buried was located by archaeologists in Trondheim. Now, it seems, an early Viking settlement has been found below.

Dried Cod from Iceland. Source: Wikipedia

Medieval Cod Wars 1415 – 2017

19. April 2017

After 1400, marine fishing became one of the first global industries. Then as now huge political and economic interests were at stake; often leading to war

Three recreated hand-bells © National Museum of Scotland

Early Medieval Irish Hand-Bells

12. April 2017

Hand-bells belong to a group of liturgical objects connected with the early Irish Church. Was Ireland the primary production centre? Or did Irish hand-bells just play aparticular role as significant relics?

Coptic Church blasted in Cairo 2017 Source: Twitter

Sorrow and Fear in Coptic Egypt

10. April 2017

Easter 2017, two blasts left 61 dead in Coptich Churches in Egypt. The history of the persecution of the Christian Copts reaches back to the 3rd century.

Hermen Rode Altarpiece in Tallinn under conservation © Hermen Rode Project

Rode Altarpiece Fetches Europa Nostra Prize

5. April 2017

The Gothic Rode Altarpiece in Tallinn is renowned. Recent Research and Conservation Project received the Europa Nostra prize 2017

Medieval Open-Air-Museum at Poggibonsi © Archeodrome Poggibonsi

Poggibonsi In the Middle Ages

5. April 2017

Medieval Poggibonsi in Tuscany was a fortified hilltop village. Now an open-air museum, it is dedicated to authenticity and faithful recreation.

Bean and Kale Soup from Umbria. Source: Pinterest

Medieval Cabbage and Kale from Tuscany

3. April 2017

The oldest medieval Italian manuscript from c. 1400 with recipes from Tuscany reveals the role of cabbage and kale – then and now.

Digging the Garden at Poggibonsi © Archeodrome Poggibonsi

Agrarian Life in Early Medieval Hilltop Villages in Italy

2. April 2017

From c. 550 CE, Italy experienced a significant agrarian decline. Grain harvests still mattered, but a new diet came to reflect the new uphill location

Life in the medieval castle of Miranduolo in Toscana in the 13th century. © Inkling Firenze

Castle of Miranduolo

1. April 2017

In the last 20 years archaeologists have excavated the castle of Miranduolo near Siena documenting a continuous habitation from the 8th to the 14th century.

Petrella in Valmarecchia. Source: Pinterest/ Guida Gianlucca

Valmarecchia – an Italian Medieval Landscape

1. April 2017

Changes in the Medieval Italian landscape were often dramatic. And, yet, micro-studies of Valmarechia in Emilia Romagna, reveal both continuity and change.

Rocca san Silvestro. Source: Museum

Medieval Hilltop Villages and Castles in the Italian Landscape

31. March 2017

The history behind the castle-building on hilltops in the medieval Mediterranean landscape – the incastellamento or incastellation – is nuanced

Montefirore Conca. Source: Wikipedia/Toni Pecoraro

Medieval Italian Hilltop Villages 2017

28. March 2017

Medieval hilltop villages offer delightful opportunities for slow, more authentic, and sustainable, tourism. In 2017 Italy intends to focus on them.

Lausavisa by ottar svarta

Cnut the Great – A New Biography

21. March 2017

Cnut the Great is one of the overlooked English kings. Maligned as aprimitive Viking conqueror, the story has most often been told as a civilising project carried out by Emma. Not so in this new biography.

New Books

Cnut the Great Cover


Cod and Herring Cover

Conferences 2017

Check the calendar which is continuously updated! And don’t forget to write to us if you wish to have a conference, symposium or workshop added…


Jobs for Medievalists

Jobs for Medievalists! Get the latest job postings here…

Frontpage of newsletter from Boydell and Brwer - the Medieval Herald

Minor Medieval News – April 2017

Each month we stumble over news which might interest – upcoming exhibitions, new blogs, new resources. Don’t miss the updated list…

New Issues of Medieval History Journals – January 2017

Get the overview and the tables of content here…