, The period has also been used in a wide range of popular culture. See more ideas about medieval, geography, history of wales. , Christianity had been the official imperial religion of the Roman Empire, and the first churches were built in England in the second half of the 4th century, overseen by a hierarchy of bishops and priests.  Romantic poems about tournaments and courtly love became popular in Paris and this fashion spread into England in the form of lays; stories about the court of King Arthur were also fashionable, due in part to the interest of Henry II.  Of the 10,000 miles of roads that had been built by the Romans, many remained in use and four were of particular strategic importance—the Icknield Way, the Fosse Way, Ermine Street and Watling Street—which criss-crossed the entire country.  Many existing pagan shrines were converted to Christian use and few pagan sites still operated by the 5th century.  The Norse settlers in England were converted relatively quickly, assimilating their beliefs into Christianity in the decades following the occupation of York, which the Archbishop had survived.  At the top of the social structure was the king, who stood above many of the normal processes of Anglo-Saxon life and whose household had special privileges and protection. Medieval Europe Joan of Arc Charlemagne Reader History and GeoGrapHy.  Successive kings, though, still needed more resources to pay for military campaigns, conduct building programmes or to reward their followers, and this meant exercising their feudal rights to interfere in the land-holdings of nobles.  William of Ockham helped to fuse Latin, Greek and Islamic writing into a general theory of logic; "Ockham's Razor" was one of his oft-cited conclusions.  These peasants would pay rent to the landowner either through agricultural labour on the lord's demesne fields or through rent in the form of cash and produce. , However, in the same year Alfred won a decisive victory against the Danes at the Battle of Edington, and he exploited the fear of the Viking threat to raise large numbers of men and using a network of defended towns called burhs to defend his territory and mobilise royal resources. The 6 Most Important Lovers of Catherine the Great. Dyer (2009), p. 89; Barlow (1999), p. 98.  Early designs, such as those found at the Sutton Hoo burial, used a zoomorphic style, heavily influenced by German fashions, in which animal shapes were distorted into flowing shapes and positioned alongside geometric patterns.  As the Norse in mainland Scandinavia started to convert, many mainland rulers recruited missionaries from England to assist in the process.  Groups of well-armed noblemen and their households formed the heart of these armies, supported by larger numbers of temporary troops levied from across the kingdom, called the fyrd.  Following the invasion of Ireland in the late 12th century, similar feelings were expressed about the Irish, with the distinctions clarified and reinforced in 14th-century English legislation. 448–450; Danziger and Gillingham, p. 209.  The monasteries were brought firmly into the web of feudal relations, with their holding of land linked to the provision of military support to the crown. Johns, pp.  Towards the end of Henry II's reign, however, the king ceased to borrow from the Jewish community and instead turned to extracting money from them through arbitrary taxation and fines. Why Was Hereward the Wake Wanted by the Normans? Lavelle, pp. , In the century after the collapse of the Romano-British economy, very few substantial buildings were constructed and many villas and towns were abandoned. It looks like a giant peninsula.  The agricultural sector shrank rapidly, with higher wages, lower prices and diminishing profits leading to the final demise of the old demesne system and the advent of the modern farming system centring on the charging of cash rents for lands. , Medieval England produced art in the form of paintings, carvings, books, fabrics and many functional but beautiful objects.  By the time of Edward III, armies were smaller in size, but the troops were typically better equipped and uniformed, and the archers carried the longbow, a potentially devastating weapon. 120–121.  Between 1440 and 1480, however, Europe entered a recession and England suffered the Great Slump: trade collapsed, driving down agricultural prices, rents and ultimately the acceptable levels of royal taxation.  The more prosperous peasants, however, lost influence and power as the Normans made holding land more dependent on providing labour services to the local lord. Towards an Agricultural Geography of Medieval England By BRUCE M S CAMPBELL [A review article of John Langdon, Horses, Oxen and Technological bmovation: The Use of Draught Animals i, English Farmingfi'om 1o66--15oo, CUP, I986.  Anglo-Saxon queens began to hold lands in their own right in the 10th century and their households contributed to the running of the kingdom.  Many members of the English elite, including Edward's son the Black Prince, were heavily involved in campaigning in France and administering the new continental territories.  By the 14th century grander houses and castles were sophisticated affairs: expensively tiled, often featuring murals and glass windows, these buildings were often designed as a set of apartments to allow greater privacy. Carpenter, p. 4; Davies, p. 20; Huscroft, p. 81.  Edward IV, leading a faction known as the Yorkists, removed Henry from power in 1461 but by 1469 fighting recommenced as Edward, Henry, and Edward's brother George, backed by leading nobles and powerful French supporters, vied for power. Matilda's son, Henry, finally agreed to a peace settlement at Winchester and succeeded as king in 1154. Watermills to grind grain had existed during most of the Anglo-Saxon period, using horizontal mill designs; from the 12th century on many more were built, eliminating the use of hand mills, with the older horizontal mills gradually supplanted by a new vertical mill design.  England's growing wealth was critical in allowing the Norman kings to project power across the region, including funding campaigns along the frontiers of Normandy. The local economy had once been dominated by imperial Roman spending on a large military establishment, which in turn helped to support a complex network of towns, roads, and villas. , Norman rule, however, proved unstable; successions to the throne were contested, leading to violent conflicts between the claimants and their noble supporters. 88–89. The continents of Europe and Asia form the Eurasian landmass.  Under his son, Edward the Elder, and his grandson, Æthelstan, Wessex expanded further north into Mercia and the Danelaw, and by the 950s and the reigns of Eadred and Edgar, York was finally permanently retaken from the Vikings.  Indeed, by the 12th century reports of posthumous miracles by local saints were becoming increasingly common in England, adding to the attractiveness of pilgrimages to prominent relics. England's environment continued to be shaped throughout the period, through the building of dykes to drain marshes, tree clearance and the large-scale extraction of peat. Carpenter, pp.  Agricultural land became typically organised around manors, and was divided between some fields that the landowner would manage directly, called demesne land, and the majority of the fields that would be cultivated by local peasants.  Mercenaries were increasingly employed, driving up the cost of warfare considerably, and adequate supplies of ready cash became essential for the success of campaigns.  The rights of widows were formally laid down in law by the end of the 12th century, clarifying the right of free women to own property, but this did not necessarily prevent women from being forcibly remarried against their wishes.  Water-powered fulling mills and powered hammers first appeared in the 12th century; water power was harnessed to assist in smelting by the 14th century, with the first blast furnace opening in 1496.  Old English was also used for academic and courtly writing from the 9th century onwards, including translations of popular foreign works, including The Pastoral Care. , With the conversion of much of England in the 6th and 7th centuries, there was an explosion of local church building. -Medieval roads were usually just horse tracks -Very hard for carts to get through-Above is old Medieval roads, while it may look ruined and nothing like a road, this was actually better than most roads-Monasteries, such as Chertsey Abbey, hired people to maintain the roads-In 1386, a man fell into a gap filled with water in the road. After a final confrontation with Henry, his son Richard I succeeded to the throne in 1189. Question: What was Medieval England?  Freemen, called churls, formed the next level of society, often holding land in their own right or controlling businesses in the towns. The annual farm accounts produced by medieval reeves and bailiffs represent one of the most remarkable compendia of agricultural information ever devised and survive in their thousands for the period 1250–1350.  By the late 12th century, mobilising the English barons to fight on the continent was proving difficult, and John's attempts to do so ended in civil war. Happé, p. 335–336; Danziger and Gillingham, pp.  New political and social identities emerged, including an Anglian culture in the east of England and a Saxon culture in the south, with local groups establishing regiones, small polities ruled over by powerful families and individuals. , The period produced some influential English scholars. 477, 524; Prestwich (1988), pp.  Guilds competed to produce the best plays in each town and performances were often an expression of civic identity. A new wave of monasteries and friaries was established while ecclesiastical reforms led to tensions between successive kings and archbishops. England comprises most of the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain, in addition to a number of small islands of which the largest is the Isle of Wight. The first Jews arrived in England in the aftermath of the Norman invasion, when William the Conqueror brought over wealthy members of the Rouen community in Normandy to settle in London.  If fines were imposed, their size similarly varied accord to the oath-value of the individual.  Clocks were first built in England in the late 13th century, and the first mechanical clocks were certainly being installed in cathedrals and abbeys by the 1320s. 84–86, 95–96; Barber (2007b), pp.  Germanic immigrants began to arrive in increasing numbers during the 5th and 6th centuries, establishing small farms and settlements, and their language, Old English, swiftly spread as more settlers arrived and those of the previous inhabitants who had not moved west or to Brittany switched from British Celtic and British Latin to the migrants' language. Turner (2009), p. 195; Barlow (1999), p. 357.  Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury and started to build new churches across the South-East, reusing existing pagan shrines. 399–401, 410.  Wealthier town-houses were also built using stone, and incorporated business and domestic arrangements into a single functional design.  Henry strengthened England's borders with Wales and Scotland, and used the country's wealth to fund a long-running war with his rivals in France, but arrangements for his succession once again proved problematic. William the Conqueror and his successors took over the existing state system, repressing local revolts and controlling the population through a network of castles.  Wycliffe argued that scripture was the best guide to understanding God's intentions, and that the superficial nature of the liturgy, combined with the abuses of wealth within the Church and the role of senior churchmen in government, distracted from that study. For a short time, he assimilated England into the major empire that had Denmark and Norway under it.  A poll tax was introduced in 1377 that spread the costs of the war in France more widely across the whole population.  The practice of slavery declined in the years after the conquest, as the Normans considered the practice backward and contrary to the teachings of the church. Scotland borders England to the north and Wales to the west.  In the 15th century the architectural focus turned away from cathedrals and monasteries in favour of parish churches, often decorated with richly carved woodwork; in turn, these churches influenced the design of new chantry chapels for existing cathedrals. The majority opinion is that Edward died in 1327 at Berkeley Castle, possibly murdered; a minority opinion holds that Edward was either released or escaped, and lived on elsewhere in Europe for many years. [nb 1] Civil war broke out across England and Normandy, resulting in a long period of warfare later termed the Anarchy. The Late or High Middle Ages in England covered from the eleventh through to the end of the thirteenth centuries and was a time of great change and upheaval.  Some women became full-time ale brewers, until they were pushed out of business by the male-dominated beer industry in the 15th century. , New orders began to be introduced into England.  The medieval mystery plays continue to be enacted in key English towns and cities. Despite developments in England's governance and legal system, infighting between the Anglo-Norman elite resulted in multiple civil wars and the loss of Normandy. , The English cloth industry grew considerably at the start of the 15th century, and a new class of international English merchant emerged, typically based in London or the South-West, prospering at the expense of the older, shrinking economies of the eastern towns. Legislation was introduced to limit wages and to prevent the consumption of luxury goods by the lower classes, with prosecutions coming to take up most of the legal system's energy and time. , Within twenty years of the Norman conquest, the former Anglo-Saxon elite were replaced by a new class of Norman nobility, with around 8,000 Normans and French settling in England.  Meanwhile, Edward, under pressure from France in Aquitaine, made a challenge for the French throne.  These defences were often reused during the unstable post-Roman period. Where is Europe?  The resulting Wars of the Roses saw a savage escalation of violence between the noble leaderships of both sides: captured enemies were executed and family lands attainted. 142–143. England's maritime trade benefited from the introduction of cog ships, and many docks were improved and fitted with cranes for the first time.  The religious military orders that became popular across Europe from the 12th century onwards acquired possessions in England, including the Templars, Teutons and Hospitallers. , The Viking invasions of the 8th and 9th centuries reintroduced paganism to North-East England, leading in turn to another wave of conversion. The Goths and Vandals attacked and eventually sacked the city of Rome , By the 1930s, older historical analyses were challenged by a range of neo-positivist, Marxist and econometric approaches, supported by a widening body of documentary, archaeological and scientific evidence. 108–109. It is closer to continental Europe than any other part of mainland Britain, divided from France only by a 33 km (21 mi) sea gap, the English Channel.  Edward Gibbon's 18th-century writings were influential, presenting the medieval period as a dark age between the glories of Rome and the rebirth of civilisation in the Early Modern period. The First 8 Plantagenet Kings of England in Order.  The idea of undertaking a pilgrimage to Jerusalem was not new in England, however, as the idea of religiously justified warfare went back to Anglo-Saxon times. 97–99. 74–77; Prior, pp. Core Knowledge Sequence History and Geography 4. , In Anglo-Saxon society, noblewomen enjoyed considerable rights and status, although the society was still firmly patriarchal. 29–30. One among the most surprising medieval England facts is that the medieval England didn’t have as many bridges as have been shown in movies.  Æthelred took power in 978 following the murder of his brother Edward, but England was then invaded by Sweyn Forkbeard, the son of a Danish king.  The very lowest class were slaves, who could be bought and sold and who held only minimal rights.  Some exercised power as abbesses, exerting widespread influence across the early English Church, although their wealth and authority diminished with the monastic reforms of the 9th century.  William promoted celibacy amongst the clergy and gave ecclesiastical courts more power, but also reduced the Church's direct links to Rome and made it more accountable to the king.  Even within England, different identities abounded, each with their own sense of status and importance. Despite Robert's rival claims, his younger brother Henry I immediately seized power.  Under the early Norman kings this style was adapted to produce large, plain cathedrals with ribbed vaulting.  Typically pilgrims would travel short distances to a shrine or a particular church, either to do penance for a perceived sin, or to seek relief from an illness or other condition.  The Despenser War of 1321–22 was followed by instability and the subsequent overthrow, and possible murder, of Edward in 1327 at the hands of his French wife, Isabella, and a rebel baron, Roger Mortimer. Over the past two decades, geographers' studies of the subject’s historiography have tended to focus mainly on ‘modern’ and ‘early-modern’ rather than medieval geographies. 7–14.  This system had been used in Normandy and concentrated more power in the king and the upper elite than the former Anglo-Saxon system of government. The bishops and major monastic leaders played an important part in national government, having key roles on the king's council. He reigned from 1018 to 1035 and was a major figure in Medieval Europe. , By the time that Richard II was deposed in 1399, the power of the major noble magnates had grown considerably; powerful rulers such as Henry IV would contain them, but during the minority of Henry VI they controlled the country. , The first references to an English navy occur in 851, when chroniclers described Wessex ships defeating a Viking fleet. [R A Donkin] Rubin, pp.  Unsuccessful government attempts were made to regulate wages and consumption, but these largely collapsed in the decades following the Peasants' Revolt of 1381.  Beneath the king were thegns, nobles, the more powerful of which maintained their own courts and were termed ealdormen.  Henry's son, Edward, defeated the rebel factions between 1265 and 1267, restoring his father to power. Medieval Europe.  Many churchmen and thegns were also given permission by the king to hold their own local courts.  Henry III restored some protection and Jewish money-lending began to recover.  Some Norman lords used England as a launching point for attacks into South and North Wales, spreading up the valleys to create new Marcher territories. , Anglo-Norman warfare was characterised by attritional military campaigns, in which commanders tried to raid enemy lands and seize castles in order to allow them to take control of their adversaries' territory, ultimately winning slow but strategic victories.  A reformed network of around 40 monastic institutions across the south and east of England, under the protection of the king, helped re-establish royal control over the reconquered Danelaw.  The Normans adopted the Anglo-Saxon model of monastic cathedral communities, and within seventy years the majority of English cathedrals were controlled by monks; every English cathedral, however, was rebuilt to some extent by the new rulers.  This political balance collapsed under Edward II and savage civil wars broke out during the 1320s.  Law and order deteriorated, and the crown was unable to intervene in the factional fighting between different nobles and their followers.  Several revolts broke out, led by Henry's children who were eager to acquire power and lands, sometimes backed by France, Scotland and the Welsh princes. New technologies were introduced, and England produced some of the great medieval philosophers and natural scientists. For full treatment, see Europe, history of: The Middle Ages. , On becoming king, Edward I rebuilt the status of the monarchy, restoring and extending key castles that had fallen into disrepair.  Ruling as Henry IV, he exercised power through a royal council and parliament, while attempting to enforce political and religious conformity.  Tensions arose between these practices and the reforming movement of Pope Gregory VII, which advocated greater autonomy from royal authority for the clergy, condemned the practice of simony and promoted greater influence for the papacy in church matters. , The Norman conquest introduced northern French artistic styles, particular in illuminated manuscripts and murals, and reduced the demand for carvings.  Less is known about the houses of peasants during this period, although many peasants appear to have lived in relatively substantial, timber-framed long-houses; the quality of these houses improved in the prosperous years following the Black Death, often being built by professional craftsmen. Why Did Beaufort and York’s Rivalry Lead to the Wars of the Roses? , Warfare was endemic in early Anglo-Saxon England, and major conflicts still occurred approximately every generation in the later period.  In the 10th century, Carolingian styles, inspired by Classical imagery, began to enter from the continent, becoming widely used in the reformed Benedictine monasteries across the south and east of England. The Norman invasion of England in 1066 led to the defeat and replacement of the Anglo-Saxon elite with Norman and French nobles and their supporters.  As time went by, the Norman nobility intermarried with many of the great Anglo-Saxon families, and the links with the Duchy began to weaken. Turner (1971), pp.  By the 9th century, the term the Angelcynn was being officially used to refer to a single English people, and promoted for propaganda purposes by chroniclers and kings to inspire resistance to the Danish invasions. 213–215; Mortimer (2004), pp.  Singing techniques called gymel were introduced in England in the 13th century, accompanied by instruments such as the guitar, harp, pipes and organ.  Crossbowmen become more numerous in the 12th century, alongside the older shortbow. 167–169. In-fact, bridges were very scarce.  For many years, to be English was to be associated with military failure and serfdom. , England had a diverse geography in the medieval period, from the Fenlands of East Anglia or the heavily wooded Weald, through to the upland moors of Yorkshire.  Anglo-Saxon artists created carved ivories, illuminated manuscripts, embroidered cloths, crosses and stone sculpture, although relatively few of these have survived to the modern period.  By the late medieval period, town walls were increasingly less military in character and more often expressions of civic pride or part of urban governance: many grand gatehouses were built in the 14th and 15th centuries for these purposes. 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