Thomas Becket

The murder of Thomas Becket in stained glass at Canterbury cathedral. Next year sees the 800th anniversary of the creation of Becket’s shrine and the revival of the old pilgrimage route from Southampton to Canterbury

Will the Pilgrims’ Way soon rival the Camino de Santiago?

20 April 2019 9:00 am

There are more than 100 cathedrals in England, Scotland and Wales of many different denominations (although I for one had…

Sons and haters: Henry II was much aggrieved by his acquisitive sons

Two new books explore the triumphs and tribulations of an underrated king – Henry II

22 September 2018 9:00 am

Poor old Henry II: once fêted as one of England’s greatest kings, he has long been neglected. Accessible books on…

Detail of mosaic depicting the martyrdom of Saints Castus and Cassius, 12th century, at the Cathedral of Monreale, Sicily

Norman Sicily was a multicultural paradise – but it didn’t last long

9 April 2016 9:00 am

A few weeks ago, I looked out on the Cathedral of Monreale from the platform on which once stood the…

Bad King John: more interested in hunting than good governance

The realm of England: from the Pennines to the Pyrenees

13 February 2016 9:00 am

Most people know more about the 12th century than they think they do. This is, as Richard Huscroft reminds us…