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Lincoln Knights’ Trail 2017


This weekend, Lincoln Knights’ Trail opened in celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Battle of Lincoln and the sealing of the Charter of the Forest.

There are 36 sculptures in total placed across Lincoln City Centre and each Knight has been designed and painted by a different artist. (To find out more about the Knights’ trail artists, please click here.)

I did not know anything about the Battle of Lincoln prior to this event, but the Knights’ Trail website has provided a short breakdown of the major events surrounding this period of Lincoln’s history:

Knight Trail 1

‘The Knight in the Forest’ by Julia Allum

‘After agreeing the Magna Carta in 1215, King John went back on his promise which led the country to fall into a civil war.  This divided the barons between supporting the crown and rebel barons who invited Prince Louis, the son of the French King, to take the English throne.

In October 1216, King John died and his son, Henry III, was only a child so William Marshal, a famous medieval knight and the King’s champion, acted as regent. By May 1217, much of the country had been taken by the combined French and rebel English forces, but Lincoln Castle held out for the royalist cause under the command of a formidable lady constable, Nicola de la Haye.

knight trail 2

‘Lincolnshire Spirit and Loving Embrace’ by Lizzy Mason

On the morning of 20 May 1217, the Royalist army set out from Stowe or Torksey (the sources disagree) to help Nicola and raise the siege. The Royalists broke into the city and in the fighting that followed between the castle’s East Gate and Lincoln Cathedral, the siege of the Castle was lifted and the French commander was killed. The rebels then either surrendered or fled down the hill and towards London. The Royalists claimed victory and then sacked the city. One chronicler ironically nicknamed the battle the ‘Nine-day’ of Lincoln (a Nine-day was either a fair or a tournament) as a battle in the city in 1141 had already been given the title of The Battle of Lincoln.

This battle was of national significance. If the Royalists had lost, England would have become part of France and our King Louis VIII, instead the Plantagenet dynasty ruled for another 250 years.

The 1217 battle and the subsequent defeat of a French naval force at the Battle of Sandwich in August meant Louis’ attempt to become King of England was over. On the 6th of November 1217 Marshal, in the name of the young Henry, reissued Magna Carta in an attempt to reunite the country and with it a companion document called the Charter of the Forest. In contrast to Magna Carta, which mainly dealt with the rights of barons, it confirmed rights of access to royal forests for all men and was not superseded until 1971.’ (Credit: Dr Erik Grigg, Lincoln Knights’ Trail Website)


Both the 1215 Magna Carta and the 1217 Charter of the Forest can still be viewed in Lincoln Castle and the Knights’ Trail sculptures will remain in position until 3rd September 2017.

I am looking forward to seeing all of the Knights’ Trail now that the weather is getting warmer!



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MA Symposium Review


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Introduction by Prof. Philippa Hoskin

It is just over a week since the ‘Writing Medieval History’ symposium and the MA Medieval Studies students have finished their last exam and have had a chance to reflect on the success of the day.

Overall, the symposium committee are immensely proud of how the symposium ran. We managed to keep (mostly) to time, our speakers were engaging, and we had some thought provoking discussions in the Q&A sessions. The feedback we gathered on the day also suggests that attendees especially enjoyed the musical interludes performed by one of our committee members.

One issue we did not anticipate, however, was how hot the room got throughout the day! For future events, it would be worth booking an air-conditioned room so everyone is comfortable.


On behalf of the symposium committee, I would like to thank our lovely speakers for their contribution: you all presented marvellously! We hope this is the first of many MA Medieval Symposiums, and I look forward to attending them in the future.

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MA Symposium Committee

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Prof. Peter Stone: ‘The protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict’


Professor Stone

On Wednesday 10th May, we were joined by Professor Peter Stone (Newcastle University) for the last History and Heritage research seminar for this academic year. Professor Stone’s presentation discussed the history of cultural property protection and outlined the work of the Blue Shield (the so-called “cultural equivalent” of the Red Cross), suggesting that if we are proactive, cultural property need not be an unwitting casualty of conflict.


This seminar was Stonefascinating and made me think about the logistics of preserving history  for future generations, not just in war zones (although, as Professor Stone suggests, this is important) but at local levels too. Many of the MA students in attendance at this seminar, myself included, are particularly interested in making ‘ordinary’ people aware that our culture heritage is everywhere and deserves to be protected. So, while his presentation was not directly focused on medieval history, Professor Stone raised some highly important points concerning the protection of cultural property.


Thank you, Professor Stone, for your thought provoking presentation!



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Dr Eduardo Manzano Moreno at the University of Lincoln

Thanks to the generosity of the Santander Fund, the University of Lincoln is hosting the first two of what we hope will be an annual round of visiting fellows in medieval Iberian history: Dr Julio Escalona Monge and Dr Eduardo Manzano Moreno, both of the CSIC (the National Research Council) in Madrid, have visited Lincoln and each to ran a workshop and deliver a public lecture on aspects of their research and the study of medieval Iberia more broadly.


I attended the workshop and lecture ran by Dr Eduardo Manzo Moreno on Thursday 4th May.


Dr Eduardo Manzo Moreno

Matching Facts and Artefacts: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Medieval Iberia

In this workshop, Dr Manzo Moreno examined the integration of the material and the textual record, and the manifold ways in which both can be related.

I found his research on how artefacts from 8th-10th century Al-Andulus provide an insight into contemporary networks of knowledge and intellectual genealogy particularly fascinating.

His exploration of Islamic manuscripts and biographical dictionaries was also very interesting, and acted to further illuminate how knowledge circulated in this time period.

blue qu'ran

Leaf from the Blue Qur’an (late 9th century)


Convivencia: Jews, Christians, and Muslims; or, how we have failed to tackle multiculturalism in medieval Iberia from a social perspective 

In this lecture, Dr Eduardo Manzo Moreno highlighted the importance of multiculturalism as a historiographical focus and demonstrated how we can address the subject of multiculturality in Medieval Iberia.

His methodology raised an interesting debate in the Q&A session afterwards, and it was a pleasure to listen to Dr Manzo Moreno speak about his research.




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‘Writing Medieval History’ : Organising a Symposium

In November of last year, Dr Renee Ward encouraged a group of MA Medieval Studies students to organise a symposium for the community of medievalists in Lincoln.


Myself and eight other students jumped at the chance to get involved and have worked hard to organise Writing Medieval History’a half day symposium that will take place on Friday 5th May 2017 in the UoL Minerva Building.

We are delighted to host a range of undergraduates, postgraduates and medieval lecturers who take different methodological and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of medieval history.

Our aim is to provide a space for individuals to share and develop ‘works in progress’ as well as gain confidence in writing and speaking about medieval history. We think this will be especially beneficial for undergraduate and postgraduate students working towards completing a dissertation, as it is the perfect opportunity to get constructive feedback from peers.



Symposium Committee

The symposium committee convened on Wednesday to finish organising some final details, but overall we feel well prepared and excited to host the event!

On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank Dr Renée Ward and Dr Antonella Liuzzo Scorpo for their invaluable support in the organising process: we really appreciate it.




It is a free event and all are welcome, so please register on our website and come and say hello on Friday 5th May! We will be offering a buffet lunch from 12pm and tea, coffee and other refreshments will be available all day.

To see a detailed programme of the proceedings please visit our website or contact us on