Part 1. Throughout time, medieval England has led a colorful past with a cast of characters and events that have spiced up the history books. This is the time period where Anglo-Saxon Britain thrived with their invasions, the Age of Bede, and the Age of Alfred. Norman England brought the Conquest of 1066, William I and Henry I. Richard the Lionhearted, Thomas Becket, the Yorkists, and the Tudors would later follow to make waves. In this article, you will encounter a few interesting facts that concern this glorious time period in England.
Before the mechanical clock was a reality during the 14th century, the most complicated machine that the people knew of was a pipe organ that resided in Winchester, England. It was Bishop Aelfeg who installed the wonder in 950 AD, which consisted of 400 pipes. When it made music, it took 70 men alone just to operate the 26 bellows.
During the high Middle Ages, there was an average of one church for every 200 people in a region. The largest part of each city was building set aside for religious movements. For example, if you were to travel to places, such as Norwich, Lincoln, and York, you would find populations that reached the numbers of 5,000 and 10,000. This meant that there could be anywhere between 40 to 50 churches in the vicinity.
Around the time of 1000, the Vikings descended upon Britain and launched a single raid that utilized the forces of 80 vessels called “dragon ships.” Each of these ships had 100 soldier each on board.
When it comes to the original London Bridge of the nursery rhyme, the wooden construction “fell” in 1014 during the time when the Danes were in control of most parts of England. It was their enemy , the Saxons , who used warships to travel up the Thames to reach the bridge. They hitched cables about the pilings and then rowed off into the sunset. As a result, the bridge was pulled down.
It is quite interesting that the wife of Richard the Lionhearted (Queen Berengaria) never touched the land of England, as she was the daughter of King Sancho VI of Navarre. Their marriage took place in Cyprus in 1191 during one of Richard’s crusades. During her reign (which lasted for eight years), she resided in France and Italy. As for King Richard the Lion-Hearted of England, 95% of his time was spent away from England. He actually only stayed in England on two occasions.
In 1191 AD, Dean Herbert came up with the idea to couple the power of sails to his landlocked farm situated in England. As a result, he is responsible for conjuring up the first windmill in England. He used the windmill to grind corn, which he was successfully able to accomplish, but all was lost when the local abbot decided to destroy his invention.
During the times of medieval England (as well as other regions throughout Europe), it was not uncommon to sip beer with your breakfast.