Friday, 10 February 2017

Upcoming Event: Hic Dragones Book Launch

Event information from Hic Dragones...

Into the Woods Launch Party

Come and join us at the launch party for Into the Woods, a new collection of short stories from Hic Dragones.

Friday 17th March 2017, 7-9pm
International Anthony Burgess Foundation
3 Cambridge Street
Manchester M1
United Kingdom


Into the Woods - eighteen sinister sylvan tales

A magical place steeped in mysticism. A foreboding place of unspeakable terror. The forest is a place of secrets, a place of knowledge, a place of death, and a place of life. What resides within its shadows? Demons, fair folk, that man the adults warned you about… and the trees. The trees are everywhere. Is it safer to stay at home? Or are you ready to take a journey… into the woods.

“They were only trees, after all. Only trees.”

Join us at the launch party on Friday 17th March. Readings by: Ramsey Campbell, Tracy Fahey, Jane Bradley, Magda Knight, Martin Cornwell, Hannah Kate, Megan Taylor and Nancy Schumann

Free wine reception, giveaways and launch discount on the book.

Upcoming Event: JRRI Medieval and Early Modern Research Seminar Series

Event information from the John Rylands Research Institute...

 Quantifying Caxton – Taking a Digital Approach to Historical Spelling Variation

Rosie Shute (University of Sheffield)
Thursday 9 March, 5.30pm
Christie Room, John Rylands Library Deansgate

‘Logic, Rhetoric, Arithmetic’ in Myrrour of the Worlde (Westminster: William Caxton, 1480)
Rylands 3469, c4v-c5r ©The University of Manchester

William Caxton (c. 1422-91) began printing in England in 1476, publishing over one hundred texts throughout his lifetime. We tend to think that Caxton's texts represent Caxton's language; however this talk demonstrates the influence of the type-setter on the language of Caxton's printed work, focusing on spelling in particular and drawing on methods from mathematics, computer science, and the history of the book.

Free event. All welcome.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Upcoming Event: Manchester Cathedral Tour and Talk (Booking Required)

Manchester Cathedral and the Making of a Medieval Town – an Archaeological-Architectural Tour

Dr Andy Hardman (Heritage Officer, Manchester Cathedral)

By Rept0n1x (Liverpool & Manchester (295)) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday 15th February 2017, 6pm
Manchester Cathedral Visitor Centre, 10 Cateaton Street, Manchester, M3 1SQ

Places are limited, so booking is required for this event. Members (free attendance): please email Hannah Priest to RSVP. Non-members (attendance £5 (waged)/£2 (unwaged): please register online here:


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Upcoming Event: Anne Kirkham Lecture on 8 December

Detail from the title page in a printed Dutch Book of Hours (Antwerp: Adrien van Liesvelt, 1494)
John Rylands Library Special Collections 15464 © The University of Manchester

Hark the Herald… Angels in the John Rylands Library’s Books of Hours

A lecture for Manchester Medieval Society by Dr Anne Kirkham (Art History and Visual Studies, The University of Manchester)

Date: 8 December 2016
Time: 6 p.m.
Venue: John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester
Attendance: Members - free; Non-members - £5 (waged)/£2 (unwaged)

There will be a dinner with the speaker following this talk. If you would like to attend, please email our treasurer Dr Hannah Priest to book a place.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Manchester Dress and Textile Discussion Group Programme 2016-17

All meetings are 5-6pm, and are held in Seminar Room 1, The Graduate Suite, Ellen Wilkinson Building, unless otherwise stated.

Friday 18th Nov 2016: Charles Farris (Westminster): The Administration of Cloth and Clothing in the Great Wardrobe of Edward I

Thursday 23rd Feb 2017: Julie Wertz (Glasgow): The art and science of Turkey red dyeing in 19th-century Scotland

Thursday 30th Mar 2017: Maureen Carroll (Sheffield): Cultural and Ethnic Identities in Dress Behaviour in Roman Germany

tbc Apr 2017: Elizabeth Coatsworth: title tbc

For more information, please contact Alexandra Lester-Makin or Ursula Rothe

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Upcoming Event: Kathryn M Rudy Lecture on 20 October

The Hague, KB, Ms 75 G 2, fol. 64v-65r: a very dirty manuscript

The Dirt and the Book: How Signs of Wear Reveal Handling of Prayer Books in the Middle Ages

with hands-on element

A lecture for Manchester Medieval Society by Dr Kathryn M. Rudy (Senior Lecturer in Art History, University of St Andrews)

Date: 20 October 2016
Time: 6 p.m.
Venue: John Rylands Library, Deansgate, Manchester
Attendance: Members - free; Non-members - £5 (waged)/£2 (unwaged)

Monday, 23 May 2016

Manchester Medieval Society Excursion 2016

Post written by Joanna Robertson, MA student (University of Manchester)

This year’s annual Medieval Society excursion was on Saturday 14th May, and we travelled to North East Wales. And Wales welcomed its Manchester visitors with bright sunshine!

Flint Castle

Flint Castle. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

The first site was Flint Castle, standing above the saltmarsh and mudflats, along the River Dee, with the Wirral as a backdrop. This strategic position, west of Chester, was where Edward I built his first castle, to support his campaign against the Welsh. Begun in 1277, under the supervision of James of St George, building work continued into the 14th century. Shakespeare reminds us that Richard II gave himself up to Henry Bolingbroke at Flint Castle, after he left the security of another castle at Conwy. Flint Castle is moated, has an outer ward, three circular towers and a free-standing great tower or donjohn. The building stone used was millstone grit ashlar and sandstone and was re-used locally, when parliamentary forces ordered the dismantling of the castle. The adjacent town of Flint was laid out in a grid pattern, still visible as one looks down Church Street.

Flint Castle. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

Flint Castle. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

Maen Achwyfan

Maen Achwyfan Cross. Photo credit: Joanna Robertson

The next visit was to a much smaller stone structure, yet Britain’s tallest wheelcross, at Maen Achwyfan. It stands in a grass field, inside a fenced enclosure. As it is on the North Wales Pilgrim Trail, a small hidden box contains a stamp for one’s passport! This is a tall, carved stone cross, dated to the 10th or 11th century. The intricate patterns reflect both Viking and Celtic influences and its purpose is still the subject of speculation. It could be a ‘lamentation’ cross or a boundary marker for the Basingwerk Abbey lands.

Maen Achwyfan Cross. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

St Winefride’s Well

Our climb up from the coast and towards Holywell afforded excellent views over the Dee Estuary, now far less navigable than during the medieval period. The town of Holywell, associated with the nearby shrine of St Winefride, was our lunch stop. It has a wide high street, with a weekly market, a right granted to the monks of Basingwerk Abbey. Its many fine Georgian frontages indicate the wealth derived from the industrial past of the Greenfield Valley.

St Winefride's Well. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

A short walk down the valley side brought us to the entrance to St Winefride’s shrine, still a place of pilgrimage with associated interpretation. Committee member Maureen Mulholland introduced us to Winefride, her rapacious suitor, his beheading her, a gush of water from the spot where her head fell and the restorative powers of her uncle Beuno! The well has been a pilgrimage destination since the 7th century, with visits from royalty. The last monarch to visit was James II, who prayed for a son (although Princess Victoria also visited with her uncle King Leopold of Belgium). The visitor centre is decorated with information panels and discarded crutches from people miraculously cured, having bathed in the waters of the spring. A chapel was built in about 1500, probably for Margaret Beaufort, around three sides of the well and further buildings have been added to the site. Nobody in our party bathed in the large pool but some filled their water bottles from the ‘holy’ tap!

St Winefride's Well. Photo credit: Joanna Robertson

St Winefride's Well. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

St Winefride's Well. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

Basingwerk Abbey

Basingwerk Abbey. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

Our final destination was the Abbey at Basingwerk. I briefly introduced its history to the group, as I’ve recently completed some research on the site for an MA essay. Founded as a Savigniac house by the powerful baron Ranulf of Chester, it received gifts from both Anglo-Normans and the Welsh. It was richly endowed with lands and assets on the Wirral, in Derbyshire and from across the Kingdom of Gwynedd. The Cistercian style layout is still visible in a tranquil wooded setting. And the nearby CafĂ© at the Abbey was a welcome last stop!

Basingwerk Abbey. Photo credit: Hannah Priest

Basingwerk Abbey. Photo credit: Hannah Priest