The Templar Knight

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Horrible Histories – great way for kids to learn

The BBC has been running a TV series based on the books of Terry Deary – the Horrible Histories. They’re a very irreverent look at different periods in the past. Take this one on the medieval era as a good…

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The medieval roots of Halloween

Pumpkins, trick or treat and witch costumes. We all know about modern Halloween – but how might a Templar knight have celebrated Halloween hundreds of years ago? Back in the early Middle Ages, the day we now call Halloween was…

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Burial place of Templar Grand Masters

This is a Templar jewel – something everybody should visit. It’s the burial place of the Templar grand masters of Portugal – a church in the town of Tomar built in the very century that the order was formed by…

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Roast unicorn anybody? What they ate in the Middle Ages!

The British Library reported in April this year that it had found a long lost medieval cookbook that included a recipe for roast unicorn – it even included a helpful picture of the unicorn being roasted. Just as I was…

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Medieval displays of bible stories

Medieval churches at the time of the Templars would have been full of decoration and illumination. People were forbidden to read the bible – and, well, they couldn’t read anyway! So the best way to convey bible stories to the…

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Medieval Journey in the town of Santa Maria da Feira

The ‘Viagem Medieval’ is three weeks of Middle Ages mayhem when an entire town in northern Portugal goes back seven hundreds in time. There is everything you would expect and a whole lot more. I visited last Friday – fresh,…

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Medieval Porto in northern Portugal

Porto is my mother’s birthplace so hugely significant to me – a place where I developed a love for medieval history. Looming above the eighteenth century city centre is a mass of granite topped by the medieval cathedral. In front…

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Medieval fair I visited in Portugal this weekend

The Feira Medieval in Caminha is an annual trip back in time where the whole town of Caminha in northern Portugal enters the spirit of the Middle Ages. There are knights and wenches everywhere with stalls serving hearty chivalric food….

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Being Jewish in the Middle Ages

It must be said that being Jewish in the medieval period was challenging – to put it mildly. The fortunes of Jews at this time varied dramatically but on the whole, things were not good. From the late Roman period,…

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Medieval battles – the blood, guts and fury

I never ceased to be amazed by the level of violence and gore in the Middle Ages – maybe an unhealthy fascination! In my book Quest for the True Cross (click HERE to download) – I depict a battle scene…

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