Medieval facts, methods & recipes

Armour production
The image of a lonely blacksmith hammering out a single helmet in his little country forge is far from reality

Mail
Geoffrey the mail maker explains about mail, how it was made and its effectiveness

A grete pie
A recipe for the grete pie served at banquets

Fish management
Fish was an important part of the medieval diet, as water and air-borne creatures were favoured for their purity, above terrestrial livestock

Leeks and sops in wine
A recipe for a very simply made dish. Not for the ordinary medieval folk, this was a luxury dish

Mushroom pasties
A recipe for a tasty mediaeval treat, easily adapted for vegetarians

Piment
A recipe for this excellent sweetened and spiced wine

Coins in medieval England
Taking care of the pennies

Commission of array
Commission of Array - your country needs you

Feeding a mediaeval army
To feed a medieval army was a colossal undertaking, an army needed food in industrial quantities

Images of a medieval document
Images of the original medieval document. The script and the seal revealed

Indenture of apprenticeship
Apprenticeship was not only a way of learning a trade, it was sometimes the only way to gain citizenship of the large cities such as London.

Manners maketh man
The common cinema and TV images of feasters revelling, gnawing bones and quaffing at the table are far from the facts exposed by contemporary writings

The Armourer's Tale
Not a fact, just a silly poem written by myself

The patron demon of scribes
I am a poure dyvel and my name ys Tytyvyllus

The story of a document - the translation
Melles has met someone who owns a medieval document. It is the genuine article written in 1446. This page contains parts of the translation.

Timekeeping
In the middle ages most "clocks" relied on gravity such as the fall of water or grains of sand to mark the passing of time

What's the difference between vellum & parchment?
Both are made from animal skins and used for the same purpose so which is which?

Who designed the illuminated book?
Many believe that the artist did the layout and design but it seems that this is not so

Writing numbers in mediaeval times
Western scribes were introduced to arabic numerals in the tenth century when the Arabs defeated what to was to become Moorish Spain

Heraldic abatements & augmentations of honour
Abatements and augmentations of honor are certain special charges that were placed on a coat of arms to either reward or punish the bearer for good or bad deeds. An article by Craig Levin

Heraldic marks of cadency
Referred to the difference in a blazon (a description of arms) these marks are placed on the shield to indicate the branches or cadets of a family, on the male line

Heraldic ordinaries
The most commonly used charges in heraldry are called ordinaries

Heraldic partitions
The shield can be split into many different partitions using specially formed lines in well defined ways

Heraldic tinctures
The metals, colours and furs used in heraldry are known as tinctures

Cheese glue
One of the ways to glue wooden panels together in mediaeval times was to use a glue made from, of all things, cheese

Defining mediaeval scripts
Just what is cursive or textura? Find out why they have these classifications

Mediaeval ink
As a scrivener I am often asked for the recipe which I use for my ink

Mediaeval red ink
An excellent red ink from a medieval recipe

Quill preparation
One of the most common questions asked when Melles is writing at an event is "how do you make a quill?"

Battles of the Wars of the Roses
We are asked for assistance by students on quite a regular basis and many have asked about the actual battles which took place during the period known as the Wars of the Roses.