In upcoming episodes of History Hit’s ‘Gone Medieval’ podcast, historian Matt Lewis and archaeologist Cat Jarman delve into two stories from the Middle Ages that have piqued public interest in much more recent times.
First of all, in an episode set for release on Saturday 13 November, Matt talks to Buffy Bailey, an NHS nurse from Lancaster who was metal detecting in farmland near Sheriff Hutton Castle in North Yorkshire with her husband Ian when she discovered a solid gold book. Incredibly, the pair didn’t appreciate the area’s significance until they arrived at the site of the accommodation they happened to find available on a farmer’s field.
Dated between 1280 and 1410, we hear how the piece is thought to be far too valuable an item to have simply been lost, so its owner may have intentionally buried it as an act of religious worship or to show gratitude for childbirth.
In an episode planned for Tuesday 16 November, we hear about another fascinating item that has spent more than a thousand years buried underground. In it, Cat talks to Prof. Martin Carver, who has directed excavations at Sutton Hoo, and is now heading up the massive project to reconstruct the Sutton Hoo longship, which inspired the recent Netflix film The Dig. Prof. Carver talks passionately about how the ship, the most important machine in the lives of the people alive at the time, represents a type of evidence about the period that doesn’t exist anywhere else.
Matthew Lewis is a popular medieval historian and author of various historical fiction and non-fiction books. Lewis has a passion for the Wars of the Roses, especially the reigns of Richard III and the Tudors.
Dr Cat Jarman is a bioarchaeologist and field archaeologist specialising in the Viking Age. She is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and author of the Sunday Times bestseller River Kings – Vikings from Scandinavia to the Silk Roads.