The 10th-century Nunburnholme Cross has attracted much scholarly attention as an example of a hybrid art-work, combining Anglian, Anglo-Scandinavian and Norman carving. However, little consideration has been given to its geographical context in a remote East Yorkshire valley, with most analyses concentrating solely on iconographic concerns. This paper uses archaeological and place-name evidence to situate it in a landscape which is itself hybrid, with neolithic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, and Norman histories. The cross, rather than being a remote and exceptional example of early medieval sculpture, was erected in a place of some significance and is representative of the landscape itself.
Polydore Vergil questioned the historicity of the ‘British history’ derived from Geoffrey of Monmouth, and of King Arthur in particular, due to the lack of insular sources for the period. However, defenders of the traditional version of British history, such as John Leland, did not rely primarily on written sources. Rather, they emphasize the importance of eyewitness evidence and the material remains of the medieval past in the English landscape. These historiographical methods are often seen as characteristic of humanist history, but paradoxically they are used to maintain the sway of a traditional medieval history over the topography of England.
To the majority of castle scholars, castles begin to decline in the late 14th-century with the accelerated use of gunpowder and the centralisation of the military. However, this is not where the castle story ends. The aim of this paper is to debunk the notion of the decline of the castle by utilising a case study of John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford (1442-1513) and his ancestral seat of Hedingham castle, Essex. I will explore the fact that de Vere resided at Hedingham despite the fact its military function was useless and country homes were gaining popularity.