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Out of the Margins

Conservator Claire Reed with the remains of a drinking vessel discovered at Prittlewell, Essex, in 2003 © Press Association Images

Archaeologists and historians are on the same side, despite what journalists say.

Not so wise: an owl is mobbed by smaller birds, from an English bestiary, 1230-40.

After 800 years, a playful medieval poem still offers lessons in how not to debate. 

Word up: the demon Titivillus, medieval wall painting, St Mary, Melbourne, Derbyshire.

A medieval masterpiece has much to say about the modern preoccupation with greed.

City on the hill: the south-west face of Lincoln Cathedral. Illustration by Arthur Wilde Parsons, 1888.

An Icelandic scholar exemplifies the rich cultural exchanges of the Middle Ages. 

A scribe, probably Bede, from the Life and Miracles of St Cuthbert, English, 12th century.

If the English language had taken a different path, historians might not exist.

Female foundation: Minster Abbey in Thanet, Kent. (Brian Gibbs/Alamy)

Medieval women wielded spiritual and political power in subtly effective ways. 

Ragner’s reliquary: St Peter’s Church, Northampton.

The unlikely links between an obscure English saint and a Viking warrior.

A good job: John Sweet as Bob Johnson and Sheila Sim as Alison Smith in A Canterbury Tale (1944).

Visiting sites of importance can connect us with history – and each other – in a way that echoes the power of medieval pilgrimage.

Profound but intangible: Scutchamer Knob on the Ridgeway Path of the Berkshire Downs.

A historical landscape is impossible to recover, but we can still feel its power.

Despite the myth of a lone genius toiling away into the night, history is a collective endeavour.