British History

An extremely rare Henry III gold penny discovered in a farm field in England could fetch more than $500,000 at auction this month.

Cool Finds

Metal Detectorist Discovers One of England's Earliest Gold Coins in a Farm Field

The 13th-century gold penny found in southwestern Britain could sell for half a million at auction

Bruce Clark, author of the new book Athens: City of Wisdom, outlines the events that culminated in the Elgin Marbles’ extraction from Greece.

How the Much-Debated Elgin Marbles Ended Up in England

For two centuries, diplomat Thomas Bruce has been held up as a shameless plunderer. The real history is more complicated, argues the author of a new book

Archaeologists search for artifacts at a dig in Rendlesham, where local craftsmen may have made the items found at the Sutton Hoo burial site.

Cool Finds

Sutton Hoo's Treasures Were Likely Crafted at This 1,400-Year-Old Workshop

Archaeologists found evidence of metalworking near the famed English burial ground

A Louis Wain illustration of cats singing carols

See Louis Wain's Exuberant Cat Art at the Hospital Where He Spent His Later Years

The Victorian artist's famous feline portraits are on view at England's Bethlem Museum of the Mind

Sarah Biffin, Sarah Biffin, watercolor

Miniature by Sarah Biffin, 19th-Century Artist Born With No Arms or Legs, Exceeds Estimates at Auction

The painter forged a remarkable career as a disabled woman artist in 19th-century London

Archaeological evidence of crucifixion is rare, as victims were rarely properly buried. Most crucifixions used rope rather than nails to bind the condemned to a cross.

Cool Finds

Rare Physical Evidence of Roman Crucifixion Found in Britain

Researchers discovered the skeleton of a man with a nail hammered through his heel bone

Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye will lead design of the new Heritage District, a center dedicated to teaching about the history and impact of the transatlantic slave trade.

History of Now

After Breaking Ties With Britain, Barbados Announces Heritage District Tracing Slavery's Toll

The four-phase project will include a museum, global research center and memorial

Barbados officially became a republic early Tuesday morning, casting off Elizabeth II as head of state and swearing in Sandra Mason as the country's new president.

History of Now

Barbados Breaks With Elizabeth II to Become the World's Newest Republic

The Caribbean island removed the British monarch as head of state but will remain a member of the Commonwealth of Nations

Neolithic people may have cooked predecessors of modern mince pies on stones heated in a fire's embers.

Stonehenge's Builders May Have Feasted on Sweet Treats

Excavations near the iconic English monument revealed traces of fruits and nuts

The 13-year-old discovered the cache on her third metal-detecting outing.

Cool Finds

British Teenager Discovers Rare Bronze Age Ax Hoard

Milly Hardwick, a 13-year-old from Suffolk, stumbled onto a cache of 65 artifacts dated to around 1300 B.C.E.

The mosaic was scorched by fire, but its depiction of the Iliad remains clearly visible.

Cool Finds

Huge Roman Mosaic Depicting Scenes From the 'Iliad' Found Beneath U.K. Field

The artwork features scenes from the Iliad showing Achilles’s defeat of Hector

David Allan, Edinburgh Milkmaid With Butter Churn, circa 1780–90

See a Rare Watercolor of a Black Woman Living in Edinburgh in the Late 18th Century

Staff at the National Galleries of Scotland, which recently acquired the David Allan painting, hope to uncover more information about the sitter's identity

The ornate object features likenesses of Saints Leonard and Margaret, patron saints of childbirth.

Cool Finds

Tiny Gold Book Found in English Field May Have Ties to Richard III

Experts say the 15th-century artifact bears striking similarities to the Middleham Jewel, a gold pendant found near the king's childhood home in 1985

Birds with teeth, little men in triangular hats and other fanciful figures appear in the Tudor wall paintings.

Cool Finds

Well-Preserved Tudor Wall Paintings Discovered Beneath Plaster at Medieval Manor

Carbon dating of the artworks' timber frame suggests they date to between the 1540s and 1580s

This 16th- or 17th-century copper alloy plaque—one of the ten Benin Bronzes removed from view—depicts a high-ranking warrior flanked by musicians and a page holding a ceremonial sword.

History of Now

Why the Smithsonian's Museum of African Art Removed Its Benin Bronzes From View

Displaying the looted artworks does "a huge amount of harm,” says director Ngaire Blankenberg, who has affirmed her commitment to repatriating the objects

Freddy Goodall started looking for the passageway after noticing a doorway—now hidden by a bookshelf—in an 1870 photograph.

Cool Finds

Property Developer Discovers Secret Passageway Behind Bookshelf in 500-Year-Old House

Freddy Goodall of Brighton, England, detailed his finds in a series of social media videos

A supporter of the doomed Tudor queen may have hidden the falcon following Anne's downfall.

Cool Finds

Wooden Falcon Sold for $101 Originally Belonged to Anne Boleyn

The discovery is striking because Henry VIII removed almost all traces of his second queen following her execution in 1536

Living Like a Tudor draws on the five senses to offer a vivid portrait of Tudor life. Pictured here is a procession overseen by the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I.

What Did Tudor England Look, Smell and Sound Like?

A new book by scholar Amy Licence vividly transports readers back to the 16th century

An unnamed treasure hunter discovered the majority of the coins and gold objects between 2014 and 2020.

Cool Finds

See the Largest Trove of Early Medieval Gold Coins Ever Found in England

Discovered in a West Norfolk field, the cache of 131 coins and 4 gold objects dates to around 600 C.E.

“Martineau was extremely unusual in the amount of control she had over her own medical care,” says Rachel Ablow, author of the 2017 book Victorian Pain.

The Victorian Woman Writer Who Refused to Let Doctors Define Her

Harriet Martineau took control of her medical care, defying the male-dominated establishment’s attempts to dismiss her as hysterical and fragile

loading icon