Friday, 31 January 2020

Medieval Towns

The thing that would strike us most about medieval towns would be their small size. By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 London probably had a population of about 18,000. Winchester, the capital of England, probably had about 8,000 people. At that time a 'large' town, like Lincoln or Dublin had about 4,000 or 5,000 inhabitants and a 'medium sized' town, like Colchester had about 2,500 people. Many towns were much smaller.

Women in the 20th Century

My video about women in the 20th century

Thursday, 30 January 2020

History of Firefighting

In the mid 17th century the only tools for fighting fire were buckets, hooks and hand held pumps. (Gunpowder could be used to blow up buildings and create fire breaks). However in 1672 Jan Van der Heiden invented a flexible leather hose with brass fittings. Van der Heiden also pioneered hand pumped fire engines to use with the hose.


In 1875, the Mounties built a fort. In 1876 it was named Fort Calgary after Calgary Bay in Scotland. The Scottish name is derived from the Gaelic words Cala-ghearridh meaning pasture by the bay. When a railway station was built near Fort Calgary in 1883 the little settlement grew rapidly.


My video about Emsworth in Hampshire

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Caroline Herschel

Caroline Herschel was a famous astronomer. In 1846 she was given the Prussian Gold Medal for science. She was then 96. Caroline lived from 1750 to January 1848. She died at the age of 97. So even in those days some people did live to extreme old age.

Horndean, Hampshire

The charming village of Horndean in Hampshire


Winnipeg stands at the confluence of two rivers. Its name comes from native words meaning murky waters. The French built a fur trading post on the site in 1738 called Fort Rouge. However, the fort was later abandoned. Then in 1810, the North West Company built a new fort called Fort Gibraltar. Slowly the settlement grew and in 1873 Winnipeg was incorporated as a city.  

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was published on 28 January 1813 


Happy birthday lego, patented 28 January 1958

History of Poverty

I made a video about the history of poverty. Its a grim subject but I found it interesting. 

The City of Regina

The city of Regina was once a place called Pile O'Bones because of the bones left there by hunters. Then in 1882, the first settlers arrived at the site. The new settlement grew rapidly and it was renamed Regina (Latin for queen) for Queen Victoria. 

Monday, 27 January 2020

Blendworth, Hampshire

Egyptian Surgery

In Ancient Egypt surgeons treated wounds and broken bones and dealt with boils and abscesses. Egyptian surgeons used clamps, sutures and cauterization. They had surgical instruments like probes, saws, forceps, scalpels and scissors.
They also knew that honey helped to prevent wounds becoming infected. (It is a natural antiseptic). They also dressed wounds with willow bark, which has the same effect. y.html 

Southampton City

My video of the city of Southampton 


The great Canadian city of Edmonton began as a trading post called Fort Edmonton, built in 1795. It was named after Edmonton in England, which was then a town north of London. However in the late 19th century the settlement began to spread outside the fort. Then in 1892 Edmonton was incorporated as a town and in 1904 it was incorporated as a city. Despite its small size Edmonton was chosen to be the capital of Alberta in 1905. 

Friday, 24 January 2020

Yorkshire Pudding

And some totally useless information: A Yorkshire pudding was originally called a dripping pudding. In 1747 a woman named Hannah Glasse, who was famous for her books on cookery, called it a Yorkshire pudding. She was the first recorded person to call it that. It sounds much nicer than 'dripping pudding' so thank you Hannah.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

History of Brazil

The Portuguese discovered Brazil by accident. Pedro Alvares Cabral landed on 23 April 1500. Then, in 1501 Amerigo Vespucci led another expedition to the new land. However at first the Portuguese showed little interest in Brazil although merchants set up coastal trading stations and they exported Brazil wood.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

The Guillotine

On 21 January 1790 in France Dr Joseph Guillotin proposed a new humane device for executing people by slicing their head off. However the idea was not new, a mechanical device for beheading people was recorded in Dublin in 1307.

New York

The Dutch built a little town on the southern tip of Manhattan Island. It was called New Amsterdam and it flourished by selling skins. The settlers sold otter, beaver, mink and seal skins. However, New Amsterdam was a tiny town with only about 1,500 inhabitants in the mid-17th century. However, some farmers cultivated the land in Manhattan and in Brooklyn. (The Bowery takes its name from Bouwerie the Dutch word for farm).

Monday, 20 January 2020

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Friday, 17 January 2020

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Women in the Ancient World

My video about women in the Ancient World

Egyptian cosmetics

A history of cosmeticsThe Egyptians are known for their cleanliness (they bathed frequently) and they used many cosmetics. They used black eyeliner and green pigment for their eyelids. They also used rouge for their cheeks. The Egyptians also used perfume.

Wickham, Hampshire

My video about Wickham in Hampshire

Monday, 13 January 2020

History of England

A brief history of England

Women's Boxing

Women's boxing has a long history. It was popular in England in the 18th century.

Women's Education

There have always been some educated women. In the past, generally, upper class women were well educated. Middle class women often had some education. But poor girls like poor boys had little or no access to education. In Ancient Egypt, some girls taught to read and write.Upper class women were often well educated. There were some women doctors in Ancient Egypt. Merit Ptah was a famous woman doctor who lived around 2,700 BC. The Ancient Egyptians had a goddess of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Her name was Seshat. In Ancient Greece too some girls were taught to read and write. Women from wealthy families are often well educated. In Rome, many girls were taught to read and write at school. Upper class women were often educated. 

Women's Underwear

Ancient Greek women wore a form of bra called an apodesme. Both Roman men and women wore a loincloth or shorts called subligaculum. Women also wore a band of cloth or leather around their chest called a strophium or mamilare. 

Saturday, 11 January 2020


Cardiff began as a Roman fort. The Romans invaded Wales about 50 AD and about 55 AD they built a fort on the site of Cardiff. In the late 1st century the fort was reduced in size as Wales was now at peace.
However in the mid-3rd century the fort was rebuilt and strengthened to defend South Wales against Irish raiders. Yet in the fourth century Roman civilisation declined. Towards the end of the century the Romans abandoned the fort at Cardiff. 

Female Gladiators


In the Middle Ages shoe makers were called cordwainers. The word is derived from cordovan the name for leather from Cordova in Spain. 

Friday, 10 January 2020

Women Doctors

I wrote a little history of women doctors


Sheffield takes its name from the River Sheaf. It was once called the Sceaf, which means border so it was the border river. Sheffield was founded in the early 12th century by the Lord of the manor, William de Lovetot. He built a castle on the site of Castle Market. It was on an easily defended site as it had a river on the north and east. The castle had a moat on the south and west. In 1266 rebels burned Sheffield castle but it was rebuilt in 1270. The Lord also built a church on the site of Sheffield Cathedral. A little town grew up between the castle and the church. That often happened in the Middle Ages. The garrison of the castle provided a market for the townspeople's goods. 

Thursday, 9 January 2020


Edinburgh began as a fort. Castle Rock is an easily defended position so from the earliest times it was the site of a fort. In the 7th century, the English captured this part of Scotland and they called this place Eiden's burgh (burgh is an old word for fort). In the 10th century, the Scots re-captured the area. Late in the 11th century, King Malcolm III built a castle on Castle Rock and a small town grew up nearby. By the early 12th century Edinburgh was a flourishing community.


The Romans had a god of war called Mars, but they also had a goddess of war called Bellona.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020


On 8 January 793 the Vikings attacked the monastery at Lindisfarne in Northeast England. It was the beginning of 200 years of Viking raids.  

History of Gardening

In the hot and arid climate of ancient Egypt rich people liked to rest in the shade of trees. They created gardens enclosed by walls with trees planted with trees in rows. Sometimes the Egyptians planted alternating species. They grew trees like sycamores, date palms, fig trees, nut trees, and pomegranate trees. They also grew willows. 

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Medieval towns

It's a myth that in the Middle Ages the streets of towns were very dirty. 


My video about the history of Portchester


On 7 January 1610 Galileo announced his discovery of four moons orbiting Jupiter

Monday, 6 January 2020


Liverpool began as a tidal pool next to the River Mersey. It was probably called the lifer pol meaning muddy pool. There may have been a hamlet at Liverpool before the town was founded in the 13th century. It is not mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086) but it may have been too small to merit a mention of its own. King John founded the port of Liverpool in 1207. The English had recently conquered Ireland and John needed another port to send men and supplies across the Irish Sea. John started a weekly market by the pool. In those days there were very few shops so if you wanted to buy or sell goods you had to go to a market. Once a market was up and running at Liverpool craftsmen and tradesmen would come to live in the area.

Joan of Arc

According to tradition Joan of Arc was born on 6 January 1412 

East Meon

My video about the history of East Meon in Hampshire

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Myths about the Middle Ages

This is my video about myths about the Middle Ages


Louis Braille, the man who invented a system of writing for the blind was born on 4 January 1809 

Friday, 3 January 2020


On 3 January 1959 Alaska became the 49th state of the union

Thursday, 2 January 2020

History of Women's Clothes

Inca women made clothes from wool or (in warmer areas) from cotton. Ordinary people wore coarse alpaca wool but nobles wore fine vicuna wool. Inca women wore a long dress with a cloak on top fastened with a brooch.

History of Shoes

In the 15th century rich people wore shoes with long pointed toes. They were called crakows because they were believed to have originated in Krakow. (However only the upper classes wore them. Ordinary people had shoes with round toes). However at the end of the 15th century long toes went out of fashion and the wealthy began to wear shoes with square or round toes.