Images showing reconstructions of sites, interiors and objects from the Middle Ages in Great Britain
St Stephen's Chapel, sometimes called the Royal Chapel of St Stephen, was a chapel in the old Palace of Westminster. After the Reformation it served as the chamber of the House of Commons of England and that of Great Britain from 1547 to 1834. It was largely destroyed in the fire of 1834, but the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the crypt survived.
The present-day St Stephen's Hall and its porch, which are within the new Palace of Westminster built in the 19th century, stand on exactly the same site and are today accessed through the St Stephen's Entrance, the public entrance of the House of Commons.
Image based on research by Dr John Goodall. Commissioned by Country Life Magazine.
Lying between the Dean’s Cloister to the south and the north curtain wall of Windsor Castle, Canons' Cloister was largely built between 1352 and 1355 to accommodate the twelve canons and thirteen priest-vicars of the College of St George. Commissioned by Country Life.
King Edward's Chair, sometimes known as St Edward's Chair or The Coronation Chair, is the throne on which the British monarch sits for the coronation. It was commissioned in 1296 by King Edward I to contain the coronation stone of Scotland — known as the Stone of Scone — which he had captured from the Scots who had kept it at Scone Abbey. The chair was named after Edward the Confessor, and was kept in his shrine of St Edward's Chapel at Westminster Abbey. Image shows the pencil layout and the finished artwork. Commissioned by Country Life.
Mill Farm, Mapledurham Estate, a cruck house of circa 1335.
Chartres Cathedral is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The current cathedral, mostly constructed between 1194 and 1250, is the last of at least five which have occupied the site since the town became a bishopric in the 4th century.
The Deanery of Westminster Abbey in the time of Henry VIII
Elgin Cathedral is a historic ruin in Elgin, Moray, north-east Scotland. The cathedral, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was established in 1224 on land granted by King Alexander II outside the burgh of Elgin and close to the River Lossie. After a damaging fire in 1270, a rebuilding programme greatly enlarged the building. The number of canons had increased to 25 by the time of the Scottish Reformation in 1560, when the cathedral was abandoned and its services transferred to Elgin's parish church of St Giles. After the removal of the lead that waterproofed the roof in 1567, the cathedral steadily fell into decay. Its deterioration was arrested in the 19th century, by which time the building was in a substantially ruinous condition. Commissioned by Historic Scotland.
Old Wardour Castle is located near Tisbury, in the English county of Wiltshire, about 15 miles (24 km) west of Salisbury. The original castle was partially destroyed during the Civil War. It is managed by English Heritage who have designated it as a grade I listed building, and is open to the public.
The castle was built on land previously owned by the St Martin family, but when Sir Lawrence de St Martin died in 1385 it was handed over to John, the fifth Baron Lovell for reasons unknown. It was built using locally quarried Tisbury greensand, with William Wynford as the master mason, after Baron Lovell had been granted permission by Richard II in 1392. It was inspired by the hexagonal castles then in fashion in parts of the Continent, particularly in France; but its own six-sided design is unique in Britain, as is its inclusion of several self-contained guest suites.
The image shows the castle in the 15th century. After the fall of the Lovell family following Francis Lovell's support of Richard III, the castle was confiscated in 1461 and passed through several owners until bought by Sir Thomas Arundell of Lanherne in 1544. The Arundells were of an ancient Cornish family, with wide estates in Wiltshire. The castle was confiscated when Sir Thomas — a Roman Catholic — was executed for treason in 1552, but in 1570 was bought back by his son, Sir Matthew Arundell. It was blown up in March 1644 during the Civil War. After a grand Palladian house was built by the family on the estate in the 18th century, the ruin of the old castle was used as a romantic ruin within the setting of the garden.
Ravenscraig Castle is a ruined castle located in Kirkcaldy which dates from around 1460. The castle is an early example of artillery defence in Scotland. Now managed by Historic Scotland, which commissioned this image. The construction of Ravenscraig Castle was ordered by King James II (reigned 1437-1460) as a home for his wife, Mary of Guelders. The castle is considered one of the first - perhaps the very first - in Scotland to be built to withstand cannon fire and provide for artillery defence. Ownership passed to her son James III (reigned 1460-1488). After 1471 Ravenscraig was completed by the Sinclairs, who also had an interest in artillery fortifications. This image shows the castle in the early-to-mid 17th century.
Originally dating to around 1320, the building's importance lies in the fact that successive owners effected relatively few changes to the main structure, after the completion of the quadrangle with a new chapel in the 16th century. Nikolaus Pevsner called it "the most complete small medieval manor house in the country", and it remains an example that shows how such houses would have looked in the Middle Ages.
Dover Castle as today with a cutaway through the Keep
It was founded in 1136 by Cistercian monks on the request of King David I of Scotland, and was the chief house of that order in the country, until the Reformation. It was headed by the Abbot or Commendator of Melrose. Today the abbey is maintained by Historic Scotland, and this image was commissioned by the agency.
The east end of the abbey was completed in 1146. Other buildings in the complex were added over the next 50 years. The abbey was built in the Gothic manner, and in the form of a St. John's cross. A considerable portion of the abbey is now in ruins, though a structure dating from 1590 is maintained as a museum open to the public.
Alexander II and other Scottish kings and nobles are buried at the abbey. The embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce is also said to rest on the abbey's grounds, while the rest of his body is buried in Dunfermline Abbey.
Cotehele is a mediaeval/Tudor house in the parish of Calstock, Cornwall, England, UK. Probably originating circa 1300, the main phases of building appear to have been by Sir Richard Edgcumbe from 1485–89 and his son, Sir Piers Edgcumbe, from 1489-1520. This house is one of the least altered of the Tudor houses in the United Kingdom. For centuries a home of the Edgcumbe family, the house and estate are now under the care of the National Trust. The image shows part of the house as adapted for the 17th century.
Wallingford Castle was a major medieval castle situated in Wallingford in the English county of Oxfordshire (historically in Berkshire until the 1974 reorganisation), adjacent to the River Thames. Established in the 11th century as a motte-and-bailey design within an Anglo-Saxon burgh, it grew to become what historian Nicholas Brooks has described as "one of the most powerful royal castles of the 12th and 13th centuries". Held for the Empress Matilda during the civil war years of the Anarchy, it survived multiple sieges and was never taken. Over the next two centuries it became a luxurious castle, used by royalty and their immediate family. After being abandoned as a royal residence by Henry VIII, the castle fell into decline. Refortified during the English Civil War, it was eventually slighted, i.e. deliberately destroyed, after being captured by Parliamentary forces after a long siege. The site was subsequently left relatively undeveloped, and the limited remains of the castle walls and the considerable earthworks are now open to the public. This image aims to show the castle at its late medieval height.
A reconstruction of the Pictish settlement of Burghead in Moray, Scotland. Commissioned by Historic Scotland.
Reconstruction of the West Front of St Andrews Cathedral, Scotland, set during a medieval pilgrimage. Commissioned by Historic Scotland.
Reconstruction of the nave of St Andrews Cathedral, Scotland, looking east before the Reformation. Commissioned by Historic Scotland.
The medieval village of Wharram Percy in medieval times, before abandonment. Commissioned by English Heritage.
Crichton Castle near Edinburgh as today, commissioned by Historic Scotland