Official post 4:reflection

​As our trip is coming to an end and I look back on my various experiences It brings up mixed emotions about going home. For the most part I have throughly enjoyed my time in the United Kingdom, and wouldn’t mind just staying in Europe form the summer, but I am also pretty excited to go back and graduate. My favorite of the castles and cathedrals we visited would probably be the Fountains Abbey and Caernarfon Castle. The Fountians Abbey grounds were huge and had beautiful scenery and wildlife to go with great cathedral ruins. Caernarfon Castle was mostly intact and had some great views from the towers. Beyond castles and cathedras I really liked going to St.Andrews and seeing the Old Course. We were able to see two of the four remainign Magna Carta pieces along with a bunch of other great artifacts at the British library, British museum and Science museum. London also has some impressive art museums that I was able to visit such as the National gallery and Tate modern art museum. I was also able to stop be the Courtald Instititue of art where my sister will be starting grad school later this summer. To me it was interesting to observe the many cultural differences as well as some shared characteristics between what you might expect to be similar countries of the United Kingdom. There are even quite distinct differences within the same countries such as Edinburgh\Glasgow compared to the Scottish highlands of the mid sized cities of northern and central England compared to London to go along with the natural differences you would expect from rural areas and urban centers. Overall I would say it is a great experience and would recommend to any college student to try and do some sort of study abroad course while they are in college.


Official blog 1 free write

​On our first free day I went into London with Caleb, Carter, and Jake to see Buckingham Palace. I will sum up my experience and then look into some general information and history of the palace. We took the tube from the train ststion, exited at St. James park and were at the Palace after a short walk. It was suprizing my crowded given the weather. We eventually made it towards the front of the gate on the eas side and got a few pictures before heading over to the queen Victoria memorial.

Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the center of state events and royal hospitality. It has been a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and mourning.
Originally known as Buckingham House, the building at the core of today’s palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 on a site that had been in private ownership for at least 150 years. It was acquired by King George III in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte and became known as The Queen’s House. During the 19th century it was enlarged, by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, who constructed three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace became the London residence of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.
The last major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the East front, which contains the well-known balcony on which the royal family traditionally congregates to greet crowds. The palace chapel was destroyed by a German bomb during World War II; the Queen’s Gallery was built on the site and opened to the public in 1962 to exhibit works of art from the Royal Collection.
The original early 19th-century interior designs, many of which survive, include widespread use of brightly coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis, on the advice of Sir Charles Long. King Edward VII oversaw a partial redecoration in a Belle Époque cream and gold colour scheme. Many smaller reception rooms are furnished in the Chinese regency style with furniture and fittings brought from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton and from Carlton House. The palace has 775 rooms, and the garden is the largest private garden in London. The state rooms, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public each year for most of August and September and on some days in winter and spring.

Official post 3: Welsh Castles

​We visited three Welsh castles and the site of an old Roman garrison while on a bus tour today. I will be focusing on the second half of our day which included Caernarfon Castle and Beaumaris Castle. Caernarfon Castle was a medieval fortress in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, north-west Wales and is now cared for by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service. There originally was a wood castle in the town of Caernarfon from the late 11th century until 1283 when King Edward I of England began replacing it with the current stone structure we see today. The Edwardian town and castle acted as the administrative centre of north Wales and as a result the defences were built on a large scale. While the castle was under construction, town walls were also built around Caernarfon. The work is estimated to have cost between £20,000 and £25,000 from the start until the end of work in 1330. Despite Caernarfon Castle’s appearance from the outside looking mostly complete, the interior buildings no longer survive and many of the buildings planned were never finished at all. The town and castle were sacked in 1294 when Madog ap Llywelyn led a rebellion against the English. Caernarfon was recaptured the following year. During the Glyndŵr Rising of 1400–1415, the castle was besieged. When the Tudor dynasty ascended to the English throne in 1485, tensions between the Welsh and English began to diminish and castles were considered less important. As a result, Caernarfon Castle was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. Despite its poor condition, during the English Civil War Caernarfon Castle was held by Royalists, and was besieged three times by Parliamentarian forces. This was the last time the castle was used in war. Caernarfon Castle was neglected until the 19th century when the state funded repairs. In 1911, Caernarfon Castle was used for the investiture of the Prince of Wales, and again in 1969. It is part of the World Heritage Site

Beaumaris Castle is located on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales, it was built as part of Edward I’s campaign to conquer the north of Wales after 1282. Plans were probably first made to construct the castle around 1284, but this was delayed due to lack of funds and work did not begin until 1295 following the Madog ap Llywelyn uprising. A substantial workforce was employed in the initial years under the direction of James of St George. Edward’s invasion of Scotland soon diverted funding from the project, however, and work stopped, only recommencing after an invasion scare in 1306. When work finally ceased around 1330 a total of £15,000 had been spent, but the castle remained incomplete.

Beaumaris Castle was taken by Welsh forces in 1403 during the rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr, but was soon recaptured by royal forces in 1405. Following the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642, the castle was held by forces loyal to Charles 1, but was shortly retaken. Despite this rebellion the castle was not slighted, it eventually fell into ruin around 1660. Like Caernarvon the ruined castle is now managed by Cadw. Historian Arnold Taylor described Beaumaris Castle as Britain’s “most perfect example of symmetrical concentric planning”. The castle is built of local stone, with a moated outer ward guarded by twelve towers and two gatehouses, overlooked by an inner ward with  six massive towers. The inner ward was designed to contain ranges of domestic buildings and accommodation able to support two major households. The south gate could be reached by ship, allowing the castle to be directly supplied by sea. UNESCO considers Beaumaris to be one of “the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe”, and it is classed as a World Heritage site.It

Cooper Blog 1 

​St. Andrews a seaside town in Scotland is famous for the Old Course and having the oldest university in Scotland, but it is a town of many charms. To start our guide gave us a quick run through of the town to get a general idea of the area. It is quite small with only three main streets. After that we were dropped off to explore our first area St Andrews cathedral ruins. Built in gothic style It was a Roman Catholic Church founded in 1158 and finally  dedicated in 1318 by King Robert I.It’s main relic was the bones of St. Andrew. It was the center of the medieval Roman Catholic Church in Scotland until In 1559 the building was stripped of its altars and images. It fell into disuse after Catholic mass was outlawed during the 16th century Scottish reformation. The ruins indicate the building was 391 feet long and I the largest church to have been built in Scotland. Of what is left I thought that the coolest part was the St. Rules tower which actually predates the cathedral as part of church of the priory that the cathedral replaced. After a steep climb in a tight spiral staircase offered some incredible views of the area. 

The next big site we visited is the St. Andrews castle. It is also a ruin owned by Historic Scotland and open to the public. The castle was built around 1200 by Roger de Beaumont. It housed the burgh’s wealthy and powerful bishops while St Andrews served as the ecclesiastical center of Scotland before the reformation. The castle sits on a rocky promontory overlooking a small beach called Castle Sands along the North Sea. The area was heavily involved in the Scottish wars of indeoendence. The castle was destroyed and rebuilt several times as it Chang hands between the Scots and English. The Scots finally seized and destroyed it in 1336 to keep the English from using it as a stronghold. It remained in a ruined state until Bishop Walter Trail rebuilt it around the turn of the century. His castle forms the basis of the ruins  you see today. Another contentious time period for the castle was the reformation. The castle became a center of religious persecution and contorversy. In 1521 Archbishop James Beaton altered the defences to enable the castle to withstand attack from heavy artillery as tensions grew between English protestants and Scottish Catholics. Following Protestant defeat the castle was rebuilt by Archbishop John Hamilton, following his death it was generally occupied by a series of constables. With the eventual success of the Reformation the office of bishop was steadily declining and finally abolished in 1689 by William of Orange. After that deprived on any function the castle fell into ruin. In 1656 the burgh council ordered the use of its materials in repairing the pier. The main pieces left are the South wall and square tower, the dungeon, kitchen tower as well as underground mine and counter mine.

Post 6

I have taken my last finals as a student at Wartburg College. It is a good feeling but not as exciting as I am for our May term. I purchased a new bag over easter break so ready to go on that front now just have to narrow down what items are must haves and what I could do without to keep it as light as possible.

While we have learned a good  bit already in class and through the readings it will be great to see the castle and cathedral architecture we are talking about and have seen pictures of in person and go further in depth on their history.

Post 5 Mount Grace Priory

I selected Mount Grace Priory in North Yorkshire England as the place to guide a tour. It is said to be the best preserved and most accessible of the ten medieval Carthusian charter houses in England.  Carthusian monasteries account for only a small proportion of English religious houses, a little over 1%. Mount Grace Priory was founded in 1398 by Thomas Holland, 1st Duke of Surrey. It was the last monastery established in Yorkshire before the reformation. ‘It was a fairly small establishment, with space for a prior and twenty-three monks.  The Priory consisted of a church and two cloisters. It was dedicated as House of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin and of St Nicholas. Mount Grace was refunded and enlarged by Thomas Beaufort in 1415, including a new tower that is still intact today.

The Carthusian Order, also called the Order of Saint Bruno, is a Catholic religious order. The order was founded by Saint Bruno of Cologne in 1084 and includes both monks and nuns. Unlike monks of other orders, who live in common, the Carthusians even to this day live as hermits, each occupying his own cell, only living in communities for protection and to share a sound economy. They came together only for the nocturnal liturgical hours, and on Sundays and feast-days, in the chapel. The purpose of Carthusian life is total withdrawn from the world to serve God by personal devotion and privation. They set themselves apart in that they discourage lay visitors to their monasteries and while they distribute alms they do not do much to help those poorer than themselves.

The priory was closed in 1539 during the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII. Some of the monks had (in 1534) attempted to avoid taking the oath of supremacy but, after they were imprisoned, the last prior, John Wilson, handed the keys over to Henry VIII’s representatives.

The site then passed into private ownership, at the time Mount Grace was valued at £382 5s. The property is now owned by the National Trust but under the care of English Heritage. Visitors today can see the layout of the whole monastery, including one reconstructed monk’s cell, together with the typically small Carthusian chapel and the later house.

Mount Grace has been studied by modern archaeologist on large scale, rare of a house of any religious order. Around 35% of the central buildings and all serving fabric has been analyzed. Mount Grace has produced the largest sample of food waste from 15th-century England from stratified deposits in the monks’ kitchen, providing exceptional evidence for the monastic diet and its development.

Post 4

Free write

Falconry in medieval England

Primary sources for the history of medieval English falconry fall into two main categories: literature devoted to falconry and governmental records.  Falconry literature provides information on the birds used and their training, while governmental records supply material on actual practice.  The history of falconry in England begins as the history of a royal sport. The first documented English falconer was the Saxon king of Kent, Ethelbert II. It was the most popular sport in England for more than four centuries. Falcons were so highly valued that they were worth more than their weight in gold. So important were falcons in England that they came up with the first laws aimed at protecting birds of prey. Perhaps we have not yet seen more stringent laws have ever passed to protect a wild bird or animal. Many kinds of birds of prey have been trained and used in sport but fewer types reached the English.  As you might imagine, very few people were skilled enough for the training of birds to hunt and these individuals were called falconers. The position of falconer was usually handed down from father to son. To start, young birds were often taken from their nests to get them accustomed to humans early on. Trainers were responsible for raising the young birds and for training them to hunt on command. This sort of training was very rigorous and the practice of falconry was expensive because the birds needed to be housed in special cages, called mews, as well as a variety of other equipment which was required for their training and care. The trainer was also a key member of the hunt, made plans with the lord, such as which birds to fly at which prey. He also rode to war with the lord, bringing the birds along to hunt for food The birds flown fell into two groups, falcons and hawks. Falcons are a bit smaller and substantially faster for the most part another of the characteristics of a true falcon is to prey on birds in the open air.. They were more valued and even as hawks became more affordable to the upper and middle classes. Falcons remained the bird of nobles and extremely wealthy.  The average citizen kept more common birds like sparrowhawks and goshawks. To keep a falcon that was above one’s station was a felony, with punishment as harsh as the cutting off the hands of offenders.  As time wore on the original purpose of falconry, using birds to capture quarry, was slowly replaced among the nobility by firearms but they did play a substantial role in medieval history.

OGGINS, R. (2004). The Kings and Their Hawks: Falconry in Medieval England. Yale University Press. Retrieved from

Meet the Monarchs:Henry I of England

Born 1068 in Yorkshire, king from August 2nd 1100 till his death on December 1135. Duke of Normandy from 1106-1135. Known as Henry Beauclerc, he was the fourth son of William the Conquerer. He came to the throne in a rather round about way. Henry’s elder brothers Robert Curthose and William Rufus inherited Normandy and England, respectively, but Henry was left landless. This gave him a difficult route to the throne. He bought he County of Cotentin in western Normandy from Robert, but William and Robert deposed him in 1091. After rebuilding his power base in the area again, Henry allied himself with William against Robert. William died in a hunting accident in 1100. Henry took the throne and married Matilda of Scotland. However he still had Robert to deal with. Robert invaded in 1101 but eventually negotiated a peace that confirmed Henry as King, however Henry was not done he invaded the Duchy of Normandy in 1105, finally defeating Robert at the Battle of Tinchebray. Henry kept Robert imprisoned for the rest of his life.

Henry’s ruling style was considered harsh but he was effective in manipulating the barons of England and Normandy. Political friendships were very important at the time, Henry maintained a wide range of these, mediating between his friends in various factions across his realm when necessary. He rewarded those who were loyal to him and punished who stood against him. Henry maintained an effective network of informers and spies who reported to him on events in the realm. Henry was responsible for a substantial expansion of the royal justice system and gathered increasing revenue from the expansion of royal justice,  from fines and fees. In Normandy, Henry restored law and order after 1106, operating through a body of Norman justices and an exchequer system similar to that in England. Norman institutions grew in scale and scope under Henry, just not as quickly as the growth in England.

Henry’s ability to govern was linked with the Church, which formed the key to the administration of both England and Normandy, and this relationship changed considerably over time. Henry believed in reform but needed church support to maintain his power early on. Like many rulers of the period, Henry donated to the Church and patronised various religious communities, but contemporary chroniclers did not consider him particularly pious. It seems Henry had always taken an interest in religion, but in his later years he may have become much more concerned about spiritual affairs especially after the death of his wife Matilda in 1118 and son William in 1120.

The death of his son caused a succession crisis. Henry remarried in 1121 to Adeliza of Louvain. Henry and his new wife did not conceive any children, and the future of the dynasty appeared at risk. Henry’s options were down to nephews, an illegitimate son and his daughter Empress Matilda. He settled on Matilda after her first husband died and arranged for her to marry Geoffrey of Anjou to form an alliance to protect his southern borders. King Henry declared that, should he die without a male heir, she was to be his rightful successor. The Anglo-Norman barons were gathered together at Westminster on Christmas 1126, where they swore to recognise Matilda and any future legitimate heir she might have. Despite Henry’s efforts, the succession was disputed. When news began to spread of the King’s death, Geoffrey and Matilda were in Anjou supporting the rebels in their campaign against the royal army.  The Empress Matilda did not give up her claim to England and Normandy, leading to the prolonged civil war known as the Anarchy between 1135 and 1153.

Post 1

Hey yall I’m Cooper it is my fourth year at Wartburg, I am studying Business Administration and Economics. I am from Houston but have lived in Omaha for a quite a while now. My main hobbies are watching sports, reading, and golf. My previous study abroad experience was pretty awesome, I feel it offered a great chance to soak up different  perspective, culture, and language. It inspired me to look into more opportunities to travel while in school. When I found this class I was intrigued. I have been to London before but am interested in seeing more of Great Britain and delving deeper into their history in our castles and cathedrals class. I am excited to get to see some of the historical sights, castles and cathedrals the UK has to offer as well as experience more of their culture.