British history

  • Was Eric Hobsbawm a dangerous Communist?

    He was branded a Stalinist, and was spied on for decades by MI5, but was the famous historian a hardliner and renegade? His private papers tell a different story.

  • Cristina Odone: How About Celebrating UK History for a Change?

    Cristina Odone is a journalist, novelist and broadcaster specialising in the relationship between society, families and faith. She is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies and is a former editor of the Catholic Herald and deputy editor of the New Statesman. She is married and lives in west London with her husband, two stepsons and a daughter. She has recently launched the website freefaith.com.I'm glad to see that the new National Curriculum will be big on British history. The present state of affairs is dire, and has long needed an overhaul. Eric Pickles has stressed the importance of English for immigrants to feel proper citizens – but history is just as necessary, for citizens and immigrants alike. When the natives have been taught to hate their ancestors, who's going to teach the newcomers how lucky they are to be in their new homeland?

  • A Tudor ship's secrets revealed

    More than 30 years after it was raised from the seabed - and almost 500 years since it sank - the secrets of Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose, are being revealed to the public - along with the faces of its crew.Just yards from where it was first constructed from 600 oak trees near Portsmouth's naval docks in 1510, the wreck of the Tudor warship now stands on view in its new £35m home.Where once stood a proud, cutting-edge ship built for war, now lies a reconstructed array of wooden decks and pillars, withered by their hundreds of years at the bottom of the Solent....

  • 1066 and all that

    FEW school subjects are so divisive. When Michael Gove, Britain’s education secretary, released draft changes to the country’s national curriculum in February it was his plan for history that created headlines. Mr Gove’s proposal called for history to be studied “as a coherent, chronological narrative”, beginning with the early Britons and ending with the cold war. Opponents said the syllabus overstressed the deeds of “posh white blokes” and underplayed those of minorities. “Unteachable, unlearnable and un-British” blasted a campaign group on April 10th. Rival camps of historians have published petitions and rowed on television. That shoot-out will last beyond the official consultation period, which closes next week.

  • Unearthed Scots find gives insight into Battle of Flodden

    A crown shaped livery badge, thought to have been worn by a soldier in the personal retinue of King James IV, was discovered by archaeologists during a survey of the site of the Battle of Flodden. The badge, which is believed to have been buried for five centuries, is made of copper alloy and appears to have been snapped off a hat band. Its design includes the Fleur de Lys with jewels and diamonds, elements which were part of the Scottish crown in 1513. The Battle of Flodden was a turning point in UK history and set the stage for the subsequent Union of the Crowns between Scotland and England....

  • The 20 greatest battles in British history

    The Telegraph reports that the British National Army Museum has published its shortlist of the greatest battles in British history. The public will vote, either online or at the museum, on which one is the greatest.The battles, in chronological order:Battle of Blenheim, August 13, 1704, at Blenheim, Bavaria (War of the Spanish Succession)Battle of Culloden, April 16, 1746, at Drumossie Moor in Scotland (Jacobite Rebellion)Battle of Plassey, June 23, 1757, at Plassey in West Bengal, India (Seven Years WarBattle of Quebec, June 13, 1759, outside of Quebec City in Canada (Seven Years War)

  • Experts still fighting over the site of the Battle of Hastings

    It is the most famous battle in British history, fought, as every schoolboy knows, in 1066 at a site now marked by Battle Abbey, near the town of Hastings.But while the date of the Battle of Hastings might still be universally accepted, the location has been called into question, with two experts proposing not one but two different sites for where the fighting actually took place.They believe that for almost a 1,000 years, the battle has been commemorated at the wrong spot, with one historian claiming the fighting actually occurred a mile to the north, on Caldbec Hill, and another stating it was two miles away, to the south, at a place called Crowhurst....