4 May 2021

New research on London's English Civil War fortifications: a Q&A with David Flintham (FRGS)

George Virtue's 1738 map of the lines of communication.
George Vertue’s 1738 plan of London's English Civil War fortifications.

David Flintham (FRGS) is an expert on London's English Civil War fortifications (readers may remember the guest blog article David wrote for me on siege types). David got in touch recently with news of a major archaeological project that he's been involved in, investigating the fortifications (also known as the 'lines of communication'), the findings of which were published in the Winter 2021 issue of London Archaeologist.

A paper introducing the project and summarising its initial findings will shortly be available at https://www.vauban.co.uk/the-ecw-defences-of-london. After reviewing the key research findings, I asked David about the significance of the project's discoveries, which challenge assumed knowledge about the location and purpose of London's fortifications ...

8 March 2021

Ely Cathedral bullet scars - can you help?

The west wall of Ely Cathedral. Image: Ely Cathedral Guides' Research Group.

Can anyone please help?

Ely Cathedral Guides' Research Group has got in touch about some pockmarks on the external west wall of the cathedral's Lady Chapel, possibly caused by ECW musket fire ...

13 January 2021

Where was Prince Rupert's House?

A watercolour of Prince Rupert's Palace in Beech Street, Barbican, from the garden (1796). © The Trustees of the British Museum (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

I knew that after fleeing into exile in 1644 Prince Rupert had a naval career before returning to England after the Restoration, but was surprised to find that one of his private houses survived into the 19th century.

Or did it? This was meant to be a post about the building's location and architecture, until I started digging a little deeper ... 

11 December 2020

Scenes and Traces of the English Civil War by Stephen Bann (2020)


The Economist reviewed Scenes and Traces of the English Civil War by art historian Stephen Bann this week. The first paragraphs mention Hubert Le Sueur's equestrian statue of Charles I in Trafalgar Square, of which my article from 2011 remains the most visited on this site.

Bann's book is billed as '... the first attempt to portray the visual legacy of (the ECW) period, as passed down, revisited and periodically reworked over two and a half centuries of subsequent English history.' Definitely one for the reading list. You can read more about it on the Reaktion Books website here.