95 episodes

The Medieval Archives podcast transports you back to an age of heroic kings, gallant knights and pious bishops. Separate fact from fiction and find out how the men and women of the middle ages really lived.

Medieval Archives The Archivist

    • History
    • 4.4 • 312 Ratings

The Medieval Archives podcast transports you back to an age of heroic kings, gallant knights and pious bishops. Separate fact from fiction and find out how the men and women of the middle ages really lived.

    MAP87: The Mongol Storm

    MAP87: The Mongol Storm

    Professor and author Nicolas Morton joins the podcast to discuss his book, The Mongol Storm.

    The Mongol Empire rose to power in the early 1200s, founded by Genghis Khan. At it’s peak the Empire stretched from the Pacific Ocean to the Black Sea, encompassing Korea, Mongolia, China, Russia and portions of Eastern Europe and the Near East.

    Nic’s new book The Mongol Storm covers the Mongol Empire and their influence in the near east. We discuss the rise of the Mongol Empire, what their society looked like, their religion and of course, their great military might.

    • 43 min
    MAP86: Alice Kyteler: The Witch of Kilkenny

    MAP86: Alice Kyteler: The Witch of Kilkenny

    It’s Halloween again, the air turns colder, the nights grow darker and spirits roam in the shadows. On this year’s Halloween episode we are traveling to the Emerald Isle. In 1324 Kilkenny, Ireland witnessed it’s first witchcraft trial and the first execution carried out by burning at the stake.
    Alice Kyteler was a popular, beautiful inn keeper who's husbands had a bad habit of dying mysterious deaths. Her fourth and final husband, certain Alice was poisoning him, told his children and the church.
    The zealous Bishop of Ossory, Bishop Ledrede, took up the case. He was a firm believer the devil walked among the people and made it his duty to banish evil. Ledrede beleived Alice Kyteler was not only a witch, but the leader of a coven of witches based in the Kilkenny area.
    Alice Kyteler had powerful allies from her four marriages and her successful business. When Bishop Ledrede tried to have her arrested the tables were turned and Ledrede was thrown in jail.
    When Ledrede was released from prison he resumed his case against Kyteler and her followers. The charges brought against Kyteler were murder, heresy, seeking advice from demons, sacrificing animals, making potions and having sexual relations with a demon.
    Serious charges to be sure.
    Could Ledrede prove them in court? Would Alice Kyteler be burned at the stake as a witch?

    • 30 min
    Mudlarks: Searching for London's Lost Treasures

    Mudlarks: Searching for London's Lost Treasures

    A mudlark is defined as someone who digs or searches in in river or harbor mud for items of value. The term was widely used in 18th and 19th century London. Mudlarks would search the shores of the River Thames during low tide to find valuable items and sell them for a profit. Being a mudlark back then was usually a job for those in extreme poverty. Today things are different.
    Mudlarks in the 21st century aren't finding and selling items to survive, they are helping document and preserve the history of London. On this episode of the Medieval Archives Podcast we are joined by two modern day Mudlarks, Jason Sandy and Nick Stevens. They have over twenty years experience searching the foreshore of the River Thames.
    Thames Mudlarking
    Jason and Nick share their experiences mudlarking and the amazing artifacts they've found throughout the years. They also share their vision for the Thames Museum, a place to showcase all the great items found in the mud of the river Thames. For more information about the Thames Museum visit ThamesMuseum.org you can also donate to the museum and help the vision become a reality.
    Over the years they've found artifacts from all time periods; a Mesolithic ’Thames Pick’ flint adze, a Roman Hair Pin, Roman coins, medieval pilgrim badges, medieval gadling, Victorian coins and maybe most shockingly, the skull of a 12 year old girl dated back to 1730.
    About the Book
    This beautifully illustrated book tells the captivating story of London and its inhabitants through the extraordinary assortment of artefacts discovered by mudlarks along the banks of the River Thames.
    The foreshore of the River Thames is an enchanting and mystical place where time seems to have stopped. As the murky tidalwaters of the river slowly recede, the exposed riverbed becomes the longest archaeological site in Britain. Jason Sandy, Nick Stevens and other mudlarks can often be found combing the shoreline at low tide searching for historical treasures concealed by the mud: from megalodon teeth to Roman coins, Georgian shoe buckles and shrapnel from the Blitz. You never know what you might find in the Thames!
    Over the years, mudlarks have found a vast array of historically significant artefacts, deepening our understanding of London’s past. This fascinating new book is packed with 160 incredible photographs of the intriguing objects discovered by over 50 mudlarks. Each artefact offers a clue to the past and provides a glimpse into London’s rich history and its people.

    Thames Mudlarking: Searching for London's Lost Treasure is available online at:
    Bloomsbury Publishing Website
    Amazon (affiliate link)
    Barnes & Noble

    Jason Sandy

    is an American architect and developer who moved to London in 2007. A member of the Society of Thames Mudlarks, he has written many articles about mudlarking, as well as lecturing, appearing on national television and having an active presence on Instagram at @jasonmudlark.

    Nick Stevens
    is a professional photographer, a member of the Society of Thames Mudlarks, and can be found on Instagram at @rockthemudlark. He appeared in all three seasons of the History Channel’s Mud Men and co-founded the Thames Museum, which will tell the story of London through mudlarking finds.

    • 45 min
    The Medieval Knight with Christopher Gravett

    The Medieval Knight with Christopher Gravett

    When people think of the Middle Ages one of the first images that pops into their head is a knight in shining armor. Knights are synonymous with the Middle Ages. Slaying dragons, saving damsels in distress, but beyond the fairy tales are the real life knights. Men who sacrificed and endlessly trained to earn the title of Knight.
    On this episode of the Medieval Archives podcast I’m joined by historian and author Christopher Gravett to discuss The Medieval Knight. Chris is a former curator at the Royal Armouries, Tower of London, and an expert in the field of medieval arms, armor and warfare.
    He also worked with numerous TV series and movies as a historical advisor including The Conquerors, Braveheart and Ivanhoe. Chris even advised Terry Jones, best known as part of Monty Python, for his books. Chris has some fascinating ‘behind-the-scenes’ stories.
    Chris’s new book The Medieval Knight covers the evolution of the knight over 300 years, from the early Norman Knights of William the Conqueror to the gradual decline in the 15th century.
    We discuss a variety of topics including how knights trained, how armor evolved over the years and tournaments. Did you know a king and a prince were killed while jousting in a tournament! Listen in to find out.
    You can read my review of The Medieval Knight here. It is a fantastic book! Grab a copy today and enjoy the well researched history and the amazing pictures that help visualize the weapons and armor.

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Halloween Special 2020 – Ghost Stories From Haunted Castles

    Halloween Special 2020 – Ghost Stories From Haunted Castles

    The witching season is upon us once again. Past Halloweens we’ve covered a Medieval Serial Killer, Medieval Zombies and more. All the Halloween episodes are available on the Halloween Podcast page.
    This Halloween we are looking at haunted castles from the Middle Ages. Castles
    We’ll visit a handful of castles around England and one in Ireland. Most of the castles today are in Northern England and one isn’t a castle. We’ll start out at Whitby Abbey and make our way north to Alnwick Castle and the infamous Alnwick Vampire! The Alnwick Vampire spread death and pestilence wherever it roamed. It was even recorded by medieval chronicler William of Newburgh.
    Then we’ll look at a castle dubbed ‘The Most Haunted Castle” in England, Chillingham Castle. Filled with the ghosts of hundreds of Scottish prisoners, an evil torturer and an innocent boy caught in the middle of political betrayal.
    The last two stops on our trip are on the Emerald Isle at Malahide Castle talking about perhaps, the first evil clown and ending up in London at the massive Tower of London!
    The Tower of London is home to some of the most famous ghosts in England including the Princes in the Tower and Queen Anne Boleyn. The night before her execution, Queen Anne wrote her death poem, which you can read below. I found a beautiful rendition of the poem set to music in the episode.
    Queen Anne Boleyn Death Poem: Oh Death, rock me asleep,
    Bring me to quiet rest,
    Let pass my weary guiltless ghost
    Out of my careful breast.
    Toll on, thou passing bell;
    Ring out my doleful knell;
    Let thy sound my death tell.
    Death doth draw nigh;
    There is no remedy.
    My pains who can express?
    Alas, they are so strong;
    My dolour will not suffer strength
    My life for to prolong.
    Toll on, thou passing bell;
    Ring out my doleful knell;
    Let thy sound my death tell.
    Death doth draw nigh;
    There is no remedy.
    Alone in prison strong
    I wait my destiny.
    Woe worth this cruel hap that I
    Should taste this misery!
    Toll on, thou passing bell;
    Ring out my doleful knell;
    Let thy sound my death tell.
    Death doth draw nigh;
    There is no remedy.
    Farewell, my pleasures past,
    Welcome, my present pain!
    I feel my torments so increase
    That life cannot remain.
    Cease now, thou passing bell;
    Rung is my doleful knell;
    For the sound my death doth tell.
    Death doth draw nigh;
    There is no remedy.

    The Tower of London also had one of the craziest executions recorded. A novice executioner missed his mark and chased an elder lady around hacking her to death. As comical as it sounds it as a gruesome death seen by over 150 witnesses.
    Grab some candy and get ready for a chilling tour of haunted castles!
    Haunted Castles covered in this episode:
    Whitby Abbey Alnwick Castle Chillingham Castle Malahide Castle The Tower of London Get your free audio book from Audible.com at: https://www.medievalarchives.com/AudioBook Download the MP3 and listen to it on your favorite MP3 player. Subscribe to the feed so you do not miss a single episode.
    Direct link to the MP3 file | Apple Podcast Feed | RSS Podcast Feed

    The intro music was provided by Tim Rayburn. It is available at Magnatune.com

    • 41 min
    Viking Warriors and Explorers

    Viking Warriors and Explorers

    The Viking Age​
    VIKINGS! The scourge of the early middle ages. Vikings raided England, Ireland and Europe with a ferocity never seen before. On this episode we’re going to look at a few Vikings that you may not have heard of, or know much about. One of them should be taught in every school in America and Europe. They are portrayed as blood thirsty killers who pillage and plunder, but they were also adventuring explorers who discovered new lands and some even set aside their Viking ways to adapt in new societies.
    Viking Expansion​
    Further Reading​
    If you are interested in learning more about The Viking Age and Viking warriors below is a list of books I used while researching this episode.
    Brownworth, Lars. The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings, 2014. Castleden, Rodney. Vikings: Raiders, Traders and Masters of the Sea, 2015. Clements, J. M. Vikings. Lost Worlds. New York: Metro Books, 2012. Kunz, Keneva, ed. The Vinland Sagas: The Icelandic Sagas about the First Documented Voyages across the North Atlantic ; the Saga of the Greenlanders and Eirik the Red’s Saga. New ed. Penguin Classics. London: Penguin Books, 2008. Logan, Francis Donald. The Vikings in History. 2. ed., reprinted. London: Routledge, 1998.

    Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used on this site. While they don't cost you anything when you purchase through them they help support Medieval Archives.

    Download the MP3 and listen to it on your favorite MP3 player. Subscribe to the feed so you do not miss a single episode.

    Apple Podcasts | Stitcher Radio | Download MP3 | RSS Feed

    The intro music was provided by Tim Rayburn.  It is available at Magnatune.com

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
312 Ratings

312 Ratings

CW1940 ,

Great podcast! Hope it doesn’t end!

I found this podcast by looking up medieval history on my podcast app, and I found this one! I am glad I did because I have enjoyed this 100% if you love medieval history, this is for you!

I have several other history podcasts in my library, but I haven’t really listened to them, or if I have I haven’t “binged listened” to them like I have this one, and I love this one! Medieval history is a subject that I am always craving to learn more about, and this feeds into my addiction!

I am a history buff, I’ve loved it all my life; I am studying to be a history professor, so I live, breath, and enjoy history. Thank you for making this podcast!

buckeyebabe ,


I just discovered this podcast. It’s a shame there was such a huge gap in episodes but they seem to have resumed intermittently. Gary is super passionate about the topic and is a good storyteller. He’s fun and interesting and likes to use movie clips, music clips etc. (HATE the History Teachers. Ugh 🤦🏻‍♀️) I skip straight over the author interviews. NOT his forte. But otherwise, I’m really enjoying the podcast. Especially good are the Richard lll episodes. Thank you, Gary! Hoping for more frequent episodes!

M.B. Clarke ,


This is a great podcast. Especially since I have been trying to find some that talk about military history and some Modern history. His voice is nice and has accurate information. Good stuff give it a go if your into this era of history. Also, they are not that long which can go either way some days. Thanks for making it!

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