Bishop Middleham Medieval Sculpture: Motifs, Messages & Morals 7th May

  • 07/05/2021
  • 6pm-7.30pm
  • Online (via Zoom)
In this live, online experience, we’ll learn all about these medieval Prince-Bishops, and the architectural legacy they left behind, both above and below ground.
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Explore the world of medieval sculpture in the headline event for our series on Bishop Middleham Castle.

About this Event

Bishop Middleham Medieval Sculpture: The team of archaeologists has just finished excavating the ruins of Bishop Middleham Castle. Despite its name, this building was actually a palace, built and occupied by the Prince-Bishops who ruled England’s northern border in the middle ages.

In total, they had 18 palaces across County Durham, all of which would have been grand buildings with the most impressive architecture.

From sculpture to foundations these buildings weren’t just a home, but a statement of power.

What we’ll do

In this live, online experience, we’ll learn all about these medieval Prince-Bishops, and the architectural legacy they left behind, both above and below ground.

Plus, a look into the deeper meaning of architectural sculpture: comedy, worship and personal identity collide in these stone walls. By tapping into this resource, we can get a unique insight into the medieval mind!

Our session will begin with a short visual tour of the recently-excavated palace ruins and its epic story from one of our archaeologists.

We will then meet our guest speaker, James Wright, who’ll deliver an in-depth look into the characteristics and imagery of medieval sculpture and explore how one simple image can have many complex meanings…

Our session is being led by archaeologists and a special guest speaker. As part of this session, you will get to:

  • Meet our archaeologists (and our speaker!)
  • Take a virtual walk around the ruins of our medieval palace
  • Learn about the unique medieval history of County Durham
  • See examples of the kind of architecture that would have been common back then
  • Learn about the importance of medieval sculpture and what it represents
  • Ask questions!

No previous archaeological or historical experience necessary, we love newbies!

What age group is this for?

This event is primarily aimed at adults, but all ages are welcome. Families can join in too.

Will you be recording the event?

No, this event will not be recorded. In order to view this talk, you must attend live.

But don’t worry if you can’t make it; we have lots of other live events you can join us for!

More about your hosts

This event is being organised by DigVentures, and will be hosted by our team of community archaeologists, including Ben, Ginny, Stuart, and Erin.

Together, we’re on a mission to share archaeology with the world and help make your dream of becoming an archaeologist come true! You can find out how to join DigVentures on a real-life excavation here.

More about this site

This dig is one of a series being delivered by Dig Ventures to revitalise the history, heritage, and landscape along the River Skerne.

It’s being made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Durham County Council’s Archaeology Section, and Durham Wildlife Trust.

Bishop Middleham Castle, on the outskirts of Bishop Middleham, presents a tantalising opportunity to learn more about two key areas – early medieval buildings, and how the Bishops of Durham extracted wealth from their land.

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