|1051 - 1249|
|Early Middle Ages: Normans & Crusades . . .|
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|Situation at Conquest: Welsh & Irish collection of 'tribal' Celtic / Norse kingdoms . . . Kingdom of Scotland governs south & east (including central lowlands) & Cumbria . . . Earldom of Orkney north & east Scotland & Islands . . . Normans claim rights in England at Battle of Hastings (1066) . . . swift submission of 'Saxon' lands by feudal governance . . . expansion of Norman rule . . . major castle & cathedral building programme . . . Domesday (1085) . . . Cumbria reclaimed (1092) . . . south Wales & the Marches (1093) . . . Scotland united by ~1078 . . . Norse influence confined to North & West Isles (later, ~1098, absorbed into Kingdom of Norway) . . . by 1135, England part of large Angevin-Norman empire, including Aquitaine . . . the Plantagenets (1154) . . . south & east Ireland invaded 1169 . . . the Crusades, expensive 'tour' for the aristocracy . . . Magna Carta (1215) . . . Parliaments . . . latter 11th C & much 12th C, monasteries, grammar schools & univerities set up . . . 80% of 'pre-history' forests gone: similar coverage to present-day . . . wool & corn traded afar . . . merchants and estate owners prosper . . . church (& monastries) in the ascendent . . . sheriffs appointed . . . the King's Exchequer . . . government records & rolls . . . professional 'Guilds' . . . plough or pasture . . . strip field system . . . growth of towns & ports . . .|
|Warm optimum * some climatologists think period may have
been 'as warm' or 'warmer' than current (**see below)
(a): estimated CET between 1200 & 1300 AD ~ 10.4degC (* see below);
(b): calculated CET 1950 - 1999 = 9.6degC
(c): calculated CET 1990 - 1999 = 10.1degC
Generally regarded as the 'Medieval Warm Period'. Characterised by world-wide warmth(+ see below), most notably (compared with before and after) at mid and high latitudes * winters probably mild (& wet) * occasional severe / cold winters * summers often dry & warm * warming 1000 - 1200AD at an irregular rate * melting of pack / drift ice in arctic regions * founding of Norse colonies around sub-arctic margin & possibly North America (Newfoundland etc.) * reduced North Atlantic storminess / jetstream strength? * 11th century a high number of disastrous floods along the English east coast: implies increased winter-half storminess, but also reflection of increased sea-levels generally * 12th & much of 13th century regarded as a 'golden age' for Scotland * increase in North Sea storminess during 13th century [Lamb] after lull earlier.
[ Thought to be the last period in history when most parts of the world were at least as warm as the late 20th century. (and thus a possible clue to what may happen in our current warming phase. )
(*): but, remember that earlier temperature record not known to a great degree of accuracy.
(**): specifically, Hubert Lamb suggested that the 'High Summer' months (roughly July & August) were probably warmer at this time than the latter part of the 20th century, but the mid-winter period (roughly December & January) is now as warm, or warmer than those of the early Middle Ages.
(+): some climatologists now challenge this and suggest the warming was a 'regional-scale' event only.]
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