elcome to Wittsend Chained Library at Ealdercote! (Well, maybe not "chained", but at least there are links here) Here in this section of our library, you will find all of the on-line reference materials that we have produced for classes and workshops we have taught, articles that we have written, and artwork Eldred has created for various publications in the SCA. We do not make any claims of being an authority on any particular subject, but each topic at least has some basic research or experience to support it.

If you see anything that is in error or you would like more information about please contact the librarian, Ealdthryth, here at Ealdercote.org.

The Legal Stuff:

These materials are ©1997-2022 by J.T.Thorpe and/or C.M.Grewcock.

Where noted, the articles and class notes found here may be used free of charge within the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. as long as their source is acknowledged. A note sent to us indicating that you have made use of the materials would also be greatly appreciated.

Likewise, permission to use the artwork is freely granted to official publications of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. and to artisans working on behalf of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.   Use outside of this context is prohibited without the express written permission of the artist/author.

Class Synopsis
Medieval Architecture: The Rose Window Stained glass and rose windows in particular have been a source of great beauty and inspiration throughout the centuries. What are the origins and meaning of the Gothic Rose Window? How were they made? Learn about one of the most beautiful and inspirational aspects of medieval architecture. See how this art form can be interpreted and used in the context of the current Middle Ages.

Permission to republish granted to SCA, Inc.

Gothic Religious Architecture in Paris
  - Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris
  - Basillica of St. Denis
  - Royal Chapel of St. Chapelle
At the end of June, 2000, Eldred made a brief pilgrimage to the lands of Charlemagne: France. Business occupied most of his time there, however, he did avail himself of the opportunity to see and pay homage to a few of the masterpieces of Gothic architecture in and around the city of Paris.

Inspired by the beauty of these structures, three brief articles were written and accompanied by photographs to share what what found.

Permission to republish article granted to SCA, Inc. Please request written permission from us before using the photographs that accompany these articles.




Introduction to Calligraphy This is an introductory class to provide an historical overview of calligraphy in period, and to introduce basic calligraphy techniques.
Introduction Scroll Layout and Design This course introduces period methods and styles of page layout for manuscripts and addresses adaptations of those styles for the modern SCA scribe.

The notes for this course have been updated are published in the 2002 Proceedings of the Known World Heraldic Symposium.

Illuminations for the Artistically Challenged Think you can't draw? Believe that you could never produce (or reproduce) those beautiful illuminations from period? If you can write your basic letters, then you have all the ability you need to get started.!

This is a hands-on workshop for people interested in illuminations but who are intimidated by looking at the complexity of medieval illuminations. Basic floral forms and easy scroll layouts are presented for the beginning illuminator. By the end of the workshop each student should have an illumination ready for painting.

Sorry, there are no notes to publish. This class was entirely an on-the chalkboard/flipchart/whiteboard demonstration.

A Survey of Illuminations from Durham Cathedral
(...moving from old site in progress....)
This is a survey of medieval illuminations from the scriptorium of Durham Cathedral and Lindesfarne Monastery. The evolution of style and illumination is discussed. Color slides and B&W class notes.

This page is the notes and photographs used for the class. The slides depicting the illuminations are not available online.

Matching Hand to Illumination In response to a movement within Atlantia towards more period practice for legal-style documents, this course was developed to show how we can still provide dry text that looks beautiful and historically accurate.
English Court Hands
(...moving from old site in progress....)
In response to a movement within Atlantia towards more period practice for legal-style documents, this course was developed to show how we can still provide dry text that looks beautiful and historically accurate.

These images are free for use by chroniclers and artisans of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
For permission to use them outside the context of the SCA, please contact Eldred here at Ealdercote.org.


Usage Requirements

Award and Order Badges
These links will take you to pages containing images I have created of the heraldry for various groups, awards, and Orders in the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Labours of the Year Black and white images of the Medieval Calendar Year can be found here. These images are based on period manuscripts and were originally published in 2001, one per month, in the Nottinghill Quill, the newsletter for the Barony of Nottinghill Coill
Cartoons: Yes, Eldred actually does have a sense of humor....
These cartoons are, of course, satirical in nature, but are not intended to offend anyone. Any similarity to actual living or dead persons is a mere visual coincidence no matter what YOU think.




Basic Blazonry This was once Eldred's most popular course, mainly because it Introduces SCA heraldry and blazonry to the student. Veterans of the SCA enjoy it as well. The basics of blazonry: tinctures, Ordinaries, charges, why dexter and sinister are where they are, how to arrange charges, and a plethora of other heraldic terminology and how it all is supposed to go together.

The lecture includes random armory courtesy of Uncle Eldred's Fuzzy Felt Heraldry (inspired by Baroness Anne LeCoeur), which very effectively illustrates basic heraldic principles--e.g., why we don't allow blue on green.

Animal Blazonry This is what I consider an "advanced blazonry" class as there is an entire menagerie of beasts to blazon, and each type of animal has several different positions and minor adjustments that it can be heraldically portrayed in. Just what is the difference between rampant and salient anyway? By no means a comprehensive course, but it will get you through 95% of the possible blazons for the heraldic zoo.

The original version of this course was divided into a series of 9 short articles for the Canton of Falcon Cree's newsletter, The Falcon's Eye and published in sequence from November 1997 through July 1998

The notes for this course have been updated extensively and have been published in the 2001 Proceedings of the Known World Heraldic Symposium.

Heraldry for Non-Heraldic Cultures Originally this was an impromtu course based on Baroness Eliska's course from UA #41. No notes, it was more of a forum discussing how one would design arms for a persona from a "non-heraldic" culture.

The current version of this course now incorporates information about Japanese mon, Islamic heraldry, and "heraldry" from pre-heraldic cultures.

Heraldry for Children This course is intended for people performing demonstrations for children at schools or at events. Children are welcome to attend and participate. A demonstration of a demonstration is interesting to watch!
Armorial Display/Banner Making
(...moving from old site in progress....)
This course is intended to be a companion to the banner making workshops hosted by Falcon Cree. It gives a brief overview of the different types of armorial display that are available to people wanting a more period look to their displays of arms.
Canting Arms
(...moving from old site in progress....)
Heralds don't pun, they cant. This course is all about how to cant your armory so that it makes a visual pun or allusion to your persona's name or occupation. The random examples from the class make for an extremely entertaining hour.
(Em)Blazonry Quizzes At the request of Falcon Cree's herald, I provided artwork for a series of quizzes designed to both introduce terms of blazonry and identify the armory that belonged to individuals of the canton's populace

At the request of the Triton Principal Herald, I created a quiz consisting of 11 pieces of SCA armory with their blazons. Contestants were encouraged to identify who each piece of armory belongs to, and the first (non-senior Herald) to respond with a complete set of correct answers won a prize.




Survivng Court Nope, not a history or even instruction on how to survive court intrigue. This course is mainly intended for heralds, instructing them on how to prepare for Court, what to do in Court, and how to recover from faux pas, gaffes, tongue twisting names, and reading beautifully (but difficult to decipher) calligraphed scrolls.

This course comes with a single page handout (Uncle Eldred's Court Checklist) that covers the majority of items a herald will need to know and do in order to run a successful Court.

If you are not a herald, or do not plan to participate in the "behind the scenes" work of running a Court, I suggest you read no further. This course will dispel much of the "magic" we associate with Court and how it all goes together in the SCA.

Heraldry in History and the SCA An overview of the role of the medieval herald, and the role heralds play in the context of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
The Atlantian Order of Precedence An overview of the Order of Precedence within Atlantia and the Barony of Nottinghill Coill. Notes were compiled from existing on-line sources by Lady Ealdthryth of Humberstone.




Beginning Names If you are interested in picking your first SCAdian name or you just want a new name, this class will help find the period name that makes you happy. There will be ample time for questions.

Class Synopsis
The Troubled Reign of King Stephen (class)
The Reign of King Stephen (resources--takes you to our old Tripod site)
Stephen is one of the little-regarded monarchs of English history. Not a great deal is known about his early life, as he was never expected to gain the throne of England. Learn about the English Anarchy of 1135-1154, and find out about the backdrop for the Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael novels.

The course notes for this class were divided into a series of three articles published in the Nottinghill Coill at the beginning of 1999.

Resource Synopsis
Framework Knitting Christine's interest in genealogy uncovered the mysterious letters FWK that indicated some of her ancestors' occupations. "FWK" was the English census takers' abbreviation for "Framework Knitter".
Introduction to Kumihimo Once upon a time, Mistress Ealdthryth learned how to do kumohimo--a Japanese technique for braiding cord. She taught a class using someone else's notes, and got into it enough to develop her own presentation for Animazement.




Board Games No formal class notes. This was a hands-on workshop devoted to creating game boards for period games--specifically for chess, draughts, fox & geese, tafl/fidchell, and merrels.
Cheap Campaign Furniture Workshop Plywood tables and chests were built by attendees based on notes acquired at University Atlantia.
Curule Chairs Workshop Failed attempt to design and build a set of curule chairs....

We all make mistakes.




Introduction to Cordials A course like this comes along when a judge has a bad experience evaluating the merits of cordials, meads, wines, and/or beers. Strictly speaking, cordials as we know them today are medieval in origin, but were not used as recreational drinks. Learn about what makes a cordial a cordial, the methods of making them, and how to know whether what you are producing is historically accurate. Class attendance is limited to adults over the age of 21 years.

Ealdercote and the images contained therein are © 2010-2012 J.T.Thorpe and C.M.Grewcock
Last updated July 2012