The way this quiz works.
It’s pretty simple. You see the question with a photo underneath and underneath the photo you’ll find the answer. There’s twenty five questions so keep track of how many you get right and how many you get wrong and see how you do at the end. There’s also a poll at the end so you can see how you compare to everyone else if you’re interested.
As the title suggests, it starts off easy and gets much more complicated. There are five sections: Easy, Medium, Hard, Difficult and Evil.
1. What year was the Magna Carta sealed?
Photo: Part of Runnymede the water meadow where Magna Carta was signed.
2. What year was the Battle of Hastings?
Photo: The Battle of Hasting in the Bayeux Tapestry.
3. Henry II fought with which Archbishop of Canterbury?
Answer: Thomas Becket.
Photo: Henry II at Fontevraud Abbey.
4. Eleanor of Aquitaine was the mother of which Kings of England?
5. William the Conquerer commissioned which survey in 1086?
Answer: Domesday Book
Photo: A recreation of the Domesday Book from in the National Archives.
6. Which crusade did Richard the Lionheart fight in?
Answer: Third Crusade
Answer: Llywelyn Fawr or Llywelyn ap Iorwerth. Either is correct
And I wouldn’t be deducting points if you spelt either wrong.
Photo: Llywelyn’s coffin.
8. William Marshal married which heiress, the daughter of Richard Strongbow?
Answer: Isabel de Clare.
Photo: William Marshal’s effigy.
9. King John lost his baggage train in which inlet?
Answer: The Wash
Photo: Part of The Wash as it looks now.
10. Empress Maud purportedly escaped through King Stephen’s army and the snow from which Castle?
Answer: Oxford Castle.
Photo: 1800s drawing from Cardiff Castle of the escape.
11. William the Conquerer is buried in which town?
Photo: William the Conquerer’s tomb.
12. Which King was born in Winchester Castle?
Answer: Henry III.
Photo: Great Hall of Winchester Castle.
13. How did the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle famously describe the Period of Anarchy 1136-1154?
Answer: It was a time “that Christ and His saints slept.”
Michael Swanton, (ed) & trans, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, London: Phoenix Press, 2000, p. 265. You get the point if you got a variant of this, there’s different translations.
Photo: The current tomb of Empress Maud, one of the antagonists of the Period of Anarchy.
14. Name the children of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
If you got all of them but not in order have a point, but you get a bonus point if you got them in order.
15. What year did Henry the Young King die?
Photo: Henry’s non contemporary tomb at Rouen Cathedral.
16. Name the three places which hold the only four existing copies of the original Magna Carta.
Answer: Lincoln, Salisbury Cathedral and The British Library (the British Library has 2).
Photo: Part of Lincoln Castle.
17. Ida de Tosny, the wife of Roger Earl of Norfolk, had a son out of wedlock before she married the Earl who was he?
Answer: William Longsword Earl of Salisbury and bastard son of Henry II.
Photo: His tomb.
18. Which castle did William Marshal, according to the Brut y Tywysogion, subdue with a “vast army” in 1204?
The Rev. John Williams, (ed), Brut y Tywysogion, London: Longman, Green, Longman & Roberts, 1860, p. 261
Answer: Cilgerran Castle.
Photo: Recent wicker statue of Marshal at Cilgerran
19. How much was King Richard’s ransom?
Answer: 100,000 silver marks and 200 hostages. You get the point if you got the monetary amount.
Photo: Riveaux Abbey, a Cistercian foundation. Cistercian foundations had to contribute part of their wool clips to the ransom.
20. Canterbury Cathedral was begun in which decade?
Photo: Canterbury Cathedral
21. Which illustrious figure ‘processed’ through the Temple Church in London for its consecration in 1185.
Answer: Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem.
Photo: Temple Church in London.
22. According to the History of William Marshal what three things did King Stephen threaten to do to the young William Marshal while he was the King’s hostage?
Answer: Hang him, catapult him at the walls of his father’s castle and crush him with a millstone.
A.J Holden & David Crouch (eds) S. Gregory, trans, History of William Marshal, Volume I, London: Anglo-Norman Text Society, 2002, p. 31.
You can have the point if you got these in any order but you have to have all three to get the point.
Photo: William Marshal
23. The Bayeux Tapestry is how many metres long?
Answer: 70.34m, but you can have the point if you said 70.
Photo: My favourite scene in the Bayeux Tapestry with the Hand of God coming out of the sky.
24. Which papal legate played a significant role in the Magna Carta negotiations and in the Regency of Henry III?
Answer: Guala Bicchieri. You can have the point if you only got Guala, or said Gualo. It is a variation of the spelling and often only Guala or Gualo is written.
Photo: Facsimile of Salisbury’s Magna Carta in the Temple Church.
25. Who did Geoffrey of Monmouth describe as “an accomplished scholar and philosopher, as well as a brave soldier and expert commander”?
Answer: Robert Earl of Gloucester and oldest illegitimate son of Henry I. The passage is from Geoffrey’s dedication of his work History of the Kings of Britain.
Photo: Monmouth Castle. Geoffrey was born somewhere in the region of Monmouth
So that’s it. How did you do?
1-5: Well you’ve got some basics down pat. Good start.
6-10: You know more than basics, well on your way.
11-15: Good work, beginning to build a wealth of obscure facts.
16-20: Impressive. You know you stuff.
21-25: Incredible effort. You may know more about this period than is sensible 🙂
26-27 remember the two bonus points: Speechless. Incredible. You definitely know more than you need to about this specific period and area.
27: If you got them all… Sure you didn’t write the quiz?
Now if you feel like it put your results in the poll below.
The photos are all mine.