Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Mapping the Medieval City

City Witness is a project which aims to further our understanding of the medieval history of the Welsh town of Swansea. Part of this project has been to try and reconstruct a map of the medieval town.

Using a combination of historic maps and written and archaeological records the project has tried to map the town’s medieval layout and urban features. The Medieval Swansea Map overlays the newly created medieval map of the town on top of the modern (MapQuest) map using Leaflet,js.

If you select the 'interaction' and 'label' options in the map sidebar you can select features on the map to learn more about the medieval town. The map also includes the option to view witness routes, stories and sight-lines, recounting the miracle of William Cragh.

Much of what is known about medieval Swansea comes from a Vatican manuscript, 'Vatican MS Lat. 4015'. The manuscript contains witness statements of 'the miracle of the resuscitation of the twice-hanged William Cragh'. The witness statements provide first hand accounts of how William Cragh was twice hanged, with another man, Trahaearn ap Hywel, and then later came back to life.

William was hanged first. However when the 'big and heavy' Trahaearn was then hanged from the same gallows his weight caused the gallows to break. Both men were then hanged again. After the second hanging William's body was taken to the house of a Thomas Mathews, where a little later William came back to life.

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