Four part round, mid 13th century (British Library, Harley 978, f.11v). All images from M.R. James 1925 Abbeys London: The Great Western Railway, fromtispiece.
This one is not really so hard, once you come to terms with the idea that you are not going to find many familiar English words and you just have to work them out letter by letter. You might try a complete transcript. Go to the text pages. Use a pen and paper, then compare it against ours. Then get a bunch of friends together, break out a little John Barleycorn in the nut brown bowl, and have yourselves a singalong.

| overview | text | alphabet | abbreviations | exercises | transcript | translation |

Click on each of the above to walk your way through the text. The transcript will appear in a separate window so that you can use it for reference at any time. These exercises are designed to guide you through the text, not test you, so you can cheat as much as you like.
Medieval Writing
Script sample for this example
Index of Exercises
Index of Scripts

If you are looking at this page without frames, there is more information about medieval writing to be found by going to the home page (framed) or the site map (no frames).
This site is created and maintained by Dr Dianne Tillotson, freelance researcher and compulsive multimedia and web author. Comments are welcome. Material on this web site is copyright, but some parts more so than others. Please check here for copyright status and usage before you start making free with it. This page last modified 6/5/2005.