Ms Deirdre O’Sullivan

dmo.jpgLecturer in Medieval Archaeology

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2607







Personal details

  • BA (National University of Ireland), MPhil (Durham)

I am a Lecturer in Archaeology in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History. A graduate in History and Archaeology, my MPhil research dealt with the Early Christian Archaeology of Cumbria. I have previously worked as a field archaeologist and as a post-excavation researcher at Durham and St Andrews.

At Leicester, I was responsible for introducing and running a Masters programme in Post Excavation Skills, and have directed fieldwork projects at St Bees Priory, Cumbria, the early Christian monastery on Lindisfarne (Holy Island) Northumberland, and locally at the post-medieval pottery manufacturing centre at Ticknall, Derbyshire.

Current research work has been centred on the archaeologies and histories of the Dissolution and on friaries.


I am involved in both campus-based and distance learning teaching and course design.



(with R Young) 1995 Lindisfarne: Holy Island London: Batsford/English Heritage (second edition due 2010)

Papers and articles

The ‘Little Dissolution’ of the 1520s, Post Medieval Archaeology 40 (ii) (2006) 1-32

(with R Young) 'The Flint', N Thomas (ed.) Snail Down Wiltshire Archaeology and Natural History Society 2005 (2006)

'Space silence and shortage on Lindisfarne: the archaeology of asceticism' in H Hamerow and A McGregor (eds.) Image and Power in the Archaeology of Early Medieval Britain. Essays in Honour of Rosemary Cramp Oxford: Oxbow (2001) 33-52

‘Gendered Exhibitionism’  in S Pearce (ed.) Researching Material Culture Leicester (2000) 65-74

(with DS Hides) 'Dressed to express: women's dress and the construction of ethnicity' in M Donald and L Hurcombe (ed.) Gender and Material Culture Macmillan (2000)

'Teaching and learning post-medieval archaeology in Britain' in G Egan and R Michael (eds.) Old and New Worlds Oxford: Oxbow (1999)

(with K Walsh, AG Brown, S Crane and R Young) 'Marginality, multiple estates and environmental change: the case of Lindisfarne' in G Coles et al (eds.) Archaeology on the Margin proceedings of the conference of the Association of Environmental Archaeologists, Edinburgh (1999).

D O'Sullivan 'A group of pagan Anglo-Saxon burials from Cumbria?' Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History, 9 Oxford. (1996) 15-23

(with K Walsh, R Young, S Crane and AG Brown) 1995 'Medieval Landscape, agriculture and environmental change on Lindisfarne (Holy Island), Northumbria' in RA Butlin and N Roberts (eds) Ecological Relations in Historical Times Institute of British Geographers Special Publications 32, 101-121.


My main area of research has been the archaeology of medieval monasticism in the British Isles, spanning the period c. AD 500-1600. However, I have a developed interest in urban archaeology and have also worked in the field of gender and representation, and with the role of archaeology as cultural heritage.

My main current project is a two-part study of medieval friaries in the British Isles, the first volume of which should appear in 2009. I organised a conference on Medieval Monasteries in the Midlands in April 2009.

You can find out more about the recent and on-going project centred on religion in the city of Leicester, titled Mapping Faith and Place, online.


  • Medieval archaeology, especially monasticism
  • Medieval material culture
  • Medieval and post-medieval urban archaeology
  • Critical approaches to archaeological heritage and to the interpretation and presentation of the past

I have supervised and co-supervised PhDs on

  • the early medieval landscape of Lindisfarne
  • the comparative palaeopathology of English medieval populations
  • historic building reconstruction since 1877
  • aspects of health and population studies in northern Europe
  • the origins of the parish in Norfolk.

Current students are working on medieval pottery in the East Midlands, and on archaeological resource conservation in Canada.

Share this page: