Publications

Key books and papers to inform on Wallingford, the project, early medieval urbanism and castle growth

Monograph

We are proud to report the publication of the AHRC-project monograph - Transforming Townscapes. From Burh to Borough: The Archaeology of Wallingford, AD 800-1400 as the Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph 35. See the publication flier here - an ideal puchase for Xmas or any time of year!  Our thanks again to all the many contributors to the volume - a rich haul, with 500 pages of coverage.

 

Outline Paper

British Archaeology magazine cover

 

 

 

Click here for online version (without pictures) of the 2009 British Archaeology paper summarising the Wallingford Burh to Borough Research Project and its first results.

 

Project Publications 2008-2014

  • O. Creighton 2014. 'Castle, burh and borough: unravelling an urban landscape of power at Wallingford, Oxfordshire'. Chataeu Gaillard 26, 113-124.
  • M. Edgeworth & N. Christie 2011.  ‘The archaeology of crossing-places: the bridge and ford at Wallingford on the river Thames’, in M. Prell (ed.), Archäologie der Brücken. Vorgeschichte, Antike, Mittelalter, Neuzeit/ Archaeology of Bridges. Prehistory, Antiquity, Middle Ages, Modern Era. Verlag Friedrich Pustet: Regensburg, 232-239.
  • N. Christie, O. Creighton, M. Edgeworth & M. Fradley 2010. ‘Have you found anything interesting?’ Exploring Early Medieval and Medieval Urbanism at Wallingford: Sources, Routes and Questions’, Oxoniensia, lxxv, 2010, 35-47.
  • I.P. Wilkinson, A. Tasker, A. Gouldwell, M.Williams, M. Edgeworth, J. Zalasiewicz, N. Christie 2010. 'Micropalaeontology reveals the source of building materials for a defensive earthwork (English Civil War?) at Wallingford Castle, Oxfordshire', Journal of Micropalaeontology, 29, 2010, pp.87-92.
  • Christie N, Edgeworth M, Creighton O, Hamerow H. 2009. 'Wallingford: Charting Early Medieval and Medieval Expansion and Contraction' in Medieval Settlement Research 23 (2008), 53-57.
  • Christie N, Edgeworth M, O'Sullivan D, Taylor J, Hyam A, Speed G, Creighton O, Fradley M, Hamerow H. 2009. The Wallingford Burh to Borough Research Project 2008 :Interim Report. South Midlands Archaeology 39, 63-66.
  • Creighton, O., Christie, N., Hamerow, H and Edgeworth, M. 2009. 'Wallingford' in British Archaeology 35, 27-43 .BAR volume
  • Keats-Rohan K. and Roffe D. (eds.) The Origins of the Borough of Wallingford: archaeological and historical perspectives. BAR British Series 494. Oxford, Archaeopress.   Click here for link to publishers - great value at £28.00!
  • Creighton O, Christie N, Hamerow H and Edgeworth M. 2009. New directions in tracing the origins and development of Wallingford'. In Keats-Rohan K and Roffe D. (eds.) The origins of the Borough of Wallingford: archaeological and historical perspectives. BAR British Series 494. Oxford, Archaeopress, 68-76.
  • Edgeworth M. 2009. 'Comparing burhs: a Wallingford-Bedford case-study'. In Keats-Rohan K and Roffe D. (eds.) The origins of the Borough of Wallingford: archaeological and historical perspectives. BAR British Series 494. Oxford, Archaeopress, 77-85.
  • Hamerow, H. 2009. 'The early Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Wallingford' In Keats-Rohan K and Roffe D. (eds.) The origins of the Borough of Wallingford: archaeological and historical perspectives. BAR British Series 494. Oxford, Archaeopress, 13-16.
  • Speed G, Christie N, Creighton O, and Edgeworth M. 2009. 'Charting Saxon and Medieval Urban Growth and Decay at Wallingford' in Medieval Archaeology 53, 355-363.
  • Wilkinson, IP, Tasker, A, Gouldwell, A, Williams, M, Edgeworth, M, Zalasiewicz, J, and Christie, N. 2010. Micropalaeontology reveals the source of building materials for a defensive earthwork (English Civil War?) at Wallingford Castle, Oxfordshire. Journal of Micropalaeontology 29: 87-92.
  • Christie, N., Creighton, O., Edgeworth, M. & M. Fradley 2010. ‘Have you found anything interesting?’ Exploring early medieval and medieval urbanism at Wallingford: sources, routes and questions’, Oxoniensia, lxxv: 35-47.
  • Edgeworth, M. & Christie, N. 2011. ‘The archaeology of crossing-places: the bridge and ford at Wallingford on the river Thames’, in M. Prell (ed.), Archäologie der Brücken. Vorgeschichte, Antike, Mittelalter, Neuzeit/ Archaeology of Bridges. Prehistory, Antiquity, Middle Ages, Modern Era. Verlag Friedrich Pustet: Regensburg, 232-239.

 

Project Publications, Pilot Phase

  • Christie, N. et al. 2004: ‘The Wallingford Burh to Borough Research Project: 2003 interim report’, South Midlands Archaeology, 34, 94-103.
  • Christie, N. et al. 2003: ‘The Wallingford Burh to Borough Research Project: 2002 interim report’, South Midlands Archaeology, 33, 105-113.

*note that other short interims have appeared also annually in the Medieval Settlement Research Group Annual Report and in the Fieldwork (Medieval Britain and Ireland) section of Medieval Archaeology journal.

 

Wider Bibliography

Airs, M., Rodwell, K. & Turner, H. 1975:  “Wallingford”, in K. Rodwell (ed.), Historic Towns in Oxfordshire: A Survey of the New County (Oxford: Oxfordshire Archaeological Unit), 155-162.

Allen Brown, R., Colvin, H.M. & Taylor, A.J. 1963: The History of the King’s Works, Vol. 2 (London HMSO).

Astill, G. 1984: “The towns of Berkshire”, in J. Haslam (ed.), Anglo-Saxon Towns (Chichester: Phillimore).

Astill, G. 2000:  “General survey, 600-1300”, in Palliser (ed.), 27-49.

Astill, G. 2006: "Community, identity and the later Anglo-saxon town: the case of southern England", in W. Davies, G. Halsall & A. Reynolds (eds.), People and Space in the Middle Ages, 300-1300 (Turnhout: Brepols), 231-252.

Beresford, M. & St. Joseph, K. 1958:  Medieval Britain. An Aerial Survey (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge & New York).

Biddle, M.  1975:   “The evolution of towns: planned towns before 1066”, in M.W. Barley (ed.), The Plans and Topography of Medieval Towns in England and Wales (CBA Research Report 14, London), 19-31.

Blair, J. 1994:   Anglo-Saxon Oxfordshire (Oxford).

Booth, P., Dodd, A. Robinson, M. & Smith, A. 2007: The Thames through Time. The Archaeology of the Gravel Terraces of the Upper and Middle Thames. The Early Historical Period: AD 1-1000 (TVLM No. 27), (Oxford Archaeology: Oxford). * essential reading for the region across Iron Age to medieval times.

Briggs, G., Cook, J. & Rowley, T. (eds.) 1986: The Archaeology of the Oxford Region (Oxford).

Britnell, R. 2000:  “The economy of British towns, 600-1300”, in Palliser (ed.), 105-126

Brooks, N. 1965-68:   “Excavations at Wallingford Castle, 1965: an interim report”, Berkshire Archaeological Journal 62-63, 17-21.

Creighton, O.H. 2002: Castles and Landscapes (London and New York: Continuum).

Creighton, O. & Higham, R. 2003:  Medieval Castles (Princes Risborough: Shire).

Creighton, O. & Higham, R. 2005: Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus).

Durham, B. et al. 1973:   “A cutting across the Saxon defences at Wallingford, Berkshire, 1971”, Oxoniensia 37, 82-85.

Haslam, J. 1985:  Early Medieval Towns in Britain (Princes Risborough: Shire).

Hill, D. & Rumble, A. (eds.) 1996:  The Defence of Wessex (Manchester: University Press).

Keats-Rohan, K.S.B. 1989: “The devolution of the Honour of Wallingford, 1066–1148”, Oxoniensia 54, 311–318.

Keats-Rohan, K.S.B. & D.R. Roffe (eds.) 2009:  The Origins of the Borough of Wallingford. Archaeological and Historical Perspectives (BAR British Series 494), (Oxford: Archaeopress).  *contains a set of key papers on documents, landscape, cemetery, archaeology of the site and environs.

Keene, D. 2000:  “The south-east of England”, in Palliser (ed.), 545-82.

Kenyon, J. 1990:  Medieval Fortifications (London: Leicester University Press).

King, D.J.C. 1983:  Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus).

Leeds, E.T. 1938-39: “An Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Wallingford, Berkshire”, Berkshire Archaeological Journal 42-43, 93-101.

Morris, R. 1989:  Churches in the Landscape (London: Dent and Sons).

Palliser, D. (ed.) 2000:  The Cambridge Urban History of Britain. Vol.1: 600-1540. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

Rickard, J. 2002: The Castle Community: The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422. (Woodbridge: Boydell).

Roffe, D. & Mahany, C. 1986: “Stamford and the Norman Conquest”, Lincolnshire History and Archaeology 21, 5–9.

Rowley, T.  1997:  Norman England (London: English Heritage).

Slade, C.F. 1960:  “Wallingford castle in the reign of King Stephen”, Berkshire Archaeological Journal 58, 33-43.

Spurrell, M. 1995:  “Containing Wallingford Castle, 1146-1153”, Oxoniensia 60, 257-70.

 

And an alternative route into Wallingford's busy medieval past:

Wallingford, as well as being an occasional backdrop for the gentle detective series Midsomer Murders (the highlight being a fatal incident in the theatre!), has also made it into novels.  Not every town gets to appear as the focal point for a novel, but Wallingford, thanks to its medieval status, was the star of the historical saga written by Graham Shelby in 1972 and titled (with like font type) The Villains of the Piece (published by Fontana Books).   Hailed by The Sunday Times on the cover as “Exceptional… an absorbing story” and on the back cover by The Guardian as “A fine tale of loyalty, villainy and Norman Saxon romance…”

The Villains of the Piece is set in the period of the Anarchy, the civil war that ranged far and wide in England in the 1130s-1150s AD in the aftermath of the death of King Henry I in December 1135, when the country split between supporting Henry’s nephew Stephen – who was first to cross the Channel and impose himself on the throne at Westminster – and the daughter, Matilda.  The saga presents Matilda as brilliant and beautiful, her russet hair and fine eyes winning over many a lord and knight, yet obscuring her cruel and vicious character which in reality paid little heed to the efforts of her loyal supporters.  Stephen, meanwhile, appears as an uncertain figure, unable to break free of his stronger brother, rotund Bishop Henry, who is of course pursuing his own path for power.  The conflict and the story focuses around the figure of Brien Fitz Count, Lord of Wallingford and its fine – but slightly impoverished – castle; his loyalty to Matilda (with whom he had a short but imposing affair) is tested by both battles with the royal troops, by sieges, and by conflict with his gorgeous Saxon wife, Alyse.   Fortunately, despite all the troubles and despite his wife’s attempted suicide and various other twists, Wallingford holds out in the vicissitudes of war and England emerges, damaged but once more united, under Matilda’s son Henry II.

Well worth trying to get hold of, the book paints a very useful picture of the Anarchy and its protagonists; Wallingford itself is a rather hazy site in the text, but its castle and its role shine out; the town is there too, but barely gets a look in!

Mini-review by NC

A novelisation of the Anarchy at Wallingford

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