Professor Chris Dyer

Chris DyerEmeritus Professor of History

Contact Details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2765
  • Email:
  • Office: Room 10, Marc Fitch House, Salisbury Road

Research Interests

Past Research Interests

The economic and social history of medieval England, which includes the management of  landed estates, agrarian history, peasant mentality and rebellion, standards of living (including diet and housing), consumers and consumption, relations between town and country, the role of towns, especially of smaller towns, the conditions and attitudes of wage earners, poverty, the origins of capitalism, landscape history, rural depopulation, and money and commerce. Much of this research has been focussed on the west midland region (Gloucestershire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire) but has also included the east midlands,  East Anglia and Yorkshire.

Current Research Interests

The main project is to complete work on ‘Peasant farming 1200-1540’ which is being funded by the  Leverhulme Trust. This is intended to make a new assessment of the types of farming practised by peasants, and to evaluate their role in the economy.
In addition  publication of various projects in landscape history such as surveys of Admington, Compton Scorpion, Westcote and Bretford  in Warwickshire.

Publications (recent)

Authored Books

  • A Country Merchant: 1495-1520.   Trading and Farming at the End of the Middle Ages (Oxford, 2012)

Edited Books

  1. (with Matthew Tompkins), Dartmoor’s Alluring Uplands (Exeter, 2012)
  2. (with Richard Jones), Farmers, Consumers, Innovators. The world of Joan Thirsk (Hatfield, 2016), pp.1-8.
  3. (with Dawn Hadley), The Archaeology of the Eleventh Century: Continuties and Transformations. Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph, 38 2017. 

Articles and Chapters


  1. ‘The late medieval village of Wharram Percy: farming the land’; ‘The late medieval village of Wharram Percy: living and consuming’; ‘The inventory of William Akclum and its context’, in S. Wrathmell (ed.), A History of Wharram and its Neighbours (Wharram, a Study of Settlement on the Yorkshire Wolds, 13, York University Archaeological Publications, 15, 2012), 312-27; 327-40; 342-9
  2. ‘The value of fifteenth-century Inquisitions Post Mortem for economic and social history’,
    in  M. Hicks (ed.), The Fifteenth-Century Inquisitions Post Mortem. A Companion (Woodbridge, 2012), 97-115.
  3. ‘Poverty and its relief in late medieval England’,  Past and Present, 216 (2012), 41-78.
  4. ‘Was Bidford-on-Avon a town in the middle ages?’, Warwickshire History, 15 (2012), 93-110.
  5. ‘Did peasants need markets and towns? The experience of  late medieval England?’, in
    M. Davies and J. Galloway  (eds.), London and Beyond. Essays in Honour of Derek Keene (London, 2012), 25-47.
  6. ‘The experience of being poor in late medieval England’, in A. Scott (ed.), Experiences of Poverty in Late Medieval and Early Modern England and France (Farnham, 2012), 19-39.
  7.  ‘Medieval peasant buildings 1250-1550: documents and historical significance’, in N. Alcock and D. Miles, The Medieval Peasant House in Midland England (Oxford, 2013), 105-18.
  8. 'The agrarian problem, 1440-1520’, in Jane Whittle (ed.),  Landlords and Tenants in Britain, 1440-1660: Tawney’s Agrarian Problem Revisited (Woodbridge, 2013), 19-34
  9. ‘L’industrie rurale en Angleterre des années 1200 a 1550: géographie, sociologie et organisation de la production et des marchés’, in J.-M.Minovez, C. Verna and L. Hilaire-Perez (eds.), Les Industries Rurales dans l’Europe Medievale et Moderne (Toulouse : Journées d’Histoire de Flaran, 33, 2013), 43-61.
  10. ‘Living in peasant houses in late medieval England’, Vernacular Architecture, 44 (2013), 19-27.
  11. ‘The material world of  English peasants, 1200-1540: archaeological perspectives on rural economy and welfare’, Agricultural History Review, 62 (2014), 1-22.
  12. ‘England’s economy in the fifteenth century’, in L.Clark (ed.) The Fifteenth Century, 13 (2014), pp. 201-25.
  13. ‘A ‘Golden Age’ rediscovered: labourers’ wages in the fifteenth century’, in M. Allen and D. Coffman (eds), Money, Prices and Wages: Essays in Honour of Professor Nicholas Mayhew (Basingstoke, 2015), pp.180-95.
  14. ‘New thinking about medieval settlement and its relevance for Leicestershire’, in K.Elkin (ed.), Medieval Leicestershire. Recent Research on the Medieval Archaeology of Leicestershire (Leicester, 2015), pp. 1-11.
  15. ‘Medieval small towns and the late medieval crisis’, in J. Drendel (ed.), Crisis in the Later Middle Ages: Beyond the Postan-Duby Paradigm (Turnhout, 2015), pp.35-52
  16. ‘Lords in a landscape: the Berkeley family and Northfield (Worcestershire)’, in L. Clark (ed.), The Fifteenth Century, 14 (2015), pp. 13-37
  17. ‘Peasant farming in late medieval England: evidence from the tithe estimations by Worcester Cathedral Priory’, in M. Kowaleski, J. Langdon and P. Schofield (eds.), Peasants and Lords in the Medieval English Economy: Essays in Honour of Bruce M.S. Campbell (Turnhout, 2015), pp. 83-109.
  18. ‘Tawney and Postan: two pathways to understanding the pre-industrial economy’, in J. P. Bowen and A.T. Brown (eds.), Custom and Commercialisation in English Rural Society: Revisiting Postan and Tawney (Hatfield, 2016), pp. 23-35.
  19. ‘The urbanization and de-urbanization of industrial production in England, 900-1500’,in A. Molinari, R. Valenzani and L. Spera (eds.), L’Archaeologia della Produzione a Roma (Secoli V-XV) (Collection de L’Ecole Francaise de Rome, 516, 2016), pp. 571-81.
  20. ‘Landscape, farming and society in an English region: the Inquisitions Post Mortem for the West Midlands, 1250-1509’, in M. Hicks (ed.), The Later Medieval Inquisitions Post Mortem. Mapping the Medieval Countryside and Rural Society (Woodbridge, 2016), pp. 59-83.



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