Dr Susan Kilby, Research Associate, Flood and Flow

Dr Susan Kilby

Research Associate, Flood and FlowSusan Kilby

Contact details:

Email: sk565@le.ac.uk

Office: Room 13, Marc Fitch House, 5 Salisbury Road


Current Research:

I am presently working as a Research Associate on the Leverhulme Trust-funded inter-disciplinary project Flood and Flow: Place-Names and the Changing Hydrology of River-Systems, assessing river flooding and the management of water in medieval England, with a particular focus on the Severn catchment. Further information on this project can be found here: http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/history/research/grants/flood-and-flow-place-names-and-the-changing-hydrology-of-river-systems/floodandflow


Research Interests:

I am especially interested in the complexity of peasants’ relationships with the local environment, ranging from their economic interests, through to more culturally informed ideas, including conceptual notions of the landscape adopted by different community groups, the survival of cultural memory, and the landscape as a repository for cultural capital. I am particularly concerned with disentangling peasants’ views of their local environment from those of elites, which have tended to prevail in the historical record. I am also interested in medieval science, and the extent to which the lower orders understood some of the key principles of science, such as elemental and humoral theory.



S. Kilby, Peasant Perspectives on the Medieval Landscape: A Study of Three Communities (University of Hertfordshire Press, in preparation)

M. Gardiner and S. Kilby, ‘Perceptions of medieval settlement’ in C. Gerrard and A. G Gutiérrez (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Later Medieval Archaeology, (Oxford, 2016) [forthcoming]

S. Kilby, ‘Mapping peasant discontent: trespassing on manorial land in fourteenth-century Walsham-le-Willows’, Landscape History, 36:2 (2015), 69-88

S. Kilby, ‘A different world? Reconstructing the peasant environment in medieval Elton’, Medieval Settlement Research, 25 (2010), 72-77

S. Kilby, ‘Struggle and enterprise: the experience of servile peasants in Wellingborough, 1258-1322’, Midland History, 35:1 (2010), 7-27


Select Papers:

‘Knowing your place: contrasting peasant landscapes within medieval manors’, Medieval Settlement Research Group Winter Seminar, University of Nottingham (December 2015)

‘Scientific fields? Medieval peasants, sustainable farming and elemental theory’, Animal and Natural Worlds Seminar, Durham University (July 2015) and at Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG), University of Bradford (December 2015)

‘The secret life of the fields: extraordinary ordinary landscapes’, Society for Name Studies of Britain and Ireland Spring Conference (March 2015)

‘Knowing your place: contrasting peasant landscapes within medieval manors’, Medieval Economic and Social History Seminar, Selwyn College, University of Cambridge (Lent Term, February 2015)

‘Hidden peasant economies: how the other half lived in late medieval Lakenheath’, British Agricultural History Society Spring conference (April, 2014)

‘Re-imagining the medieval rural environment: extraordinary ordinary landscapes’, Medieval Cultures Seminar, Queen’s University Belfast (March 2014)

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