Dr Susan Kilby, Research Associate, Flood and Flow

Dr Susan Kilby

Honorary Visiting FellowSusan Kilby

Contact details:

Email: sk565@le.ac.uk

Research Interests:

Susan’s main area of research centres on the complexity of peasants’ relationships with the rural landscape in the later Middle Ages. This ranges 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 local cultural capital. She is especially concerned with disentangling peasants views of their local environment from those of elites, which have tended to prevail within the historical record.

Susan also has a strong interest in outreach and public engagement activities. In part, this focuses on materials for schools. She has experience of creating landscape-based teaching resources for primary and secondary schools which, whilst rooted in the latest research, adapt academic ideas and concepts into content suitable for a younger audience. Susan has also worked with volunteer researchers across the Midlands, and has published work designed to help non-specialists to access material.

Susan was recently employed 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. She is currently an Honorary Visiting Fellow in the Centre for English Local History at the University of Leicester and in the Institute for Name-Studies at the University of Nottingham.

She is the Hon. Secretary of the Medieval Settlement Research Group and also a trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the British Agricultural History Society.

Select Publications:


S. Kilby, Peasant Perspectives on the Medieval Landscape: a Study of Three Communities (Hatfield, 2020)


‘Fantastic beasts and where to find them: the Romanesque capitals of St Kyneburgha’s Church, Castor, and the local landscape’, Church Archaeology, 19 (2019), 53-72

S. Kilby, ‘Divining medieval water: the field-names of Flintham in Nottinghamshire’, Journal of the English Place-Name Society, 49 (2017), 53-89

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

Co-authored book chapters

J. Baker, J. Carroll and S. Kilby, ‘Place-names, people and landscape in medieval Staffordshire’ (forthcoming, 2022)

R. Jones and S. Kilby, ‘Mitigating riverine flood risk in medieval England’ in C.M. Gerrard, P. Forlin and P. J. Brown (eds), Waiting for the End of the World? New Perspectives on Natural Disasters in Medieval Europe (Abingdon, 2021), 165-182

M. Gardiner and S. Kilby, ‘Perceptions of medieval settlement’, in C. Gerrard and A. Gutiérrez (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Later Medieval Archaeology (Oxford, 2018), 210-225

Co-authored articles

J. Carroll and S. Kilby, ‘Preparing the ground: finding minor landscape names in medieval documents’, The Local Historian, 49:4 (2019), 276-300

R. Jones, R. Gregory, S. Kilby and B. Pears: ‘Living with a trespasser: riparian names and medieval settlement on the River Trent floodplain’, European Journal of Post-Classical Archaeologies, 7 (2017), 33-64


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