Dr Susan Kilby, Research Associate, Flood and Flow

Dr Susan Kilby

Honorary Visiting FellowSusan Kilby

Contact details:

Email: sk565@le.ac.uk

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


Current Research:

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 a Research Fellow in the Institute for Name-Studies at the University of Nottingham, and an Honorary Visiting Fellow in the Centre for English Local History at the University of Leicester.

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

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

R. Jones and S. Kilby, 'Mitigating riverine flood risk in medieval England' in C. Gerrard, P. Forlin and P. Brown (eds), Waiting For the End of the World. Archaeological Perspectives on Natural Distasters in Medieval Europe (in press)

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, 2018) 210-225

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:

‘Fields of vision: memorizing the medieval rural landscape’, International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds (July 2018)

‘The slydinge watir: living with water in medieval Alrewas’, Society for Name Studies of Britain and Ireland, Spring Conference (April 2018)

‘Flooding and water management through the evidence of place-names’, Society for Medieval Archaeology, University of Oxford (December 2016)

‘Scientific fields? Medieval peasants, sustainable farming and elemental theory’, Durham University (July 2015) and Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG), University of Bradford (December 2015) This paper can can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=555VYvW3HTg

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

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

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

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