Research Interests

Research Themes

Medival Villages in an English Landscape - book coverMy research focuses on the complex and changing relationships which existed between people and the land between c. 400 and c. 1500 AD.  It centres on examining how the landscape was exploited both as an economic resource, and as a medium through which personal and community identities (particularly of the non-elite) were negotiated, forged and reinforced.  Other research themes include: the early medieval origins of English villages and the take-up and spread of open-field farming; medieval manure; the impact of Scandinavian settlement on the English countryside; and rural depopulation as a stimulus for landscape change.


Current Research Projects

Current research strands include: agriculture as a social practice; perceptions of landscape and communal cohesion explored through place- and field-naming strategies; the interplay between medieval farmers and their soils, crops, and animals; and issues of individuality and commonality as reflected in settlement morphology and household organization.

I am currently organising a series of AHRC- funded workshops for 2009 entitled 'Sense of Place in Anglo- Saxon England'. For more details visit 

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