Journée d’étude – Lords in the Landscape, 800-1300

This conference sets out to examine the operation of lordship in its spatial setting. Physical and geographical circumstances set the stage for larger political and social changes, but also imposed limitations on a lord’s actions. We are hoping to bring together postgraduate and early-career researchers from across the disciplines who are grappling with similar questions concerning these elements of seigneurial power.

Much about the place and role of the lord in his (or her) environment c.800-1300 remains unclear. Debate continues on their role in the widespread formation of nucleated settlements, or how seigneurial power was extended over an increasingly dependent population. Various fields, such as the material culture of lordship, have scope for more systematic consideration – with developing resources such as the Portable Antiquities Scheme, and increasing access to archaeological grey literature, providing the means to pursue this. More widely, studies in material culture, architecture, and the use of space, familiar for the later Middle Ages, provide models which could usefully be applied to this earlier period. A fuller understanding of lordly power and impact in the localities can be achieved with an interdisciplinary approach.

While a one-day conference cannot hope to cover all significant developments over a 500-year period, we hope that it will provide a forum to share work-in-progress with an eye on long-term developments. Possible topics for papers or panels might include:

  • the shape or siting of lordly residences and fortifications
  • estate/household discipline and the manorial court
  • territories and the geography of local power
  • the role of lords in agricultural change
  • representations of these and similar topics in contemporary writing

Contributions could trace change across all or part of the period, or offer case-studies examining a particular case or stage of development. The topics listed are by no means exhaustive, and we welcome other suggestions. Our focus is primarily on the British Isles, but we encourage parallel studies from researchers addressing these questions in a wider European context. We particularly welcome graduate and early-career researchers, and plan to keep the registration fee as low as possible.

Please get in touch at with any questions or comments. Registration information will be posted here soon.


Programme :

Keynote: Dr Chris Lewis (King’s College London)

Panel: Settlement and conquest

Andrew Holland (Queen’s College, Oxford) – Power and Legitimacy in a Frontier Landscape: Northeastern Wales and the Mercian Supremacy
Dr Jane Harrison (Department for Continuing Education, Oxford) – Lordship and Colonisation: Viking-Late Norse settlement in the North Atlantic, c. AD 800-1200
Alexander Dymond (Corpus Christi College, Oxford) – The Estates of William the Conqueror: Royal Property in England and Ducal Property in Normandy in the 11th Century

Panel: Projecting lordship

Dr Rosamond Faith (Kellogg College, Oxford) – Lordscapes
Charles Roe (University of Leeds) – St Edmund of Abingdon: Authority, Sanctity, and the Landscape
Susanna Markert (Jesus College, Oxford) – Private lordship and the forest law: the earls of Lancaster and the forest of Pickering, 1267-1334

Panel: Prosopographical approaches to lordship

Peter Watson (Kellogg College, Oxford) – The Okeovers: lesser landholders in their landscape
Olivia Baskerville (Corpus Christi College, Oxford) – “Three Women each calling herself Queen”: effects of competing claims to reginal lands during the Anarchy on the English landscape (1135-1151)
Hervin Fernández-Aceves (University of Leeds) – Topologies of medieval local power: the prosopographical networks of the Norman nobility in the kingdom of Sicily

Panel: Property and control of the landscape

Nathalie Gonzalez (Archaeology South East, University College London) – Co-lordship and multiple fortifications in Provence between 800 and 1300
Therron Welstead (University of Wales Trinity St David) – Pontefract and Trowbridge Castle: Norman Castles Built on Saxon Cemetery Sites
Lorenzo Tabarrini (Linacre College, Oxford) – Territorial lordship in Tuscany during the High Middle Ages (11th-13th centuries)

Closing remarks: Dr Paul Hyams (Cornell University)
Drinks reception

Informations pratiques :

Radcliffe Humanities Radcliffe Observatory Quarter Woodstock Road Oxford
18 February 2017

Registration : here

Organisers : Richard Purkiss & Hannah Boston

Source : Lords in the Landscape 800-1300

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