Research projects

The Past in its Place:
Histories of Memory in English and Welsh Locales


Research will be organized in three strands, focusing on three types of locale strongly linked to memory and ideas about the past. Research in each strand will centre on six case studies.

  1. Speaking with the Dead focuses on the history of death, burial and commemoration at a group of English and Welsh cathedrals. Case studies include the Cathedrals of Canterbury, Chester, Durham, Exeter, St Albans, and St Davids.
  2. Ancient Habitations explores the interaction of medieval, early modern and modern people with sites of ancient habitation. Case studies include Roman settlements (Wroxeter and Caerleon), Iron Age hill forts (Yeavering Bell and Castle an Dinas), and prehistoric tombs (Danes Graves barrow cemetery and Wayland’s Smithy).
  3. Topographies of Memory explores the organization of natural and historical landscape features in perceptual frameworks signifying particular visions or uses of the past. Provisional case studies include Mousehold Heath, Runnymede, the Dee Valley, the Black Mountains, Dartmoor, and Bodmin Moor.

The selection of case studies balances the virtues of broad geographical distribution and regional focus, being drawn from across England and Wales but with specific clusterings in the southwest and the Welsh border region. The inclusion of a significant proportion of Welsh and Cornish locales ensures a vital element of comparison between societies with different historical attitudes to place, memory, and identity.