Reading the Medieval Town: Canterbury, an International City - MT864

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
(version 2)
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7 30 (15) DR SM Sweetinburgh







This course will focus on a number of inter-related themes which will be studied through differing types of evidence from written and printed texts to objects and standing buildings. Consequently, certain seminars will take place outside the seminar room, looking at the evidence in situ. Topics will include the medieval topography, civic governance, urban defence, house and household, commercial practices and premises, parish church development, the place of religious houses, pilgrimage and city-crown relations, as a way of examining issues such as space, power, patronage and responses to changing social, political and economic conditions. Students will be encouraged to think comparatively, both nationally and internationally, to assess Canterbury’s place within medieval European society.


This module appears in:

Method of assessment

A 5000 word contextual case study that primarily uses Canterbury sources (primary and secondary), as well as comparable materials and national surveys where appropriate.

Preliminary reading

Bassett, S. (ed.), Death in Towns. Urban Responses to the Dying and the Dead, 100–1600
Beattie, C., A. Maslakovic and S. Rees Jones (eds), The Medieval Household in Christian Europe, c.850-c.1550
Collinson, P., N. Ramsey and M. Sparks (eds), Canterbury Cathedral
Creighton, O. and R. Higham, Medieval Town Walls. An Archaeology and Social History of Urban Defence
Frere, S., S. Stow and P. Bennett, Excavations on the Roman and Medieval Defences of Canterbury
Hicks, M., and A. Hicks, St Gregory’s Priory, Northgate, Canterbury, Excavations 1988–1991
Steane, J., The Archaeology of Power: England and Northern Europe AD 800–1600
Swanson, H., Medieval British Towns
Trio, P. and M. de Smet (eds), The Use and Abuse of Sacred Places in Late Medieval Towns
Urry, W., Canterbury under the Angevin Kings

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

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