Bodiam Castle Gatehouse, from the North.

Welcome to the Lived Experience in the Later Middle Ages webpages!  Our project is an interdisciplinary, collaborative effort between Northwestern University, the University of Southampton and the National Trust.  Fieldwork took place between 2010 and 2014, and the final publication is now out.

Here, you can find links to material from the final publication, supporting material to the text, other ‘grey literature’ reports, and links to information from other sources.

The project is led by Matthew Johnson, Professor and Chair of Anthropology at Northwestern University and Visiting Professor at the University of Southampton.  The project also involved over 80 students from Northwestern and the Universities of Southampton over the five field seasons.  Sources of funding and other support included the AHRC through two collaborative doctoral awards and the Parnassus Project, the University of Southampton, the National Trust, and Northwestern University.

Between 2010 and 2014, different members of the group carried out topographical, geophysical and building survey at four different late medieval sites and landscapes in south-eastern England, all owned and managed by the National Trust: Bodiam, Scotney, Knole and Ightham.  Studies were also undertaken into documentary, map and other evidence.  A particularly important element of the research was to synthesize and re-present the ‘grey literature’ at all four sites.  The final publication, and material on these webpages, presents this work and discusses its archaeological and historical importance.  It places the four sites and their landscapes in their setting, as part of the wider landscape of south-east England.  We discuss the importance of these places in understanding later medieval elite sites and landscapes in general, and in terms of their long-term biographies and contexts.  Central to our work are the linked ideas of lived experience and political ecology in presenting a new understanding of late medieval sites and landscapes.