• Angel Veneration on Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture from Dewsbury (West Yorkshire), Otley (West Yorkshire) and Halton (Lancashire): Contemplative Preachers and Pastoral Care

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (British Archaeological Association/ Routledge/ Taylor and Francis, 2009)
      Three fragments of stone sculpture — from Dewsbury and Otley in West Yorkshire, and Halton in Lancashire — preserve images of an angel and attendant figure, perhaps a monk or mass-priest. All three fragments apparently belonged to monuments including further figural images with clear pastoral resonance: narrative images of the life and ministry of Christ, or images of the evangelists or apostles. While an absolute date cannot be supplied for the production of these monuments, the Otley monument seems to belong to the period 780–800, and the Dewsbury and Halton monuments seem to belong to the early 9th century. Previous discussions of these angel images have not provided a convincing identification. Here it is proposed that the sculptors were adapting contemporary models depicting an angel and attendant figure in order to draw attention to the connections between Old and New Testament narratives of angel veneration. It is argued that these images reflect and promote the angelology of Gregory the Great, who considered angels ideal exemplars for the contemplative preacher. If so, then the monuments may have been produced in response to two broader historical trends. First, the instability of kingship in Northumbria, which prompted Alcuin to promote the Roman and Christian authority of the Church and to propose ecclesiastical reform. Second, a gradual shift from mixed communities including monks, towards communities composed exclusively of priests, which may have required a defence of the role of contemplatives in society. Finally, it is suggested that these images therefore have an important implication for debates about the pastoral organisation of the early Anglo-Saxon Church.
    • Anglo-Saxon Monasteries as Sacred Places: Topography, Exegesis and Vocation

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (Brill, 2011-11-11)
      This paper supplies a new approach to reconstructing the conception of Anglo-Saxon monasteries as sacred spaces through reconstructing the monastic habitus that shaped monastic perceptions of the landscape.
    • Biscopes-tun, muneca-tun and preosta-tun: dating, significance and distribution

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (English Place-Name Society, 2009-08-06)
      Margaret Gelling hypothesised that ‘X’s tūn’ place-names were coined in the later Anglo-Saxon period, to replace earlier names for the places to which they refer. Here, the dating, significance and distribution of the place-names biscopes-tūn, muneca-tūn and prēosta-tūn is considered. Ultimately, the study supports Gelling’s hypothesis, suggesting that they were often coined in the later eighth, ninth, tenth or eleventh century. It argues that these names often signified portions of land set aside for the use of bishops, monks and clergy as a result of two parallel processes: royal and episcopal expropriation of religious communities and their estates, and movements to reform religious communities. The distribution of these names is considered to reflect regional differences in levels of ecclesiastical landowning in the ninth, tenth and eleventh centuries, which seems to add weight to this hypothesis about the date at which many of them were coined. Finally, two historical implications of these names are discussed: the scale of expropriation and reform, and the nature of ecclesiastical organisation in the Danelaw.
    • Church Organisation and Pastoral Care

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (Wiley Blackwell, 2009-03-31)
      This chapter in a Blackwell Companion reviews the evidence for Church organisation and pastoral care across Britain and Ireland, considering the networks of episcopal sees and monasteries and their respective roles in delivering pastoral care.
    • Conversion, Ritual, and Landscape: Streoneshalh (Whitby), Osingadun, and the Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Street House, North Yorkshire

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (Boydell & Brewer, 2019-06-21)
      This paper considers the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons as a social process through the improvised mortuary rituals of one local community. It argues that the royal monastery of Streoneshalh (Whitby) had an estate at Osingadun (modern Easington), which should be connected to a seventh-century cemetery at nearby Street House. It interprets the cemetery as an engine for negotiating and producing social and religious change.
    • Deantune and Bishopstone: The estate and the church under the Mercian kings and the South Saxon bishops

      Blair, John; Pickles, Thomas; University of Oxford; University of Chester (Council for British Archaeology, 2010-12-31)
      This paper argues for an association between the early medieval estate known as Deantune and the Domesday Book estate called Bishopstone, through a consideration of the history and topography of Bishopstone and its surrounding region.
    • The historiography of the Anglo-Saxon conversion: the state of the art

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (Brepols, 2016-11-29)
      This paper provides an overview and analysis of the current state of historical, archaeological and onomastic evidence for, and scholarship on, the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity.
    • Kingship, Society, and the Church in Anglo-Saxon Yorkshire

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2018-11-15)
      A monograph about the relationship between social and political structures, conversion to Christianity, and the building of an institutional Church in Yorkshire from c. 450-c. 1066.
    • Locating Ingetlingum and Suthgedling: Gilling West and Gilling East

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (Maney Publishing/Taylor and Francis, 2009-09)
      This article revisits the location of two ecclesiastical sites from early medieval Yorkshire, arguing that Ingetlingum was Gilling West and Suthgedling was Gilling East. It thereby clarifies the relationship between politics and geography of monastic foundation.
    • Review: Nicole Discenza, Inhabited Spaces: Anglo-Saxon Constructions of Place

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2019-03-25)
      A book review.
    • Streanaehalch (Whitby), its satellite churches and lands

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (Cork University Press, 2017-01-03)
      This paper argues in favour of the identifying the early medieval monastery of Straenaeshalch with Whitby, North Yorkshire, and proceeds to argue for a network of neighbouring satellite churches and lands on the north eastern coastal plain of Yorkshire, before considering the relationship between monasteries and the early medieval landscape.
    • Why should we write about Anglo-Saxon farms and farming?

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester
      A review of four recent works on Anglo-Saxon farms, farming, and food.