• Beowulf and archaeology: Megaliths imagined and encountered in early medieval Europe

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2015)
      The dragon’s lair in the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf has been widely interpreted to reflect engagement with Neolithic megalithic architecture. Embodying the poet’s sense of the past, the stone barrow (Old English: stānbeorh) of the dragon has been taken to reveal mythological and legendary attributions to megalithic monuments as the works of giants and haunts of dragons in the early medieval world. This chapter reconsiders this argument, showing how the dragon’s mound invoked a biography of successive pasts and significances as treasure hoard, monstrous dwelling, place of exile, theft, conflict and death. Only subsequently does the mound serve as the starting-point for the funeral of Beowulf involving his cremation ceremony and mound-raising nearby. The biography of the dragon’s barrow is a literary one, in which inherited prehistoric megaliths were counter-tombs, antithetical to contemporary stone architectures containing the bodies of kings, queens and the relics of saints.
    • Biscopes-tun, muneca-tun and preosta-tun: dating, significance and distribution

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (English Place-Name Society, 2009)
      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.
    • The blessed trinity: The army, the navy, and providence in the conduct of warfare, 1688-1713

      McLay, Keith A. J.; University of Chester (Ashgate, 2009)
      This book chapter discusses how the perceived necessity of Divine intervention and the contribution of an art of war in-theatre grounded upon rational precepts was an increasing feature of warfare in the late seventeenth century.
    • Blog bodies: Mortuary archaeology and blogging

      Meyers, Katy; Williams, Howard; Michigan State University ; University of Chester (Landward Research, 2014-04)
      Mortuary archaeology - the study of past beliefs and practices surrounding dying, death and the dead using archaeological theories, methods and techniques - is a rich, diverse and growing field of research that incorporates, and extends beyond, bioarchaeology (osteoarchaeology) in its scope (Parker Pearson 1999; Tarlow and Nilsson Stutz 2013a). This particular subfield has many dimensions, a global reach and the scope to study human engagements with mortality from earliest times to the present day. Mortuary archaeology is inseparable from other kinds of archaeology - it inevitably overlaps with material culture analyses, settlement studies and landscape archaeology. It incorporates many specialists scientific techniques used to analyse artefacts, bones and other materials retrieved from mortuary contexts. The archaeology of death also extends far beyond the study of mummified human cadavers and articulated and disarticulated skeletal remains (burnt or unburnt). It also involves: considering artefacts and ecofacts from mortuary contexts; the structure and arrangement of graves; burial chambers and tombs; a wide range of art, architectures, monuments and memorials to the dead. Mortuary archaeology incorporates both cemeteries and other spaces designed to commemorate the dead, the spatial relationships between mortuary locales and the evolving landscape in which they are situated. The archaeology of death and burial can be site-specific, or it can look within particular localities or regions. Likewise, it can look at single periods or they can chart the development and shifts in mortuary practice over many centuries and millennia. Taking these various points into account, it is evident that today’s mortuary archaeology not only has multiple dimensions and scales of analysis, but also many tendrils into, and explicit dialogues with, other disciplines. For instance, the archaeological and bioarchaeological investigation of death, burial and commemoration can involve close dialogue with cultural anthropologists as well as with social historians of death. Equally, mortuary archaeology shares and exchanges ideas and perspectives with: sociologists and theologians of death, dying and bereavement; studies of the representation and material culture of death; and memory by art-historians and architectural historians. Bearing these points in mind, for both prehistoric and historic eras, mortuary archaeology reveals increasingly new and fascinating insights into human engagements with mortality across time and space.
    • A Bone-Disc Nail Cleaner from South-East Wales

      Pudney, Caroline; University of Chester (2017-05)
      This short paper focuses on a late Iron Age/early Roman copper-alloy nail cleaner discovered during the excavations of Llanmelin Wood Camp hillfort, near Newport (S. Wales), in 2012. The nail-cleaner is to date a rare find west of the River Wye and as such, the author assess the wider chronological and social significance and implications.
    • Book of Llandaf

      Roberts, Sara Elin (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2017-08-03)
    • Bridging the Gap between 'War' and 'Peace': The Case of Belgian Refugees in Britain

      Ewence, Hannah; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017-06-17)
      Britain’s ‘hospitality’ towards 250,000 Belgian refugees now warrants a mention in most histories of the First World War. Yet the refugees’ rapid repatriation by the British state continues to be treated as little more than a bookend to their story, whilst the trauma of return and the challenges of reintegration for those who fled has been all but ignored. This chapter seeks to correct these oversights by exposing the contradictions of a state-sponsored repatriation scheme; presented as the final act of a ‘generous’ and ‘liberal’ nation but, in reality, one which served the British government’s own interests. Such a mercenary approach to repatriation curtailed state concern for the conditions facing returning Belgians as their nation emerged from four years of war into a fragile ‘peace’.
    • Building blocks: structural contexts and carved stones

      Gondek, Meggen M.; University of Chester (Boydell and Brewer, 2015-09-17)
      Early medieval carved stones can be many things: landscape monuments, churchyard monuments or memorials, grave markers, architectural elements usually in churches or public commemorative statements to name a few (not exclusive) functions. However, there are also hints that carved stones could be part of settlement micro-landscapes built into or next to buildings or forts. This paper looks at a range of archaeological contexts for the use of early medieval carved stones in structural (non-church related) contexts in Britain. This small group of monuments includes both the more ‘public’ structural monuments on display and ‘hidden’ monuments built into structures and not visible. These monuments are explored in this paper in terms of memory, movement and performance – where engagement could be both habitual behaviour and part of specific events of social practice and memory. The spatial and depositional dimensions will be explored and how routine, even possibly mundane, engagement with stones in these settings may offer a different perspective on how monuments can be part of the process of memorisation and selective forgetting.
    • Building for the Cremated Dead Ephemeral and Cumulative Constructions

      Wessman, Anna; Williams, Howard; University of Helsinki; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2017-04-27)
      Building for the Cremated Dead Ephemeral and Cumulative Constructions
    • Businessmen and benefactors: The Macclesfield silk manufacturers and their support for the town's charitable institutions, 1750-1900

      Griffiths, Sarah J.; University of Chester (The Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 2008)
      This article discusses how Macclesfield silk manufactuers contributed towards the development of voluntary organisations as part of their public role, using Sunderland Street Wesleyan chapel and the ragged and industrial school as examples. It explores the general reasons behind their charitable involvement and the extent to which their contribution was critical to the success of Sunderland Street Wesleyan chapel and the ragged and industrial school.
    • C-FAR - Carbon footprinting of archaeological research: Data collection methodology and interim report

      Gondek, Meggen M.; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2012)
      Carbon Footprinting of Archaeology Research (C-FAR) focused on developing a method of determining the carbon footprint of university-led archaeological training expeditions.
    • Care in the countryside: the theory and practice of therapeutic landscapes in the early twentieth-century

      Hickman, Clare; University of Chester (University of Hertfordshire Press, 2018-05-01)
      In 1945 Jane Whitney, when writing her biography of Geraldine Cadbury visited the Cropwood Open-Air School in Blackwell and described how ‘the sleep-time garden might be the envy of princes, with its fountain in the midst of a green lawn, so that the children took their naps amid the soothing, somnolent plash of falling water’. This evocative description of a princely garden gives an indication of the attention and importance given to gardens associated with such institutions in the early decades of the twentieth-century (Figure 8.1). Cropwood (opened in 1922) was just one of a number of open-air schools and hospitals operating at this time in Blackwell, near Bromsgrove, in the West Midlands. The open-air approach to treating chronic diseases such as tuberculosis became popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century in Britain. It encouraged inmates to spend as much time as possible in the fresh air and sunshine, as both were considered to have curative properties. The 1937 Ordnance Survey (OS) Map depicts a cluster of such institutions - along with Cropwood these were: Hunters Hill Open-Air School (opened 1933), The Uplands (Children’s Convalescent Home, opened 1923), Burcot Grange (annexe to Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital, opened 1936) and the Birmingham and Midland Counties Sanatorium, which became known as the Blackwell Convalescent Home (opened on this site in 1873) (Figure 8.2, 8.3). This chapter will explore this cluster but focus in detail on the gardens associated with Cropwood and the Blackwell Convalescent Home. In particular it will aim to unpick the design and use of these gardens in relation to contemporary medical and social ideas. In so doing, it will illuminate the connections between garden history and histories of health care, which is a growing research area. Historians that have explored this connection in relation to designed green spaces include myself and Sarah Rutherford. Medical historians, particularly Andrew Scull and Linda Bryder, have discussed the hospital landscape in relation to issues such as economics and national efficiency. Similarly, cultural geographers have taken an interest in the concept of ‘therapeutic landscapes’, including the work of Chris Philo on asylums, Hester Parr on mental health and space, and Wil Gesler, who originally coined the term.
    • The Cheshire Regiment

      Barr, Ronald; Chester College of Higher Education (Tempus, 2000)
      This book provides a photographic history of the 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment.
    • Chester under siege: An old city under fire from a new technology

      Chadwick, Sam; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2014-10)
      The siege of Chester was a key example of the conflict that wracked the kingdom during the English Civil Wars. Early on the in the conflict, Chester was a significant location; it was a major port, considered strategically key to Ireland, Wales and the North. Both sides attempted to recruit it to their side of the conflict, in the end the Royalists were successful and it took a long time for the Parliamentarians to finally take the city. During a particularly intense siege, Chester was bombared by the relatively new, more efficient pieces of artillery. During this conflict, not only were solid cannon shots fired into the walls, but also at the City itself along with mortars firing shells called 'Grenadoes.' By the end of the fighting Chester's place in society was somewhat lower, the city's silver plate had been used up, its populace reduced and starved, becomming vulnerable to society' other great foe - disease.
    • Chester's role in the Civil War

      Gaunt, Peter; Chester College of Higher Education (The Cromwell Association, 1995)
      This article discusses the role Chester played in the English Civil War. Chester was a key royalist centre and a focul point for the royalist cause in much of north Wales and the northern Marches. Chester remained royalist until February 1646 and reasons for this are discussed.
    • 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.
    • Citations in Stone: The Material World of Hogbacks

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2016-08-07)
      This article explores a meshwork of citations to other material cultures and architectures created by the form and ornament of house-shaped early medieval recumbent stone monuments popularly known in Britain as ‘hogbacks’. In addition to citing the form and ornament of contemporary buildings, shrines, and tombs, this article suggests recumbent mortuary monuments referenced a far broader range of contemporary portable artefacts and architectures. The approach takes attention away from identifying any single source of origin for hogbacks. Instead, considering multi-scalar and multi-media references within the form and ornament of different carved stones provides the basis for revisiting their inherent variability and their commemorative efficacy by creating the sense of an inhabited mortuary space in which the dead are in dialogue with the living. By alluding to an entangled material world spanning Norse and Insular, ecclesiastical and secular spheres, hogbacks were versatile technologies of mortuary remembrance in the Viking Age.
    • Climate, Environment and Lake Flixton

      Taylor, Barry; Blockley, Simon; Candy, Ian; Langdon, Pete; Palmer, Ian; Bayliss, Alex; Milner, Nicky; University of Chester, Royal Holloway (University of London), Royal Holloway (University of London), University of Southampton, Royal Holloway (University of London), Historic England, University of York (White Rose University Press, 2018-04-12)
      Climatic and Environmental history of Lake Flixton
    • ‘Clumsy and Illogical’? Reconsidering the West Kirby Hogback

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Cambridge University Press, 2016-11-02)
      This paper presents a fresh reading of a significant early medieval recumbent stone monument from West Kirby, Merseyside (formerly Cheshire). Rather than being a single-phased hogback, later subject to damage, it is argued that West Kirby 4 might have been carved in successive phases, possibly by different hands. It is suggested that the carvers had different abilities and/or adapted their work in response to the time pressures of a funeral or a shift in the location or function of the stone. While a single explanation for the character of the West Kirby monument remains elusive, the article proposes that, rather than ‘clumsy and illogical’, the stone was more likely a coherent but experimental, distinctive and asymmetrical, multi-phased and/or multi-authored creation. Through a review of the monument’s historiography and a detailed reappraisal of the details and parallels of its form, ornament and material composition, the paper reconsiders the commemorative significance of this recumbent stone monument for the locality, region and understanding of Viking Age sculpture across the British Isles. As a result, West Kirby’s importance as an ecclesiastical locale in the Viking Age is reappraised.