Medieval resources

I am interested in how people in medieval Europe have managed various resources to make the most of their potential. I have looked extensively at agricultural landscapes and the environment in the early Anglo-Norman period (1066-1135) in England and Normandy. I have also published on swine husbandry and agricultural practice in the High and Late Middle Ages in both city and countryside.

Blood on the butcher’s knife

Blood on the butcher’s knife, In Blood Matters: Blood in European Literature and Thought, 1400-1700, ed. Bonnie Lander Johnson and Eleanor Decamp (forthcoming, submitted for review at press).

The late medieval period has complex and contradictory developments in the thinking about animal blood from butchery. It is both a potential …

Continue reading

The origins and history of medieval wood pastures

in European Wood-pastures in Transition: A Social-ecological Approach, ed. Tibor Hartel and Tobias Plieninger, 55-69 (Routledge, 2014).

co-authored with Peter Quelch

Rather than historical ecology, which is the study of what the environment was at a particular moment in time, this chapter presents an environmental history, which is the study of …

Continue reading

The enduring landscape of medieval cathedral construction

UGPS Working Paper Series 2014-003, Umeå University, 2014.

This paper examines the great building phase of the Anglo-Normans in England from an environmental rather than the more common architectural standpoint. THe construction of massive cathedrals, modern monasteries, and ubiquitous parish churches resulted in environmental consequences for medieval England after the …

Continue reading

Running amuck? Urban swine management in late medieval England

Agricultural History 87 (2013): 429-451.

Swine as agricultural products were extremely common in the medieval townscape, but pigs are also notoriously damaging if allowed to run amuck. This article explores how local governments tried to regulate pig rearing as an integrated element in the urban space, arguing that the authorities attempted …

Continue reading

Pigs and pollards – medieval insights for UK wood pasture restoration

Sustainability 5 (2013): 387-399.

English wood pastures have become a target for ecological restoration, including the restoration of pollarded trees and grazing animals, although pigs have not been frequently incorporated into wood pasture restoration schemes. Because wood pastures are cultural landscapes, created through the interaction of natural processes and human practices, …

Continue reading

The roots of the English royal forest

in Anglo-Norman Studies 32: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2009, ed. Chris Lewis, 114-128 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2010)

This paper challenges scholarship on the English forest that focuses on royal hunting. Through an analysis of pre- and post-Conquest Continental charters, the paper first identifies characteristics of areas called forest. It then contrasts …

Continue reading

Multi-use management of the medieval Anglo-Norman forest

Journal of the Oxford University History Society, 1.1 (2004).

Contrary to the common view that the Middle Ages was a time of rapid environmental exploitation and degradation, legal documents of the first three Anglo-Norman kings, who reigned over England and Normandy from 1066 to 1135, reveal that medieval landholders in …

Continue reading