IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 626: Theatres of Power: The Appropriation of Ancient Landscapes by the Church

Tuesday 14 July 2009, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Society for Medieval Archaeology
Organiser:Dawn Hadley, Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield
Moderator/Chair:Richard Morris, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds / School of Music, Humanities & Media, University of Huddersfield
Paper 626-aThe Circle and the Cross:The Adoption and Use of Prehistoric Monuments by the Early Christian Church in Anglo-Saxon England
(Language: English)
Sarah Semple, Department of Archaeology, Durham University
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Archaeology - Sites, Religious Life
Paper 626-bStranger in a Strange Land?: The Church of West Halton in its Bronze Age Setting
(Language: English)
Dawn Hadley, Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Archaeology - Sites, Religious Life
Paper 626-cCustodians of Continuity: The Barlings Abbey Landscape Project
(Language: English)
David Stocker, Univeristy of Leeds
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Archaeology - Sites, Monasticism, Religious Life
Abstract

Churches juxtaposed with prehistoric monuments are a scarce but persistent feature of the English landscape. The first paper in this session explores the wide-ranging and diverse evidence for the siting of early Christian foundations within, adjacent and on top of ancient prehistoric remains. The second paper discusses the significance of the recent discoveries at West Halton (Lincolnshire) of a complex of Bronze Age barrows and a square enclosure adjacent to the parish church. The site has also produced evidence of early Anglo-Saxon occupation, and the paper discusses the relationship between the appropriation of the prehistoric landscape for both settlement and ecclesiastical activity. The final paper outlines the long-standing investigation of the landscape setting of the Premonstratensian Abbey of Barlings (Lincolnshire), focussing on the relationship between the ritual and the mundane in the landscape, asking whether the label ‘ritual landscape’ is meaningful, and investigating the late Roman and Middle Saxon background to what became the Abbey estate.