East Anglian Towns in the Middle Ages
with Professor Mark Bailey
at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo (map)
|10.00||Coffee on arrival|
|10.15||The Origins of Towns, 600 to 1100
This introductory sessions sets the urban scene for the day school, including an outline survey of sources and the evidentiary basis for studying this subject. It then looks at the origins of East Anglian towns. Drawing from the work of archaeologists and Domesday scholars, it considers the new dawn of urbanisation from the emergence of Anglo Saxon trading emporia to the evidence of Domesday.
|11.45||Urban & Commercial Expansion, 1100-1350
The urban structure was transformed between 1100 and 1300, to the extent that the urban foundations of modern of East Anglia were comprehensively laid in this period. Dozens of new fairs and markets were established, and new towns were planted, sometimes as speculative commercial ventures. The growth of the common law, and the military stability of England, encouraged trade and travel. This session considers these developments within the wider context of the broad economic and social changes which stimulated commerce.
|14:00||Discovering East Anglian Towns
This session considers the nuts and bolts of urbanisation. It looks at the topography and evolution of towns, medieval town life, their governance, and the importance of religion. Case studies, such as Castle Acre and Clare, will be deployed to illustrate the major themes. It considers the evidence available to historians, from documentary sources to buildings and town plans.
|15:15||The Paradox of Late Medieval Towns
In the 1960s and 1970s the fortunes of late medieval towns were the subject of a lengthy, and ultimately rather dull, debate between historians. The catastrophe of the Black Death (1349) and subsequent population collapse dramatically shifted the economic paradigm within which towns operated, and created serious challenges as well as some fresh opportunities. Well documented case studies—such as Yarmouth, Ipswich, Lavenham and Dunwich—will be contrasted with lesser known ones (Woodbridge, Covehithe, Lidgate and Thetford) to illustrate the main issues, and also to demonstrate the seismic economic realignment of the fifteenth century.
Dr Mark Bailey went to school in Suffolk, and subsequently ran a school in Leeds. He is currently enjoying a Visiting Fellowship in Medieval History at All Souls College, Oxford, and this autumn will become Professor of Late Medieval History at the University of East Anglia. His latest book, Medieval Suffolk. An Economic and Social History, 1200-1500 launched the much-anticipated History of Suffolk series, and has just been released as a paperback.
Bailey, M., Medieval Suffolk: An Economic and Social History, 1200-1500 (Woodbridge 2007)
Dyer, C.C., Making a Living in the Middle Ages. The People of Britain 850-1520 (London, 2002)
Dymond, D.P., The Norfolk Landscape (London, 1986)
Dymond, D.P., & P. Northeast, A History of Suffolk, (Chichester, 1995)
Platt, C., The Medieval English Town (London, 1976)
Please phone or email to check the availability of places. This Study Days are £38 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition. Once you have reserved your place please send a cheque to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)