22 April

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Vikings in Your Vocabulary
Dr Richard Dance (University of Cambridge)

This study day will explore the massive and sometimes surprising contribution that the Vikings made to the English language, from basic words we still use every day to the richly expressive vocabulary of medieval poems like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
6 May

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From Wool to Cloth: The Triumph of the Suffolk Clothier
Dr Nicholas Amor
(Honorary Research Fellow, School of History, UEA)
Learn more about Suffolk’s medieval cloth industry: why it was so successful; the wool trade; the various stages in cloth production and finishing; the lives of cloth workers; the rise of clothiers and the importance of the London market.
13 May

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St Magnus and the Orkney Isles
Dr Heather O’Donoghue (University of Oxford)

We shall explore the extraordinary career of St Magnus of Orkney, focussing on its primary source, Orkneyinga saga (the saga of the people of Orkney), a thirteenth-century Icelandic saga filled with a rich cast of saints and Vikings, poets and politicians. The saga is set in Orkney from the time of its earliest Scandinavian rulers in the ninth century down to the last independent earls of Orkney in the thirteenth, but it begins with an intriguing account of the mythic origins of Scandinavia itself. In each of the sessions we will pay particular attention to the distinction between history and fiction and the way we might understand “what happened” from different kinds of medieval source material.
20 May

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King Æthelstan, the Making of England, and the Battle of Brunanburh
Michael Wood
A day with historian Michael Wood on the famous grandson of Alfred the Great, Æthelstan, and his family, in the light of a lifetime of study. The day will also include his recent work on Æthelstan’s great victory at the Battle of Brunanburh in 937. Reviewing the evidence from texts, coins, and place names, and setting the event in the context of the politics and landscape of Britain in the Viking Age, Michael will offer a new perspective on what was one of the major battles of English history. Full – Please email to be added to the waiting list
10 June

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The Anglo-Saxon Riddle Tradition: Is it Really a Laughing Matter?
Professor Andy Orchard
(Rawlinson & Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon, Pembroke College, Oxford)
Anglo-Saxon riddles link the learned and the lewd, the inherited and the imported, and the oral and the literary: they suggest startling ways of perceiving the past, while appreciating how wondrous the world can seem, and how marvellous the mundane.
17 June

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The Forgotten History of St Bótwulf (Botolph)
Dr Sam Newton (Independent Scholar)
On his festival-day in medieval calendars, we shall see what we can retrieve of the largely forgotten history of this famous but little known saint, one of the great medieval protector of travellers, through the literature, art, archaeology, and landscapes associated with him and his cult.
24 June

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King Edward II: The Man and the Mystery
Kathryn Warner (Independent Scholar)

Edward II was king of England from 1307 to 1327, and the first to be deposed. This study day looks at this most unconventional of kings, his turbulent and dramatic reign, and the mystery surrounding his murder or possible survival years afterwards.
1 July

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Settlements and Strongholds:
Literature and Landscape in Early Medieval England
Dr Michael Bintley (Canterbury Christ Church University)

Much is known about Anglo-Saxon settlements from the archaeological record, but, as this study day will reveal, still more can be found by considering this evidence alongside the period’s literature and other written sources.
8 July

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The Abbey of Bury St Edmunds
Dr Frances Young (The King’s School, Ely)

St Edmund’s Abbey dominated the spiritual and political landscape of Suffolk for over 500 years and continues to define the identity of the town that took its name. This study day explores the origins, achievements, conflicts, and legacy of East Anglia’s greatest monastery.