Monasteries in the Landscape
with Dr Richard Hoggett
(Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service)
at Sutton Hoo, Saturday, 21st March, 2015.


Monasteries were one of the most important and influential features of the medieval landscape. To mark the feast day of St Benedict, this study-day examines the monastic landscapes of Britain throughout the Anglo-Saxon and medieval periods. In particular, we will be looking at the development of the monastic cloister and precinct, the management of monastic estates and the effects of the dissolution.

Provisional Programme

09.50 – 10.15:         Coffee on arrival

10.15 – 11.15:         Introduction to Monastic Landscapes

The day begins with a look at the nature of monasticism and introduces some of the main themes which have characterised the study of monastic landscapes.

11.15 – 11.40:         Coffee break

11.40 – 12.40:         The Monastic Plan

This session focuses on the archaeology and architecture of the major monastic orders of the high medieval period – beginning with the Benedictines – and assesses the monastic plans employed by the different orders.

12.40 – 13.45:         Lunch break

13.45 – 14.35:         The Monastic Precinct

The focus of the day broadens to look at the layout and workings of the wider monastic precinct, drawing on a number of examples from across the country.

14.35 – 14.55:        Tea break

14.55 – 15.45:         Monastic Estates

Finally, we consider the management of monastic estates, which directly and indirectly supplied and funded the monasteries themselves. The day concludes with a look at the effects which the Dissolution had on the medieval landscape.

c.15.45:                   Thanks and Close

About Dr Richard Hoggett

Richard is a Senior Archaeological Officer with Suffolk County Council and manages the Suffolk Historic Environment Record. He has taught extensively for the University of East Anglia and has given lectures and dayschools for many other institutions. He is the author of The Archaeology of the East Anglian Conversion and a wide range of other publications, details of which can be found on his website:

Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading

Aston, M., Monasteries in the Landscape (Tempus 2000)

Bond, J., Monastic Landscapes (Tempus 2004)

Coppack, G., Abbeys and Priories (Tempus 2006)

Foot, S., Monastic Life in Anglo-Saxon England, c.600–900 (Cambridge University Press 2006)

Greene, P., Medieval Monasteries (Leicester University Press 1990)

Pestell, T., Landscapes of Monastic Foundation (Boydell 2002)