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Old and New Minster in Winchester. Source: Wikipedia

Early Medieval Winchester

After AD 800, Winchester was gradually established as a prominent royal centre. New books tells the story of how historians and archaeologists have worked together to reconstruct the physical realities of the landscape, the royal and ecclesiastical institutions and their wider impact of the formation of future England.

Early Medieval Winchester: Communities, Authority and Power in an Urban Space, c. 800-c.1 200
Ed by Ryan Lavelle, Simon Roffey, and Katherine Weikert
Oxbow Books 2021


Winchester’s identity as a royal centre became well established between the ninth and twelfth centuries, closely tied to the significance of the religious communities who lived within and without the city walls. 

The reach of power of Winchester was felt throughout England and into the Continent through the relationships of the bishops, the power fluctuations of the Norman period, the pursuit of arts and history writing, the reach of the city’s saints, and more. 

The essays contained in this volume present early medieval Winchester not as a city alone, but a city emmeshed in wider political, social, and cultural movements and, in many cases, providing examples of authority and power that are representative of early medieval England as a whole.

1. Communities, Authority and Power in Winchester, c. 800–c. 1200

Katherine Weikert, Ryan Lavelle, and Simon Roffey

2. Capital Considerations: Winchester and the Birth of Urban Archaeology

Martin Biddle

3. The King’s Stone: Peace, Power and the Highway in Early Medieval Winchester

Alexander James Langlands

4. Royal Burial in Winchester: Context and Significance

Barbara Yorke

5. Constructing Early Medieval Winchester: Historical Narratives and the Compilation of British Library Cotton Otho B.XI

Sharon M. Rowley

6. Winchester, Æthelings and Clitones: The Political Significance of the City for Anglo-Saxon Royalty and Norman Nobility

David McDermott

7. The Execution of Earl Waltheof: Public Space and Royal Authority at the Edge of Eleventh-Century Winchester

Ryan Lavelle

8. Queen, the Countess and the Conflict: Winchester 1141

Katherine Weikert

9. Lantfred and Local Life at Winchester in the 960s and 970s

Mark Atherton

10. Wælcyrian in the Water Meadows: Lantfred’s Furies

Eric Lacey

11. SK27, Or A Winchester Pilgrim’s Tale

Simon Roffey

12. The Early Jewish Community in Twelfth-Century Winchester: An Interdisciplinary View

Toni Griffiths

13. Henry of Blois and an Archbishopric of Winchester: Medieval Rationale and Anglo-Saxon Sources

Alexander R. Rumble

14. Swithun in the North: A Winchester Saint in Norway

Karl Christian Alvestad


Ryan Lavelle is a senior lecturer in medieval history at the University of Winchester where he teaches on Anglo-Saxon England, the Normans and the Norman Conquest, and the Carolingian Renaissance. He specialises in late Anglo-Saxon political history, including royal landholding, especially in Wessex, and early medieval warfare. He is the co-editor of Danes in Wessex (Oxbow 2016).

Simon Roffey is a reader in medieval archaeology at the University of Winchester with research interests in the archaeology of the medieval period, the archaeology of Winchester, church and building archaeology and the influence of the medieval period on creative writing and popular culture, including novels, films, games and art forms.

Dr Katherine Weikert is Senior Lecturer in Early Medieval European History at the University of Winchester. Her main areas of research examine the connections between gender, space and authority in England and Normandy ca 900 to 1200, female hostageships in the central Middle Ages, and the political uses of the medieval past.

Old Wardour Castle © Wiltshite Life

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Viking Sword. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin/Claudia Plamp

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