Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Research

An interdisciplinary research centre bringing together our extensive expertise in History, Archaeology, Theology and English.

About us

Founded in 2018, the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Research brings together scholars from across the University, in History, Archaeology, Theology and English, into an interdisciplinary grouping to drive new and innovative research through collaboration, to enhance our understanding of the British Isles and the wider world from the end of the Classical Period to 1600.


The centre has particular expertise in Anglo-Saxon and earlier medieval history and in late medieval England and Europe. Thematic strands running throughout these areas are the study of kingship and queenship (see below) and of the history of Winchester and Wessex.

Our academics are involved with numerous high-profile medieval projects, such as the Leverhulme Trust-funded project Kingship, Court and Society, as well as interdisciplinary projects such as the Winchester medieval leper hospital project. We also have particular expertise in representations of the medieval period in modern media such as the gaming industry.

Explore our research projects to find out more.


The Centre has close ties with the University's Royal Studies Network, which organises the annual Kings and Queens conference and publishes the Royal Studies Journal. Members have collaborated on events and projects with the Hampshire Cultural Trust and Winchester City Council (e.g. Medieval Jewish Winchester). Centre experts have lent their expertise to Hyde900878AD, Hampshire Pride, the Winchester Heritage Open Days and the BBC History Weekends, which take place in Winchester.

Postgraduate research

The Centre runs training and engagement sessions for postgraduate research students, both on sector-wide topics such as impact and digital humanities and on more specific medieval topics. Our current research students are studying a wide range of topics and the centre provides support as well as an opportunity for them to discuss their work more widely. Applications from prospective students are most welcome; for details of the staff available to undertake research supervision, please visit the staff profiles below. Find out more about research degrees at Winchester.

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Background image: the Saxon stronghold and Norman fortress of Corfe Castle in Dorset.

Meet our medieval and Renaissance experts

Follow the links below to find out more about our research interests, areas of supervision and latest publications.




Old & Middle English / Historical Linguistics

Religious Studies

Centre news and events

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May 2024

Royal women expert publishes first biography of a forgotten medieval queen

This first full biography by Dr Gabrielle Storey explores the political career of this little known medieval Queen of England and Lord of Le Mans. It follows Berengaria's journey from Navarrese infanta, raised in the northern Iberian kingdom, to her travels across Europe to marriage and the Third Crusade, venturing through Sicily, Cyprus, and on to the Holy Land in 1191.

The book is the 6th in Routledge’s Lives of Royal Women series, which previously featured a biography of Joan of Navarre by Dr Ellie Woodacre.

Berengaria is published on 3rd June and is now available for pre-order. Academic book store P&G Wells in central Winchester hosts a book launch on 4th June. A few tickets are still available, book here.

25 April 2024: annual public lecture

This year we welcomed Dr Sophie Ambler from Lancaster University, who presented a lecture titled 'Culpability and Conscience in Civil War: A New History of Armed Treason in England, 1199-1352’.

War divided medieval England. During periods of crisis, new methods of war and conflict appear. For example disloyalty to the monarch resulted in increasingly harsh punishment. Drawing on research supported by a Philip Leverhulme Prize, Sophie discussed the experiences and activities of combatants in times of civil war in high medieval England. 

Sophie is a Reader in Medieval History and Deputy Director of the Centre for War and Diplomacy at Lancaster University. Her research explores political ethics and war in the central and later Middle Ages. This includes books on bishops in the political community of thirteenth-century England and on Simon de Montfort (d. 1265), who led a campaign to seize power from the king.


Winchester historian leads discussion on portrayals of Mary I in film and on TV for new podcast

Join Dr Johanna Strong, a former research student and currently a Visiting Lecturer in History, for a new podcast in the Queen Mary I Miniseries, part of the Tudors Dynasty podcast series. The episode focusses on representations and portrayals of Mary in film and on television. A Dec 2022 episode, also featuring Johanna, focussed on Mary's lecagy.

Find out more and listen to all the Queen Mary I Miniseries episodes.

Dr Strong has also produced a miniseries of short videos on the wedding of Mary I to Philip II of Spain, which took place in Winchester Cathedral.

Watch Episode 2 and Episode 3.

Roses are Red?

The Wars of the Roses saw some of the bloodiest months in English history, but winning on the battlefield did not necessarily mean winning the war, argues Dr Gordon McKelvie in the Jan. 2023 issue of History Today.

Find out more and subscribe to read the full article

Out now: The Middle Ages in Modern Games 2022 conference proceedings

Visit the MAMG webpage to relive or catch up on MAMG 2022 and to find out when MAMG 2023 will take place.


Winchester medieval historians contribute to new visitor attraction bringing Anglo-Saxon Winchester to life

Centre members and Anglo-Saxon specialists Prof. Ryan Lavelle and Dr Eric Lacey have lent their expertise to the development of an exciting new visitor attraction in Winchester. A partnership between the University, Hampshire Cultural Trust, Winchester City Council, games developer Ubisoft and AR specialists Sugar Creative, 878AD is an innovative immersive experience, enabling visitors to step into early medieval Winchester on the eve of the Battle of Edington in 878AD, at which King Alfred the Great defeated the Vikings and the journey towards a unified England began in earnest. Prof. Lavelle and Dr Lacey contributed alongside other Winchester academics and graduates.

Find out more about 878AD

The statue of King Alfred in central Winchester

Middle Ages in Modern Games (MAMG) conference 2022

Following the success of the 2020 and 2021 Middle Ages in Modern Games (MAMG) Twitter conferences, the 2022 edition took place on 7-10 June. This innovative virtual conference, a collaboration between the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Research and The Public Medievalist, sees delegates delivering their papers in a series of tweets, with much social media activity around the actual conference.

Find out more about The Middle Ages in Modern Games

Lepers, hunchbacks and cadavers

Members of the Centre have been out and about filming, recording and writing. Don't miss:


Middle Ages in Modern Games (MAMG) conference 2021

Following the success of the inaugural 2020 MAMG Twitter conference, the 2021 edition took place on 25-28 May. This innovative virtual conference, a collaboration between the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Research and The Public Medievalist, sees delegates delivering their papers in a series of tweets, with much social media activity around the actual conference. 

Online talk: The Wars of the Roses

In March 2021, Dr Gordon McKelvie delivered an online talk for the Historical Association. Based on his latest book, Bastard Feudalism, English Society and the Law: The Statutes of Livery, 1390 to 1520, Gordon spoke about rebellion and retaining during the Wars of the Roses. Missed it? Listen to the podcast

Annual/regular events

CMRR Public Lecture

The centre hosts a regular major public lecture by an eminent medieval scholar. 

Medieval Jewish Winchester (self-)guided walks

Our research into the medieval Jewish history of Winchester has led to the development of both guided and self-guided walks as part of the suite of visitor attractions focussing on the history of Winchester. To find out more, visit the Medieval Jewish Winchester project page.

The Middle Ages in Modern Games (MAMG) Conference

Born of necessity during the pandemic, MAMG is an innovative annual conference taking place entirely via social media. It has since grown in scope and popularity and is now a regular feature of the annual Leeds Internatinal medieval Congress. To find out more, visit the MAMG webpage.

Winchester Heritage Open Days

Centre experts have been regular key contributors to the annual Winchester Heritage Open Days

Medieval Studies Days

The Centre's Medieval Studies Days offer a showcase of ongoing medieval and Renaissance research at Winchester. The day usually takes place in April. The 2020 Medieval Studies Days took place online in September and were organised by our wonderful research students.


  • Catherine Capel (History research student), 'A Match Made in Heaven?: Assessing the Success of Royal Marriages'
  • James Reah (History research student), 'Bringing History to life, or life to History? An investigation into the role of historical re-enactment in popular culture and its extent in influencing modern perceptions on the past'
  • Dr Ellie Woodacre, 'Saints or Sinners? Sexuality, Reputation and Representation of Queens from Contemporary Sources to Modern Media'
  • Dr James Ross, 'Popular rebellion in the early Tudor period'
  • Dr Gordon Mcelvie, 'Rebellious Bonds in Late Medieval Scotland: Do The Details Matter?'
  • Dr Robert Houghton, 'King takes Bishop: Playing The Investiture Contest'