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Beatrice Widell – University of Reading

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Beatrice Widell

A Crimson Horizon - The Religious Landscapes of Warfare in Northern Britain, c.1050-1500.

In my PhD project, 'The Religious Landscapes of Warfare in Northern Britain, c. 1050-1500' funded by the AHRC SWW DTP, I investigate the performance of rituals and use of sacred topographies of English and Scottish soldiers during battle in northern Britain by synthesising the literary and archaeological evidence in a series of case studies of battlefield landscapes in ArcGIS. By drawing parallels to the medieval pilgrim experience of acting in liminal landscapes, it approaches the battlefields from a new perspective; how soldiers transformed the landscape pre-, during, and post-battle by devotional acts and rituals. It provides a multidisciplinary approach towards medieval sacred landscapes, and how the natural and man-made landscape supported the medieval soldiers' spiritual lives in times of battle.


About Me:

I completed both my B.A. in Art History (2014) and M.A. in Archaeology (2016), at Uppsala University. My Master's Thesis explored the monastic landscapes in early medieval western Scotland, where I combined the hagiography Life of St Columba with the archaeological landscape of monasticism in order to understand the symbolic location of monasteries. I was the Student Representative of the Society for Medieval Archaeology (2018) and organised the annual PGR Colloquium in Reading, November 2018.  

Research Interests:

  • Medieval landscape archaeology.
  • Sacred topographies.
  • Archaeological theory and method.

Research Groups:

Landscape, Climate and Lived Environment

       B Widell



Professor Roberta Gilchrist (University of Reading)

Dr Andy King (University of Southampton)

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