1st Edition

The Church in the Medieval Town

By T.R. Slater, Gervase Rosser Copyright 1998

    This volume of essays explores the interaction of Church and town in the medieval period in England. Two major themes structure the book. In the first part the authors explore the social and economic dimensions of the interaction; in the second part the emphasis moves to the spaces and built forms of towns and their church buildings. The primary emphasis of the essays is upon the urban activities of the medieval Church as a set of institutions: parish, diocese, monastery, cathedral. In these various institutional roles the Church did much to shape both the origin and the development of the medieval town. In exploring themes of topography, marketing and law the authors show that the relationship of Church and town could be both mutually beneficial and a source of conflict.

    Contents: Introduction, T.R. Slater and Gervase Rosser; Status and class in the medieval town, Rodney Hilton; Conflict and political community in the medieval town: disputes between clergy and laity in Hereford, Gervase Rosser; The Church and the Jews in English medieval towns, John Edwards; Trade, towns and the Church: ecclesiastical consumers and the urban economy of the West Midlands, 1290-1540, Christopher Dyer; The origin and early development of the London Mendicant houses, Jens Röhrkasten; Urban rectories and urban fortunes in late medieval England: the evidence from Bishop’s Lynn, R.N. Swanson; The town and the monastery: early medieval urbanization in Ireland, AD800-1150, B.J. Graham; Benedictine town planning in medieval England: evidence from St Albans, T.R. Slater; Trading places: monastic initiative and the development of high-medieval Coventry, Keith D. Lilley; The origins of urban parish boundaries, Nigel Baker and Richard Holt; Medieval parishes and parish churches in Canterbury, Tim Tatton-Brown; Clerical communities and parochial space: the planning of urban mother churches in the 12th and 13th centuries, John Blair; Index.


    T.R. Slater, Gervase Rosser

    'What we have here is a whole range of new approaches to old or previously intractable problems, and the use of new techniques to try to solve them. The essays in this volume have opened up the debate on the role of the Church in town formation and town life in exciting ways. The book has been beautifully produced by the publisher, and the cartography is quite outstanding.' The Ricardian, Vol. XI, No. 146