The Material Experiences of ‘Peasant’ Life in Medieval Britain and Ireland (C. 1200–1500)


  • Ben Jervis
  • Karen Dempsey


The Material Experiences of ‘Peasant’ Life project seeks to encourage a comparative approach to the study of non-elite rural medieval lifeways in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. The project builds on the success of two other recent research projects: Home is Where the Heart(h) is (Dempsey forthcoming a–b) and Living Standards and Material Culture in English Rural Households c.1300–1600 (Jervis et al. forthcoming), which examine the material worlds of non-elite rural communities in Ireland and England respectively. A key outcome of these separate, but related, projects, has been the recognition of a need to foster deeper interregional comparison between people, their things, and the settlements in which they lived. Both projects identified this lack of systematic inter-regional research as a major opportunity for future study. A workshop – supported by the Medieval Settlement Research Group – has been held to initiate the project, with the core aim of progressing beyond Anglo-centric understandings of medieval rural life, which have long dominated medieval archaeology.


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How to Cite

Jervis, B., & Dempsey, K. (2023). The Material Experiences of ‘Peasant’ Life in Medieval Britain and Ireland (C. 1200–1500). Medieval Settlement Research, 38, 31–34. Retrieved from