Call for Papers


We are holding a conference on 9-11 April 2025 at the University of Bristol to explore French-language texts produced and/or circulating in the Celtic-speaking countries of medieval Britain, in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. See the attached document for further details.

The conference is sponsored by the ‘Mapping the March‘ project (ERC/UKRI) and the British Academy Newton Fellowship scheme.

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Being Human Festival 2023 – Finding Medieval Bristol

I’m delighted to have been awarded a small grant from the Being Human Festival to run a public event during the 2023 Festival, which runs from 9–18 November 2023.

‘Finding Medieval Bristol’ is an entertaining and interactive walking tour for families and visitors to Bristol, based on the map of ‘Bristol in 1480: A Medieval Merchant City‘, researched by me and a team of experts and published by the Historic Towns Trust. The themed walk will be led by the theatre company, ‘Show of Strength’, and will feature actors recreating the city as it would have been experienced in 1480 by William Worcestre, whose description of the city in that year was the inspiration for the historical map.

The aim of the Being Human Festival is to celebrate the contribution that research in Arts and Humanities makes to everyday life. I hope that ‘Finding Medieval Bristol’ and its underlying research will increase understanding and appreciation of the city of Bristol and encourage a sense of community belonging.

For further information, contact Helen Fulton,


The Medieval March of Wales – a five-year research project

The Cistercian Valle Crucis Abbey near Llangollen.

A five-year research project to explore the history and literature of the medieval March of Wales began on 1 May 2023, based at the University of Bristol. The project is called ‘The Medieval March of Wales, c. 1282–1550: Mapping Literary Geography in a British Border Region’, known as MOWLIT for short.

The project aims to create the first cultural history of the medieval March of Wales, the borderlands between Wales and England, occupied by a diverse population of Welsh, English and French speakers in the period between 1282 and 1550. The main objectives are to uncover and analyse the literary texts and manuscripts produced and circulated in the medieval March, and to create an original series of digital maps of the Marcher lordships at various date points during the period. The texts and the maps will be linked by means of a prosopography, a visualisation of the major gentry houses and abbeys, and a distribution of the texts/manuscripts across the maps showing where they were produced and who read/owned them. These resources will enable an assessment of the cultural and regional identities of the March and its relations with its more powerful neighbour, England.

The project team includes heritage and mapping specialists from the Royal Commission of Ancient and Historic Monuments in Wales and digital humanities specialists from Research IT at the University of Bristol. The project will employ two full-time postdoctoral research assistants and an administrator, and will support a PhD studentship. Outcomes from the project include a monograph, two edited collections, digital and printed maps, and a PhD thesis suitable for publication. You can read more about the project at the MOWLIT website which we have recently set up and which will be added to with new materials at regular intervals.

The project was originally awarded funding through the ERC Advanced Grant scheme and is now funded through the UKRI guarantee.

We aim to engage with local history groups, museums, creative practitioners and other stakeholders with an interest in the region of the March and its history. Please get in touch if you would like to be added to the mailing list to be kept up to date with the project and its activities.


Project team image


First bilingual map of a Welsh town – Swansea and the Mumbles

The Historic Towns Trust published the Historic Maps of Swansea and the Mumbles / Mapiau Hanesyddol Abertawe a’r Mwmbwls in April 2023. The two maps, one in English and one in Welsh, were launched at Swansea Museum on 20 May 2023.

The maps show the whole of the central Swansea city area, together with maps of the industrial valley and of the village of Mumbles to the west of the city. The streetscape of medieval Swansea can be seen alongside later developments during Swansea’s heyday as a busy industrial centre from the eighteenth up to the beginning of the twentieth century.

The English map was edited by Helen Fulton and Giles Darkes (Historic Towns Trust) and the Welsh map was edited by Helen Fulton, Giles Darkes, and Geraint Evans (Swansea University). The maps were funded by grants from the University of Bristol and Swansea University, with additional donations from the Gower Society and a number of individuals. The research assistant on the project was Dr Ben Curtis.

The Welsh map is the first of its kind – a map in Welsh of a Welsh town – and the Historic Towns Trust hopes to publish more such bilingual maps. The maps can be purchased through any physical or online bookshop such as Waterstones.

These images show (left) a snapshot of central Swansea from the English map, and (right) a snapshot of the Mumbles from the Welsh map. For further enquiries, contact


February 2023 – Visiting Professor from Penn State University

We were delighted to welcome Professor Benjamin Hudson from the Department of History at Penn State University for a visit to the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Bristol in February–March 2023. Ben’s visit was funded by the Benjamin Meaker Follow-on Fund, a University of Bristol scheme for supporting return visits from international research collaborators. Ben first visited Bristol as a Benjamin Meaker Fellow in 2019, so this was another opportunity to share our research on medieval borders and borderlands. As an expert in medieval Irish and Atlantic borders, Ben’s research adds an important dimension to the network’s research aims. While in Bristol, Ben worked with Helen Fulton on research questions and methodologies for border research, and Ben delivered a public lecture, ‘Dangerous Company: Five Questions about Macbeth‘, which explored the social context of the historical figure of Macbeth and how Shakespeare had adapted his life to form the basis of his play.



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Historic Towns Trust Spring Lectures 2021

The Historic Towns Trust, in association with ‘Borders and Borderlands’, is offering a series of online lectures in Spring 2021. The lectures are free, and all are welcome. Register for the lectures using the individual Eventbrite links below each lecture, and you will be sent the Zoom link shortly before each lecture.

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Map of Bristol 1480

The Historic Towns Trust, supported by funding from the University of Bristol and local history societies, has published A Map of Bristol in 1480: A Medieval Merchant City. The map is a reconstruction of the city as it was described by William Worcestre, a high ranking official who was a native of Bristol and described its streets and buildings in great detail. Worcestre’s description, combined with archaeological information and extensive historical research, has allowed a team of leading Bristol historians and archaeologists to reconstruct Worcestre’s Bristol. The map is printed on a single fold-out sheet with an OS map of 1918 in the background. On the reverse is a detailed description of the churches, religious houses, castle walls, inns, taverns, and houses belonging to the most prosperous merchants in this major port town. The project was led by Professor Helen Fulton (University of Bristol) as part of ‘Making Bristol Medieval’, funded by the Research Enterprise Development Knowledge Exchange Fund. The cartography and design were by Giles Darkes of the Historic Towns Trust and the introduction was written by Professor Peter Fleming (University of the West of England). Research for the map was undertaken by Dr Robert H. Jones (formerly Bristol City Council), Dr Pete Insole (Bristol City Council), Professor Roger Leech (University of Southampton), and Dr Bethany Whalley (University of Bristol). The map is £9.99 and can be ordered from bookshops using the ISBN 978-0-9934698-7-9.



Fifteenth Century Conference 2021

The annual Fifteenth Century Conference will be held at the University of Bristol from 2-4 September 2021. This is a postponement of the 2020 conference originally scheduled for September 2020, postponed due to the Covid pandemic.

The theme of the conference is ‘Disruption’, and the call for papers will be posted soon. All papers accepted for the 2020 conference will be automatically accepted for the 2021 conference. Please send enquiries to:

Announcing a new Borders and Borderlands project: Making Bristol Medieval

We’re delighted to announce that Borders and Borderlands has won a grant of £11,173 from the Research and Enterprise Knowledge Exchange fund at the University of Bristol for the project ‘Making Bristol Medieval’.

The aim of the project is to highlight Bristol’s medieval past as a major political and commercial centre with an early interest in the potential of Atlantic trade routes. One of the major outputs of the project is a map of medieval Bristol in the year 1480, to be published in association with the Historic Towns Trust. The project runs from February to July 2020, and the PDRA is Dr Bethany Whalley. Read more.