Local churches and the conquest of the North: elite patronage and identity in Saxo-Norman Northumbria

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


The social implications of the Saxo-Norman transition are particularly intriguing in Northumbria, where Anglian, Scandinavian, and Norman social structures, identities, and traditions of material culture converged. In the north, where royal control was less secure and there was a history of political independence, negotiating the transition required a calculated balance of imposed authority and regard for the institutions of the past. Local churches, already established as a focal point of religious and secular manorial life, were one of the primary arenas in which this dialogue of power was carried out. Through an examination of the evidence for stone church buildings and funerary monuments in eleventh and twelfth-century Northumbria, this paper demonstrates how the elite utilized church patronage to negotiate authority and identity in a period of acute transition, and how the particular political and cultural characteristics of Yorkshire, County Durham, and Northumberland could affect this process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarly Medieval Northumbria
Subtitle of host publicationKingdoms and Communities, AD 450-1100
EditorsDavid Petts, Sam Turner
Place of PublicationTurnhout
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9782503539812
ISBN (Print)9782503528229
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameStudies in the Early Middle Ages

Bibliographical note

This is an author produced version of a chapter to appear in 'Early Medieval Northumbria: Kingdoms and Communities'.

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