PhD Archaeology



Duncan’s research focuses on fourteenth century manorial curiae across England.  He is using manorial accounts and documentary sources to investigate the appearance of the domestic and agricultural buildings within the curia through an analysis of their building materials and descriptions of maintenance.  The documentary evidence can be combined with the results of archaeological excavations and surveys.  This project combines archaeology with history and economics to fully understand these building complexes.

Previously, Duncan has undertaken research into the defensibility of Irish Tower Houses; carrying out experiments to physically test the strength of the tower doors.


Forthcoming conference presentations:

Buildings of Power: how manorial buildings were power, Borderlines XVIII, University College Cork

Halls, Barns and Oxhouses: a study of manorial buildings in medieval England, SABA’14 Bamberg University

Thrones & Farms: medieval ‘empires’ and their buildings, Leeds International Medieval Congress


Recent conference presentations:

Building an Identity in fourteenth-century England, Boston University Postgraduate Archaeology Biennial Conference, Boston University

Was it grim up North? – a view from the fourteenth century, Society for Medieval Archaeology Student Colloquium, University of Aberdeen

Manors in the Landscape: Buildings and the management of fourteenth-century manors, Space & Settlement conference, Trinity College Dublin

Welcome to the occupation: patterns in the management of the fourteenth-century English landscape, Borderlines XVII, Trinity College Dublin

Lordship and Manors: Did monastic possession influence manorial management?, Leeds Monasticism Conference, Leeds University

Archaeology from Documents: Using large collections of accounts to investigate medieval buildings, NeDiMAH workshop, Den Haagen



The Power of Place, Buildings in Society International

Archaeology from documents: the buildings of fourteenth-century Alciston, Society for Medieval Archaeology Student Colloquium, Cardiff


Select publications:

In preparation, with Mark Gardiner ‘Manor Houses in England Before 1550: A Long-Term Perspective’

In preparation, ‘The fourteenth-century buildings of the curia of Alciston manor’ Historic Farm Buildings Group Review

2010, ‘A study of the defensibility of Irish Tower Houses’ Castle Studies Group Journal

2009, ‘Home Security: How strong was a Tower House Door?’ Archaeology Ireland 23 [Summer 2009], 8-10

2008, ‘Defending the lord’s power – Testing the strength of an Irish Tower House door’, Proceedings of Power in the Middle Ages conference, NUI Galway

2008, ‘Field surveys undertaken by the Ulster Archaeological Society in 2007’ Ulster Journal of Archaeology



Historic Europe (1st year module)

Populations, Death and Disease (3rd year module)