Mick Aston Lecture: Territoriality and Identity in the Early Medieval Landscape


Annual lecture in memory of Mick Aston.

Mick Aston made many important contributions to our understanding of the early medieval landscape in South-West Britain, including the identification of a series of cemeteries dating to the post-Roman centuries, contemporary with the famous re-occupied hilltop sites such as Cadbury Congresbury, South Cadbury, and Tintagel. Mick also spent many years studying the development of landscapes characterised by villages and open fields (most notably at Shapwick in Somerset), which appears to have happened within the context of the fragmentation of large territories widely known as ‘multiple estates’.  

This year’s Mick Aston lecture will be given by Prof Stephen Ripon, who will explore landscape change in this period through his recent research into early medieval landscapes in the South-West, starting with a long-term community excavation at Ipplepen, in Devon, that was supported by a generous bequest in Mick’s will. During the Roman period, Ipplepen was a substantial roadside settlement, and occupation into the early medieval period is demonstrated by the presence of a substantial 5th-8th century sub-Roman cemetery. This appears to have been replaced by an open field system associated with a nearby medieval village. The wider context of the site has been explored through reconstructing the larger territory within which its community lived their daily lives, and which extended from the coast at Torbay up onto the high uplands of Dartmoor. 

Join us for our celebratory annual lecture and hear about the very latest research on the medieval landscape of southwest Britain.

Please note: this event will close to enrolments at 23:59 BST on 28 November 2023.

This lecture is in memory of Mick Aston. Mick was a tutor in local studies at the Department before moving to Bristol University. Earlier he had made a major contribution to the archaeology of Oxfordshire through his work on the Sites and Monuments Record, then based at the City and County Museum in Woodstock.

Programme details

Registration at Rewley House reception (in-person attendees only)

Territoriality and Identity in the Early Medieval Landscape
Prof Stephen Rippon

Event ends


Description Costs
Course Fee - in-person attendance (includes tea/coffee) £25.00
Course Fee - virtual attendance £20.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit or are a full-time student in the UK you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Prof Stephen Rippon

Stephen Rippon is Professor of Landscape Archaeology at the University of Exeter, and a past president of the Society of Medieval Archaeology and Medieval Settlement Research Group. His research interests embrace the landscapes of Roman and medieval Britain, and recent books include Territoriality in the Early Medieval Landscape, Roman and Medieval Exeter and Their Hinterlands, Planning in the Early Medieval Landscape and Kingdom, Civitas and County. He is currently writing up a long-term programme of survey and excavation at the Iron Age, Roman, and early medieval settlement of Dainton Elms Cross (near Ipplepen) in Devon.


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.

IT requirements

For those joining us online

We will be using Zoom for the livestreaming of this course. If you’re attending online, you’ll be able to see and hear the speakers, and to submit questions via the Zoom interface. Joining instructions will be sent out prior to the start date. We recommend that you join the session at least 10-15 minutes prior to the start time – just as you might arrive a bit early at our lecture theatre for an in-person event.

Please note that this course will not be recorded.