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Dr Stuart Prior

Medieval Archaeology, Castle Studies & Archaeological Practice

My research focuses primarily on Early Medieval and Medieval Archaeology and Castle Studies, whilst my teaching focuses mainly on Archaeological Practice and Landscape Archaeology. I also have research interests in Ancient Technology, Warfare and Experimental Archaeology, and a professional interest in Archaeological Health and Safety and Professional Practice.

I am currently conducting research on the Archaeology of the Anarchy Period for a publication examining the castles and structures surviving from one of the darkest chapters in English history, the first English Civil War, which occurred between 1139 and 1153 AD.

Since 2005, I have been Co-Director of the Berkeley Castle Project, a long-term archaeological research project that conducts annual fieldwork at Berkeley Castle, Glous. The Project’s objective is to build a detailed picture of the history and archaeology of the castle and the associated settlement of Berkeley, and the focus for the project can be described as ‘Mynster, Manor & Town’. The project has uncovered a multi-period site with archaeological features from every period from the Romans to the (second) English Civil War, with significant evidence of a high-status Anglo-Saxon Minster. I am particularly interested in the transition from the Anglo-Saxon minster landscape to the Norman feudal castle-centered landscape.

Having worked in Contract Archaeology for 10 years before joining the University, I have a professional interest in Archaeological Health and Safety and Professional Practice.  From 2011 to 2014, I worked with a group of specialists from industry and commerce helping to develop national H&S policy, acting as advisors for the Health and Safety Executive regarding the CDM Regulations and Archaeology.  In 2014, I was elected to the Advisory Council for the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA).

Research keywords

  • Early Medieval Archaeology
  • Medieval Archaeology
  • Castle Studies
  • Archaeological Practice
  • Landscape Archaeology
  • Ancient Technology
  • Experimental Archaeology
  • Health and Safety