In the past five years, the research of Dr Mark Blackburn and Dr Rory Naismith has been crucial to
transforming the personal and professional development of amateur metal detectorists and
collectors. Early medieval coins discovered by the latter have been integral to this research, and
dissemination of research conclusions has led detectorists to search more responsibly and report
their finds. Dr Blackburn and Dr Naismith's research has thus shaped attitudes towards the
heritage value of coinage among the general public, metal-detector users and in the commercial
sector. Their success in achieving this impact has been based on presentation of research through
electronic databases, public outreach and printed publications.
Direct cultural, historical, religious, creative and musical impact has
been achieved through active participation of five distinct groups in a
major practice-led research project (2009-2013): (i) 18 craftspeople and
artists creating historically-informed artefacts; and (ii) clergy, (iii)
singers, (iv) organists and (v) congregations participating in the
enactment of medieval rituals (footfall over 2500). Impact over a longer
period (2001-13) has been achieved through use of three reconstructed
medieval organs in residencies (c.3-12 months) at cathedrals,
churches and college chapels, with direct musical impact on early
performance practice by choirs and organists. Wider indirect impact is
ongoing through the main project websites.
`Threads of Feeling', a major exhibition of the textile tokens left with
abandoned infants at the London Foundling Hospital in the mid-eighteenth
century, was curated and based on original research by Professor John
Styles. Displayed at the London Foundling Museum in 2010-11, it received
19,132 visitors in six months. A permanent online presence from 2011
extended its reach, and when it travelled to the USA in 2013, a further
46,619 people saw it over two months. Its public popularity, enthusiastic
critical reception and role in inspiring textile practitioners in
particular have all ensured significant public awareness of this
previously little known aspect of social history.
John Blair's research on the history and archaeology of early medieval
England has had a major impact on central and local planning policy. It
has made several significant contributions to current practice as regards
historic landscapes and building preservation (especially churches), and
it is at the heart of the on-going debate about future policy reform. His
publications are read and used by planning officers, policy makers, and by
the general public — who have also come to know of his work through
Channel Four's Time Team. Blair's research demonstrates the
influence that academic history and archaeology of the highest scholarly
standards can have on planners, policy makers, commercial archaeologists,
and conservationists. Its public benefits include improved understanding,
cultural enrichment, and conservation policies which are more sensitive to
the heritage embedded in landscapes.
Sites of medieval carved stones attract thousands of visitors per year to
Scotland. Katherine Forsyth's research at Glasgow has led the
redevelopment of some of the most important collections of stones open to
the public, unlocking carvings never displayed before and transforming the
visitor experience of these ancient cultural icons. Her research
transformed Historic Scotland's current policy on the management of carved
stones, which applies to around 1,800 monuments and has redesigned the
visitor experience at Iona Abbey, which attracts 50,000 visitors per year.
The main aim of the Anglo-Norman Dictionary (AND) in impact terms is to
provoke a revision of the understanding of the role of Anglo-Norman in the
development of English and to demonstrate how the language (especially the
vocabulary) of the incoming Normans impinged on and fed into English. The
project and its freely-available online dictionary (www.anglo-norman.net)
have attracted considerable attention from the educated lay public with
interests in language history, genealogy, family names, aspects of
language use in Britain in the Middle Ages, and social history.
Impact has been achieved by speaking to non-academic groups; contributing
to audio and visual displays in museums; and by being interviewed by Radio
4; Trotter appeared as an expert in a National Geographic film on broadly
related matters to do with medieval literature; and the AND has been
awarded a prestigious French prize. The AHRC decided to feature the AND as
a project on their website in autumn 2012, suggesting that it is perceived
as beneficial to their own impact and publicity strategy.
Professor Bartlett has written and presented two television series on
medieval subjects for the BBC: Inside the Medieval Mind (four
one-hour episodes, BBC4, 2008) and The Normans (three one-hour
episodes, BBC2, 2010). Already one of the world's leading medieval
historians, he has taken his work to a much wider audience through these
series. Impact in this case is primarily on cultural life, through the
exposure of millions of viewers to a historical documentary about the
Middle Ages. The BBC's estimate of their value is re-emphasized by the
recent completion of a third series, The Plantagenets, to be
screened in autumn 2013.
This case study builds upon co-director Professor Howard Williams'
expertise in archaeologies of memory and mortuary archaeology through the
archaeological fieldwork of Project Eliseg (hereafter PE). This project
has transformed academic and popular understandings of a unique and
striking ancient monument by: (i) creating a network of strategically
designed outreach activities engaging the public with archaeological
fieldwork at early medieval stone monuments, (ii) disseminating the
research to a range of audiences via traditional and new media, and (iii)
instigated strategies for the heritage management and conservation of an
internationally important heritage site.
The Wars of the Roses and Richard III remain engrossing and controversial
after 500 years throughout the Anglophone world and beyond. Hicks and
Holford have made a significant impact on public knowledge and
understanding of the period's politics and society. Their publications,
printed and online, are valuable resources for professional and amateur
historians, students and the general public, nationally and
internationally. Hicks' Anne Neville underpinned Philippa
Gregory's novel, The Kingmaker's Daughter and hence the BBC series
The White Queen. The website, blog and twitter, Mapping the
Medieval Countryside, are making the inquisitions post mortem
(IPMs) much more widely accessible and useful than hitherto.
This case study relates the impact of work on civic entertainments as
important contributors to community cohesion and identity, to
understandings of local heritage, and as generators of cultural tourism.
Based on the research and outreach activities of Professor Pamela King,
internationally acknowledged specialist on European civic processions and
shows, medieval and modern, it outlines how she is engaged with civic
communities in an advisory and informing capacity to bust myths and raise
the level of public debate about the nature and potential of "medieval"
festivals, as various agencies seek new or enhanced ways to generate
income for the city and its institutions.