M4C Logo AHRC Logo

Kathryn Bullen

Languages and Literature, University of Nottingham

Thesis title:

Assess the impact of language, history and landscape on place-names on the Isle of Axholme

My research aims to discover what place-names in the Isle of Axholme can tell us about the historical change to society and culture in North Lincolnshire, which lies within the area historically known as the Danelaw. It will collect historical forms of place-names in order to build a strong foundation for further investigation. The project will benefit the local community and environmental agencies by promoting a greater appreciation for the landscape and an awareness of possible changes in the future which connect with its more watery past. It will also provide material for a publishable volume of the English Place-Name Society, contributing to the survey for Lincolnshire.

Research Area

  • Languages and Literature


Autumn 2022 - 'Working with Communities - Axholme place-names' - Lincoln Record Society (Newsletter Issue 20) - article outlining presentation given to Lincoln Records Research Network 

March 2022 - 'Isle of Axholme Place-Names: Discovering the landscape through the language of place-names' - website with resources, designed to complement the 2022 Isle of Axholme Exhibition at the North Lincolnshire Museum, showcasing place-name research alongside a celebration of the work of the Isle of Axholme and Hatfield Chase Landscape Partnership, which aims to reconnect the local community with their unique landscape and heritage - over 1,500 visitors and 295 downloads of educational material

March 2022 - 'Vikings in Axholme? Evidence from place-names and archaeological finds at Haxey and Crowle in the Isle of Axholme’ - contribution to Project Wildscape booklet Discovering Hatfield Chase and the Isle of Axholme, ed. by N. J. Whitehouse and J. Karhapaa (North Lincolnshire Council, 2022, pp. 82-92), designed to complement the Isle of Axholme Exhibition at the North Lincolnshire Museum

March 2022 - 'Vikings in Axholme? Digging up the evidence!' 4 slide contribution to Project Wildscape interactive touchscreen material, designed to complement the Isle of Axholme Exhibition at the North Lincolnshire Museum 

Spring 2022 - 'Placement at the Museum - Place-Names on the Isle of Axholme' - Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland (Newsletter 24) -  article discussing what it is like to work behind the scenes at a museum


9 September 2023: 'Place-names of the Isle of Axholme', poster presentation at the English Place-Name Society centenary celebration, University of Nottingham 

6 September 2022: 'Axholme: Place-Names in the Museum - manorial documents and more', poster presentation at Manorial Documents Register Conference 2022, co-hosted by The National Archives and University of Nottingham’s Manuscripts and Special Collection, University of Nottingham 

7 July 2022: 'Dykes, Ditches, and Drains: Borders and Place-Names on the Isle of Axholme', International Medieval Congress, Leeds

9 April 2022: Chair at SNSBI online spring conference - Session 4: Churches and Houses

24 February 2022: Natural Horizons Conference - Co-organiser of Midlands4Cities-funded online interdisciplinary symposium exploring the themes of landscape, space and environment

7-10 June 2021: 'Place-Names on the Map' Virtual Gallery e-Stack, Midlands4Cities Digital Research Festival

7-10 June 2021: Team Member of Midlands4Cities Digital Research Festival; 8 June 2021: Chair - Research Relay Four: Performance and Practice 

22 January 2021: 'The Scandinavian Influence on Place-Names and Artefacts in the Isle of Axholme', University of Nottingham School of English PGR Symposium (online)

17 October 2020: 'Axholme: Place-Names in the Marsh - a journey into bog and moor' - Society for Name Studies Britain and Ireland, autumn half day conference (online) - review in SNSBI newsletter (February 2021)

Public Engagement & Impact

27 May 2023 - Interview with BBC Radio Humberside - North Lincolnshire place-names

18 April 2023 - 'The Career Mentoring Scheme - My Journey' - blog for University of Nottingham

9 March 2023 - 'Discovering Axholme place-names' - Crowle and Ealand Heritage Society

31 October 2022 - 'Axholme Place-Names: Community Engagement' - Institute for Name-Studies, Nottingham, online seminar

12 October 2022 - 'Digging up the evidence of Axholme place-names' - Owston Ferry Heritage Society

September 2022 - 'Placement at the Museum - the Final Update' - Discover article/blog for the North Lincolnshire Museum website

29 July 2022 - Interview with BBC Radio Humberside at Living History Family Fun Day, CBA Festival of Archaeology, North Lincolnshire Museum (as part of Midlands4Cities placement) - over 800 visitors engaged

July 2022 - Research Assistant, University of Nottingham - transcription from electronic images of nineteenth-century literary texts of British India 

22 June 2022 - 'Working with Communities - Axholme place-names', Lincoln Record Society Research Network 15-minute talk

18 May 2022 - 'Digging up the evidence of Axholme place-names: language, history and landscape', North Lincolnshire Museum 1-hour talk

8 April 2022 - 'Placement at the Museum - Researcher's Update' - Discover article/blog for the North Lincolnshire Museum website

1 February 2022 - 'Placement at the Museum - Place-Names on the Isle of Axholme' - Discover article/blog for the North Lincolnshire Museum website 

October 2021 - October 2022 - Isle of Axholme Exhibition 2022 project team (Midlands4Cities placement) - North Lincolnshire Museum. Main tasks: designing exhibition, developing learning resources and delivering outreach events; sharing research findings relating to the impact of language, history and landscape on place-names on the Isle of Axholme; reconnecting the local community with their unique local landscape and heritage

4 June 2021 - 'The Lincolnshire Isle: Place-Names in a Watery Landscape' - Digital Museum 15-minute talk

26 May 2021 - 'Place-Names on the Map' - North Lincolnshire Museum 20-minute talk

25 February 2021 - 'Digging up the origins of "road"' - Viae Regiae blog and wiki

February 2021 - June 2021: Volunteer Associate - Viae Regiae 'Mapping the Transport Network of England and Wales, 1530-1680' - specific task: geotagging place-names on Saxton's 1576 map of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire to contribute to the creation of the first digital edition of the Saxton atlas 

November 2020 - June 2021: Research Affiliate - assisting in the completion and indexing of Research Excellence Framework publications for the Institute for Name-Studies, University of Nottingham (specific role: indexed and proof-read 'An index to personal names in English place-names' by Keith Briggs, English Place-Name Society, published April 2021) 

25 November 2020: 'Axholme: Place-Names in the Marsh' - University of Nottingham History PGR Work in Progress 15-minute talk

17 November 2020: Promote your local history project through a ten minute talk - 'Axholme: Place-Names in the Marsh' - British Association for Local History


Institute for Name-Studies

English Place-Name Society

Society for Name Studies Britain and IrelandOrdinary Committee Member and Outreach (Resources) Sub-Committee Member (April 2021 - April 2024)

Royal Historical SocietyEarly Career Member (elected 30 September 2021) 

Association for Project Management - Student Member

British Association for Local History

Centre for the Study of the Viking Age

Viking Society for Northern Research


July 2021 - University of Nottingham, School of English PGR Community Prize - for working tirelessly to communicate research to the Axholme community

Professional qualification

2 December 2021 - PRINCE2 Foundation project management course