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Rob Hedge

History, University of Leicester

Thesis title:

Landscapes of Dispersed Settlement: Understanding People and Place in the Severn Valley, 1066-1500

This project will focus on post-Conquest (AD1066-1500) landscapes of dispersed settlement in the middle Severn valley (from Ombersley and Shrawley, Worcestershire to Morville and Claverley, Shropshire). This research will fill the geographical and intellectual gaps in our current understanding of rural settlement recently identified by the Medieval Settlement Research Group (MSRG). 

Generally, medieval settlement studies have focused on areas of nucleated settlement (large villages, with houses clustered together), stretching in a band from the south-west to the north-east of England through the East Midlands. In the Midlands, therefore, settlement research is underpinned by a series of important projects focusing on large nucleated villages in the east and central Midlands. 

Such settlements were not the norm in the west of the region. Here, isolated farmsteads and hamlets were more common — but the reasons for this remain unclear. Despite valuable studies of individual settlements and no shortage of data, there has been little investigation of patterns of rural settlement common in the middle Severn Valley. The interplay of physical and cultural factors is complex, and cannot be understood by historical, archaeological or toponomastic approaches in isolation. An interdisciplinary approach is required.

Research Area

  • Cultural History
  • History


A more comprehensive list of over 200 publications, professional reports, lectures, and education resources can be downloaded from this page on my website.

Journal articles

Outreach and education

Research projects

Professional reports


Selected conference papers and sessions, invited lectures:

12.2019 Royal Society for Biology (North Wales)

Lecture: Christmas Lecture

11.2018 Worcestershire Archaeological Society Lectures

Lecture: The Giant Wombat in the Basement, and other stories

07.2018 Royal Society for Biology (West Midlands)

Lecture: Ice Age Worcestershire

12.2017 Theoretical Archaeology Group, Cardiff

Paper: Once, Twice, Three Times Forgotten: Material, myth, and memory in a Midlands city

04.2017 The 31st Bromsgrove Lecture, Bromsgrove Society

Lecture: Beneath Your Feet, Behind the Facade; Bromsgrove's Archaeological Heritage

04.2016 CIfA Annual Conference, Leicester

Session: The Future of Community Archaeology. Paper: The Value of Voluntary Research

03.2015 Council for British Archaeology WGM: British Academy

Paper and panel debate: Training community archaeologists

12.2014 Theoretical Archaeology Group, Manchester

Paper and panel debate: There is no archaeology without instrumentalised archaeology

04.2013 Institute for Archaeologists Annual Conference, Birmingham

Paper: The Unseen Past: Archaeology and Multi-Sensory Learning

12.2011 Theoretical Archaeology Group, Birmingham

Paper: Archaeology as Product: The implications for deep prehistory of a developer-led methodology

Public Engagement & Impact

I am an experienced public archaeologist, at home in a range of broadcast media from local radio to national TV. I have written extensively on archaeology and local history for magazines, news outlets, and blogs. I can create and deliver teaching resources and workshops for all ages.

Other Research Interests

Other research interests include medieval pottery and settlement dynamics, worked flint in the West Midlands, Iron Age pottery in central England, the social history of 19th century museum collecting, and theoretical approaches to public archaeology.


MCIfA (Member, Chartered Institute for Archaeologists)

Member, Lithic Studies Society (2017 - present)

Member, CIfA Equality and Diversity Group (2016 - present)

Member, CIfA Finds Group (2015 - present)

Member, The Prehistoric Society (2021 - present)

Secretary, CIfA Voluntary and Community Archaeology Group (2016-18). Represented the group on CIfA’s Advisory Council. Organised training events, including a mental health first aid CPD course, and contributed to the development of a research agenda for community archaeology in the UK.