John Hurst Memorial Dissertation Prize

The MSRG is pleased to announce the ninth year of competition for the prize set up in honour of John Hurst (1927-2003), who did so much to promote the field of medieval archaeology and, in particular, the study of medieval settlement. To encourage new and young scholars in the field, an annual prize of £200 is offered to graduate students for the best Masters dissertation on any theme in the field of medieval settlement and landscape in Britain and Ireland (c. AD 400 – 1600).

Application details

We invite Directors of Masters programmes in Archaeology, English Local History, Landscape Studies or related fields to submit high-quality completed dissertations (i.e. dissertations that have been both internally and externally assessed and judged to be of first/distinction level). Dissertations should be submitted as hard copy (although they may be accompanied by supporting material on CD) and should be a maximum of 15/20,000 words. The dissertation should be work by a student in the preceding academic year and submission must have his/her approval. Proof of the final mark for submitted dissertations should also be sent.

MA programme supervisors are encouraged to submit high quality student dissertations for this annual award. Bound copies of dissertations must be mailed to Dr John Naylor (MSRG Secretary) at the address below and received before 31st December.

Heberden Coin Room
Ashmolean Museum
Beaumont Street

A panel comprising members of the MSRG Committee will judge the entries and an award will be announced in mid-April of the following year.

Where appropriate, a summary of the winning entry will be published in the Group’s journal, Medieval Settlement Research. Submissions to the journal are due by the end of May; the journal is published each year at the start of November.

Past Award Holders


Lindsey Stirling
University of Aberdeen
MSc in the Archaeology of the North
The land beneath the sand: contextualising the early medieval shell middens at Sands of Forvie


Anna Fotaki
MSc in Bioarchaeology
University of York
Brief Lives: The Non-adults from Two Neighbouring Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries in Norton, Cleveland


Susan Kilby
MA in English Local History
University of Leicester
Exploring peasant perceptions of the landscape using the case study of Elton village and manor


Niamh Arthur
MA in Archaeology, UCD Dublin
The Enigma of Viking Longphorts: A landscape Archaeological Perspective

Patrick A Gleeson
MA in Medieval Archaeology
University of York
Constructing Kingship in Early Medieval Ireland: Power, Place and Ideologies of Kingship

2008 – Not awarded


Michael Busby
MA in English Local History
University of Leicester
Leicestershire Settlements through the Late Fourteenth Century Poll Tax Records – Urban or Rural?


Tudur Davies
MA in Landscape Archaeology
University of Sheffield
Llanfor and the Dee valley: early medieval landscape study


Jonathan Kinsella
MA in Landscape Archaeology
UCD Dublin
Locating the Poor and Unfree of Early Medieval Ireland

Triona Nicholl
MA in Archaeology
UCD Dublin
The Use of Domestic Space in Irish Early Medieval Roundhouses: An Experimental Archaeological Approach