Paul Shaw – University of Leicester

Name: Paul Shaw

Institution: Centre for English Local History, University of Leicester


Project Details: PhD (2019-2025) A new approach to understanding Anglo-Scandinavian settlement and agrarian practice utilising analysis of terroir.

Supervisor: Dr Richard Jones (University of Leicester)

Research Overview:

Paul Shaw is affiliated as a part time PhD candidate at the Centre for English Local History at the University of Leicester. Prior to this he received a distinction for his MA in English Local and Family History, also at the Centre for English Local History.

His MA dissertation was a microstudy of the River Wreake valley (Leicestershire) that linked settlement terroir to local agrarian practices in Anglo-Scandinavian England. This was one of the first to apply the concept of terroir in an historical context. It showed how the influence of terroir is reflected and refracted through place-naming, farming cultures, and the physical layout of settlements and field-systems.

The doctoral research will investigate whether similar linkages exist in other parts of the Danelaw, and crucially elsewhere in England, comparing these to farming practices and settlement development in early medieval Scandinavia. This approach will provide new perspectives on the process of cerealisation and the shift from animal husbandry to arable production in early medieval England. Three areas, each covering up to a hundred townships, will be investigated and compared and the data will be recorded and analysed in ArcGIS.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Paul directly.