Centre for the Study of the Viking Age
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Abigail Lloyd

Research Student,

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Research Summary

Current Status

PhD - currently registered

Research Topic

Investigating hill toponyms and their use as medieval settlement-names.

Research Summary

Place-names arise as descriptive labels in everyday speech, and provide an unparalleled insight to historical understanding and perceptions of the landscape and its social, economic and cultural significance. A very large proportion of English settlements are named from landscape features, using specialised and nuanced vocabulary. Focusing on a major subset of this corpus, place-names referring to hills, my research explores the processes by which medieval settlements (which could vary in morphology, status, function and so on) came to be associated with and acquire the names of precisely - and often subtly - defined topography.

This work builds on the important work of others, but uses newly available data and technologies to test and refine existing theories. I am in the middle of a systematic national survey of a targeted group of names, after which case-studies may well be selected. Name data, from the assembled corpora, will be combined with archaeological, geological and historical records and mapping to refine the possible locations of Early Medieval settlement and routeways. GIS software is used, together with site visiting, to test visibility of settlements and hills to and from each other and the wider landscape and routeways.

In particular, I hope to establish the geographical extent of language nuance and uniformity and to try to quantify where, when and why patterns break down. I also hope to contribute towards understanding the role that visibility might have played in the naming of settlements with reference to hills.

Abigail Lloyd (@Abi_on_a_hill) / Twitter

Research Interests

Historical languages and language evolution

Place-names

Hills, landscape and geology

Early Medieval and Medieval history and archaeology

Historical buildings, churches and their conservation

Research Supervisors

Dr Jayne Carroll https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/english/people/jayne.carroll

Dr John Baker https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/english/people/john.baker

Dr Richard Jones https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/history/people/staff-pages/rjones

Research Institutes, Centres and/or Research Clusters Memberships

The Institute for Name-Studies

The English Place-Name Society

The Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland

The Scottish Place-Name Society

The Medieval Settlement Research Group

The Landscape Survey Group

The Society for Landscape Studies

The Vernacular Architecture Group

The Scottish Vernacular Working Buildings Group

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

The Churches Conservation Trust

The Society for Church Archaeology

Publications

'Stonyborow: a clue to a Roman settlement in rural Oxfordshire? The symbiotic relationship between field-names and archaeological data' forthcoming in The Journal of the English Place-Name Society, 52, (2021)

'High Wood: Some Documentary Research' in the SOAG Bulletin, Vol. 73, (2019)

'Explaining Re Rose: The Search Goes On?' in the Cambridge Law Journal, July 2003.

Additional Information

Currently, Research Affiliate in the Institute for Name Studies. Developing a web app for place-names. Collecting and recording historic place-name forms from Medieval records for the Staffordshire project. Indexing REF publications: volumes of the Shropshire survey.

Member of the Oxford Diocesan Advisory Committee advising on historic churches.

Member of the Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society's Listed Building Committee commenting on development impacts on historic buildings and areas.

Member of Oxfordshire Buildings Record, recording historical buildings and carrying out academic research into their history.

Recording assistance, working with the Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, Northamptonshire.

Field worker for the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture of Britain and Ireland

Previously:

MSc Landscape Archaeology (Oxford) (2019-2021): Distinction.

Research assistance for the Oxfordshire Victoria County History (2019).

Surveying, recording, GIS and documentary research for the South Oxfordshire Archaeological Group at a Romano-British temple site in the Chilterns (2019-2021).

BSc (Hons) Maths (2012-2015): First

Lectures and talks on Ancient Near Eastern languages, history and archaeology at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (2012-2016) and St Mellitus College, London (2008-2010).

BA (Hons) Theology (focussing on Ancient Near Eastern languages, history and archaeology) (Oxford) (2008-2010 as a Senior Status Student): First

Practised as a Commercial Chancery Barrister, Maitland Chambers, Lincoln's Inn.

Third Year Law Tutor (Equity and Trusts) at Cambridge (2002-2004).

Bar Vocational Course Post-Graduate Diploma (Inns of Court School of Law) (2003): Outstanding

BA (Hons) Law (Cambridge) (1999-2002): First

Funding Body:

M4C AHRC Doctoral Studentship (2021)

Abigail Lloyd - M4C (midlands4cities.ac.uk)

https://www.linkedin.com/in/abigail-lloyd-65bba01a4/

Centre for the Study of the Viking Age

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The University of Nottingham
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telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924
email: csva@nottingham.ac.uk