Since retirement most of my research has been focused on the preparation of a monograph with the following main contents: (1) A detailed study of the structural history of the Anglo-Saxon and late medieval church at Wootton Wawen (Warwicks) – a minster of early eighth-century foundation, rebuilt in the late Anglo-Saxon period – and of three of the ten surviving late medieval churches which began as its chapels. (2) An analysis of the pre-modern evolution of the landscape of the minster’s original parish (including the planned borough of Henley-in-Arden). (3) An examination of the Anglo-Saxon and late medieval history of the Wootton Wawen minster and of the raison d’être of the extensive territory which it was demonstrably serving as its mother-church parish by the eleventh century.
The volume will exemplify how a detailed study of the structural history of a former Anglo-Saxon minster and of a selection of its chapels, and of the local human landscape within which each one was built, can refine and strengthen a general model for the origins and early development of England’s parochial system, while also putting the essential flesh of specific local circumstances on the model’s bare bones. Publication is scheduled for 2015-16.