Mark Eccleston

Mark Eccleston

Department of History
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: A history of the St Martin's Guild: examining the importance and influence of Birmingham's bell ringing tradition from 1755
SupervisorDr Jonathan Willis and Dr Malcolm Dick
PhD History


  • BA Medieval and Modern History, University of Birmingham
  • MSc Archive Administration, University of Aberystwyth


I graduated from the BA Medieval and Modern History programme at the University of Birmingham 2004, and subsequently studied for an MSc in Archival Administration at Aberystwyth University which was awarded in 2012.


The ringing of church bells has long provided a commanding soundtrack to historic occasions and significant events. Birmingham’s bell ringing scene developed dramatically during the 18th century, a largely secular activity which just happened to take place within places of worship. This study will explore the social fabric of Birmingham’s bell ringing tradition, providing historians with a fresh perspective in which to view the broader history of the area.

As well as exploring the broad historiography of bell ringing, the study has potential to connect with aspects of the history of leisure, popular music making, class and the social, cultural and political and religious history of the locality. As the thesis develops further, there are also ways in which the study might explore connections between bell ringing and religious change.

Other activities

I am a member of the Archives and Records Association (ARA) and through my work as an archivist I have successfully secured the following research grants:

  • 'Healthy Minds and Active Bodies: the promotion of health and wellbeing by UK youth movements', a two year project focused on cataloguing and preserving the archives of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and the Youth Hostels Association (YHA). Year of award: 2020
  • 'Child health and welfare: enabling access to the Save the Children archives', a two year project focusing on cataloguing and preserving the archive records of the Save the Children Fund. Year of award: 2018


  • 'Writing from the Jaws of Death: the First World War diary of Ernest William Hornung', collated by Mark Eccleston. Birmingham: The Cadbury Research Library Press, 2017.