Steven Bassett

Department of History
Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Contact details


Steven Bassett was a Senior Lecturer in Medieval History in the university’s Department of History until his retirement in 2011. Since then he has continued researching and publishing. He now lives in Gloucestershire.

Postgraduate supervision

Since he is now retired and his last doctoral students have been awarded their doctorates, Dr Bassett is no longer taking on new postgraduates.


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 (Warwickshire) – 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. 


Recent publications include

  • ‘Boundaries of knowledge: mapping the land-units of late Anglo-Saxon and Norman England’, in W. Davies, G. Halsall & A. Reynolds (eds), People and Space in the Middle Ages, 300-1300 (Turnhout, 2006), 115-42
  • ‘Divide and rule? The military infrastructure of eighth- and ninth-century Mercia’, Early Medieval Europe, 15 (2007), 53-85 
  • ‘Sitting above the salt: the origins of the borough of Droitwich’, in O. Padel & D. Parsons (eds), A Commodity of Good Names. Essays in Honour of Margaret Gelling (Donington, 2008), 3-27 
  • ‘The medieval boundary of the borough of Droitwich and its origins’, Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society, 3rd series, 21 (2008), 219-42
  • Prestetone: the land of the priests of Wootton Wawen (Warwickshire)’, in E. Quinton (ed.), The Church in Place-Names (English Place-Name Society Extra Series, 2, 2009), 23-38
  • ‘Anglo-Saxon Warwick’, Midland History, 34 (2009), 123-55
  • ‘The landed endownment of the Anglo-Saxon minster at Hanbury (Worcs.)’, Anglo-Saxon England, 38 (2010), 77-100 
  • ‘Anglo-Saxon fortifications in western Mercia’, Midland History, 36 (2011), 1-23
  • ‘Offa, king of the East Saxons, and his west midland land grants’, Midland History, 40 (2015), 1-23
  • ‘The priests of Domesday Book – a fresh insight into England’s eleventh-century churches?’, Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History, 19 (2015), 207-20
  •  (co-authored with Richard Holt) ‘Medieval Birmingham’, in C. Chinn & M. Dick (eds), Birmingham: The Workshop of the World (Liverpool, 2016), 73-99
  • (co-authored with Sarah Wager) ‘Donnelie (Warwicks.) – an unidentified Domesday manor and its haia (hay)’, Midland History, 42 (2017), 1-17
  • ‘A lost late seventh-century charter concerning Hanbury (Worcs.)’, Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society, 3rd series, 26 (2018), 107-11
  • ‘The role of Mercian kings in the founding of minsters in the kingdom of the Hwicce’, in A. Langlands & R. Lavelle (eds), Land of the English Kin: Studies in Wessex and Anglo-Saxon England in Honour of Professor Barbara Yorke (Leiden, 2020), 373-86
  • (co-edited with Alison J. Spedding), Names, Texts and Landscapes in the Middle Ages. A Memorial Volume for Duncan Probert (Donington, 2022)
  • ‘The Anglo-Saxon minster at Bishop’s Cleeve (Gloucestershire) and its lands’, in ibid., 151-68
  • (co-authored with Sarah Wager) ‘A High Street inheritance: Henley-in-Arden in 1419-20’, Midland History, 48 (2023), 125-57
  • ‘The hidation of the Hwicce: investigating its halving between the eighth century and 1086’, Anglo-Saxon England, 50 (2024), 165-97
  • ‘A pre-Conquest market-place at Deerhurst?’, Transactions of the Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 141 (2024), 225-31

In preparation

  • An Anglo-Saxon minster and its chapels in their evolving medieval landscape: the Wootton Wawen Project (monograph for British Archaeological Reports, British Series)