Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Medieval London: national capital, international city
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 4 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay 1 - 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Semester Assessment Essay 2 - 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 1 - 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 2 - 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Engage with and utilize a variety of primary and secondary sources related to medieval London

2. Demonstrate a detailed and systematic understanding of the key aspects of the political and economic development of medieval London

3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the key aspects of the social and religious history of medieval London


This module provides students with the opportunity to explore the history of one of Europe’s major cities, and combines urban, economic, social, political and religious history, as well as giving students an opportunity to familiarize themselves with a range of documentary and non-documentary sources.

Brief description

London has always been an international city, drawing visitors and residents from across Europe and beyond since its foundation by the Romans. In the high Middle Ages, it also became the de facto capital of a remarkably centralized nation, playing an important role in the economic, political, religious and cultural life of England. This module will explore the topographical, political, social and economic development of medieval London, the (sometimes fraught) relations between the city and the crown, the governance of London, and the role of the church in the capital in the high and later Middle Ages. A wealth of documentary and archaeological material survives from medieval London, accompanied by an extensive historiographical tradition, a combination that will enable students to investigate different aspects life in the medieval city.

The seminars will focus on different aspects of medieval London, with discussion based on primary sources (usually texts, although sometimes visual / material) which will be highlighted and some extracts provided in advance.


1) Introduction to the module and types of sources
2) The shape of the City: the location, topography and growth of medieval London
3) From conquest to Conquest: the development of London from c.50AD - 1066
4) Norman London
5) Almost independent: London from Henry II to Henry III
6) Governing London I: development
7) Governing London II: triumph and crisis
8) Keeping the streets clean(ish): the practicalities of governing London
9) City and Crown in the later Middle Ages
10) Faith and the City I: religious houses and St Paul’s Cathedral
11) Faith and the City II: parishes and religious guilds
12) The people of the City: Londoners great and small
13) The foreign and alien population
14) Organising wealth: mercantile and artisan guilds
15) The wealth of nations: London as an international centre of trade
16) The ideal city? London in medieval literature, political discourse and popular culture
17) The shadow city: how medieval London has shaped the modern capital
18) Reflections and conclusions

1) Going underground: the archaeology of medieval London
2) The unruly city: crime and disorder in medieval London
3) From wharf to world: the cosmopolitan City
4) Church and City: case-studies

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number n/a
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework and written examination; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but are not formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be advised on how to improve research and communication skills through the individual tutorial providing feedback on submitted coursework.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be expected to word-process their work and make use of Blackboard. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths.
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will develop their research skills by reading a range of texts and evaluating their usefulness in preparation for the coursework and the written examination
Subject Specific Skills n/a
Team work Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars) and to learn to evaluate their own contribution to such activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 6