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Tewkesbury Abbey: An interdisciplinary study of the church and its material culture from its medieval origins to the modern era.

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  • Full or part time
    Prof J Clark
    Prof O Creighton
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The University of Exeter and the Friends of Tewkesbury Abbey are working in partnership to produce a new account of the historical development of the abbey church of Tewkesbury and its landscape. The focus of this partnership is a collaborative PhD project which will be supported by a 3-year studentship funded at UKRI rates (i.e. covering full UK/EU level tuition fees (currently £4,400) and a maintenance award of £14,777 per year).

Drawing on the evidence of the present fabric as well as the archaeological record the PhD project will trace each phase of its building history from its first beginnings before the Norman Conquest. From a wealth of archival material it will also aim to establish a better understanding of its occupation and use as it passed through successive reinventions, from hermitage to Saxon minster, to Benedictine monastery and, finally, to parish church. In the 21st Century Tewkesbury Abbey is not only a parish church but also a social, arts, cultural and heritage centre for diverse constituencies in the region, the wider UK and abroad.

In advance of the nine hundredth anniversary of the dedication of the Benedictine church in 2021, the church leadership have commissioned the production of a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) to inform their care of the buildings and site and their continuing use in the coming decades. The research generated in the course of the PhD project will provide the core of the CMP and the PhD candidate will be its lead author.

This is an excellent opportunity not only to secure funding for an ambitious, interdisciplinary PhD but also to gain experience of the application of research in conservation and heritage contexts. Interacting both in and between Higher Education and non-academic communities, this project will be ideal point-of-entry for a researcher considering a career in public heritage sector.

The PhD will be jointly supervised by Professor James Clark, a specialist in church history from the Middle Ages to the Reformation, and Professor Oliver Creighton, a specialist in the historical archaeology of medieval England; additional advice and support will be provided by a dedicated mentor at Tewkesbury Abbey; the partnership’s project team will also offer guidance and oversight for the PhD project and the preparation of the CMP.

Funding Notes

For eligible UK/EU students, this full time scholarship will cover fees and an annual stipend of at £14,777 for up to three years.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Exeter in History?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 41.53

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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