Susan Kilby Unveils New Research into Medieval Peasant Life in the Eastern Counties

Oundle resident and academic Dr Susan Kilby will be launching her new book Peasant Perspectives on the Medieval Landscape at a special event at The Church of Kyneburgha in Castor, nr Peterborough on 26th March at 7pm.

The event is open to anyone with an interest in local history and medieval history in particular. It is free to attend, but booking is essential as places are limited. Visit for more information.

Focusing on Castor and Elton near Peterborough, and Lakenheath in Suffolk, the book represents a new direction in the study of medieval history in that it considers rural life and the landscape through the eyes of the lower orders of society rather than from the perspective of the social elite, and moves beyond the traditional socio-economic focus adopted by most studies.

One element of the research presented in the book examines the ways in which the landscape has a function in preserving the memory of major events. In Castor, the Church of St Kyneburgha was dedicated to Cyneburg, the 7th Century daughter of a king of Mercia, who legend has it was chased by three ruffians through the local fields, during the pursuit she dropped her basket which ‘sprang up as flowers before her, while a great gulf opened behind and swallowed up her pursuers’. Does the iconography within the church itself retell this story, or could it instead refer to a Viking invasion in the area?

Susan Kilby interrogates the fascinating possible origins of local legends and histories with great skill and a broad, interdisciplinary approach.

Susan says "I am delighted to be able to launch the book at Castor church - one of the finest medieval churches in the county that has been integral to my research."

Refreshments will be served.