Public Lectures


Spring Series 2018

Grosvenor Museum, Grosvenor Street, Chester.  Wednesdays, 1.00 - 2.00 pm

£3.00 per lecture (pay at the door) or pay in advance for the full series (£6.00)

Hosted by the University of Chester, Department of History & Archaeology

Wednesday 28 February 2018 - Dr Tom Pickles

Aelfflaed, Abbess of Streoneshalh (Whitby)

Aelfflaed, Abbess of Streoneshalh (Whitby, North Yorkshire) in the early eighth century, wielded an exceptional level of political influence: she supposedly prompted St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne to prophesy the accession of her brother as king of the Northumbrians and approved the return of the exile Wilfrid of Ripon to the kingdom and the restoration of his
rights. Using Aelfflaed as a case-study, this talk will consider what circumstances allowed early medieval women to wield such influence and how she navigated those circumstances so successfully.

Wednesday 7 March 2018 - Dr Morn Capper

Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians

Aethelflaed, daughter of King Alfred of Wessex, died at Tamworth in Mercia in 918 as sole ruler of the Mercian kingdom. One of the first known female rulers in England’s history, she led her people in war against Viking invaders, re-founding Chester and a network of other fortified towns in the West. How did this female warleader shape the resurgence of the Mercian people and how did her eye for economics and diplomacy shape the future kingdom of England?

Wednesday 14 March 2018 - Prof Howard Williams

Women, Death and Power in the Viking Age

Debates currently rage regarding the historical reality of ‘Viking warrior women’, in large part inspired by discoveries of Viking Age furnished graves of females buried with weapons. This talk presents the burial data for female ‘weapon burials’ before appraising the popular reception of this evidence by the media and the public Some different scenarios for interpreting female weapon graves are then presented, responding to recent archaeological research but also adapting anthropological theories about the roles of women in relation to death ritual and social power in
traditional societies.