Monastic studies usually focus upon the post-Conquest period; here, in valuable contrast, the focus is on pre-Conquest monastic foundations, in the present-day counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. Tim Pestell considers the place of the monastery in wider landscapes - topographical, social, economic and political. He observes that by 1215 the Diocese of Norwich contained about a tenth of all English monasteries, a remarkable richness of patronage was no sudden flush of enthusiasm, but a manifestation of religious devotion that had been evolving in East Anglia since the seventh-century Conversion. By integrating archaeological and historical sources, Dr Pestell presents an in-depth examination of where and how communal religious life developed in the region over half a millennium. In so doing, he demonstrates how the more visible and better-evidenced post-Conquest monastic landscape was typically structured by its Anglo-Saxon past.
Dr TIM PESTELL is Curator of Archaeology at Norwich Castle Museum.
The book is well illustrated with some particularly useful maps. There is much in it that deserves to be explored further over a wider geographical area. EARLY MEDIEVAL EUROPE
A book brimming with ideas. CATHOLIC HISTORICAL REVIEW
This excellent book [is ] a stimulating and enjoyable read. LANDSCAPE HISTORY
An attractive and lively publication. HISTORY
This study is a welcome addition to the corpus of regional studies of monasticism that help to illuminate broader developments. JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY