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The Vernacular Architecture Group Winter Conference 2013

The Vernacular Architecture Group's winter conference will be held from 5 - 6 January 2013 in Leicester, England, and will be on the theme of The Medieval Peasant House Revisited.

The medieval peasant house is the iconic vernacular building and has long been a subject of study and debate by the VAG. Interest in the topic was considerable in the period 1986-1997, and with the forthcoming publication of a book on the Midland house it is timely that we take a new look at the state of our knowledge. This conference will bring together archaeological, architectural and historical perspectives, as well as regional vernacular buildings studies.

One aim of the conference is to clarify the basic parameters of the topic – questions such as the extent to which the houses we study today are representative of medieval peasant dwellings: did the Black Death allow the surviving peasants to abandon poorer houses and upgrade their accommodation? To what extent has recent building recording shown regional and temporal differences in how houses were used?

Another aim is to examine what future directions research on the peasant house might take – where are the gaps, and how can we address them? Long recognised as a topic for interdisciplinary activity, are we making the best use of research results from other disciplines, and how do we ensure the study of standing buildings influences historical and archaeological work?

Saturday 5 January 2013

14.00 Welcome and introduction - David Clark
14.15 Archaeological perspectives on the origins of the medieval peasant house - Mark Gardiner
15.15 Tea
15.45 Living in the medieval peasant house - Chris Dyer
16.45 Peasant Property - David Hinton
17.30 Discussion
17.45 Launch of The Medieval Peasant House in Midland England by Nat Alcock and Dan Miles (Oxbow Books)
18.15 Dinner
19.45 AGM
20.15 Members’ contributions

Sunday 6 January 2013

09.00 The medieval peasant house: exploring conceptual and geographical boundaries - Stuart Wrathmell

Regional studies:
10.00 The Midland peasant house - Nat Alcock
10.45 Coffee
11.15 The medieval peasant house in North Yorkshire - Barry Harrison
12.00 The High Weald of East Sussex: the surviving peasant houses in context - David Martin
12.45 Discussion
13.00 Lunch
14.15 The medieval peasant house in Herefordshire and the Welsh Borders - Duncan James
14.45 Identity and peasant houses in Medieval Wales - Richard Suggett
15.15 The medieval farmhouse in rural East Anglia - John Walker
15.45 The rise of the farming class in Devon from c.1300-1550 - John Thorp

16.15 Discussion
16.30 Tea and disperse

Fees for the conference are £99 resident and £78 non-resident, to include all meals shown in the programme and, for residents, breakfast on the Sunday morning. Closing date for applications: 5 December 2012.

Attendance at the winter conference is normally restricted to members only. However, subject to accommodation being available, groups affiliated to the VAG may each send two of their members (not being full members of the VAG) at the normal conference fee. Members attending may likewise introduce one non-member guest, but for such guests there is a supplement of £5 to the appropriate standard fee.