After it all being very quiet on here, I can finally reveal what has been happening behind the scenes of the blog. I’ve been offered a book deal, and I am now writing ‘Medieval Parks and Gardens’ for the publishers Pen & Sword https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
I’ve received a phenomenal amount of support to get this far, so it’s only right I should thank people publicly for this. And now, let’s put some flesh on the bare boned facts above. After my operation in 2016 I had to take some time off to recover, only to find I needed another big operation in early 2017 to empty both kidneys of stones. This one really knocked me about and all my writing plans for PhD and publications had to be put back in the ‘to-do’ pile.
But it wasn’t all bad. A chapter I’d written entitled ‘Property not Prophecy: Welsh ‘Outlaws’ Owain Lawgoch and Owain Glyn Dŵr as High Status Landowners’ was published in early 2017:
which had been a long time coming (the conference was held in 2011), and it paired with a paper ‘What does a Mercenary Leave Behind? The Archaeological Evidence for the Estates of Owain Lawgoch’ given in 2005 and published in the conference proceedings in 2008.
As the ‘Outlaw/ed Spaces’ book was being published, I submitted two other papers. The first was a paper for a county journal entitled, ‘The History and Archaeology of the Medieval Park of Llwydcoed, Flintshire’. Llwydcoed is a park which is often referenced by medieval historians because of the detailed descriptions of its creation, including a description of how large it was and the number of gates into it.
As for its exact location, well, it tended to be a vague metaphorical wave of the hand to say ‘Oh, it’s somewhere in Flintshire’…
However, with a bit of research, and some lateral thinking, I located Llwydcoed in the landscape and also some features within it, including a moated site.
The second had originally been presented to the 4th Garden History Society Graduate Symposium in 2014, entitled: ‘Rills and Romance: Gardens at the Castles of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth and Edward I in Wales’. It was then rewritten and expanded before being presented at the Symposium by the Sea (SBTS) at Swansea University in 2015. A book, comprising the papers presented at SBTS is due out at the end of 2017 entitled ‘The Medieval and Early Modern Garden in Britain: enclosure and transformation, c.1200-1750‘, published by Routledge.
After the double operation, my PhD tutor helped me suspend my studies so I could get my breath and my strength back. As I was recovering I received an e-mail from a friend of mine who was now working as a Commissioning Editor for the publishers Pen & Sword. She suggested that I should put together a submission to write a book containing all the research I had undertaken to date and submit it to her. After thinking about whether I could cope with the writing workload (on top of my day job with the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust http://www.heneb.co.uk) and discussing with some of my contemporaries who are also currently writing or have already written books I decided it was something I would be able to accomplish within the agreed timeframe.
Currently the plan is to produce a book which draws upon both the latest archaeological and historical research, and which will also help archaeologists and historians locate ‘missing’ parks and gardens by presenting case studies to highlight what to look for.
I’ll post my writing progress here, and again, thank you, I couldn’t do this without your support.