Russell Weston

DPhil in Archaeology


The Cistercian Grange in Southern England

Research abstract

Medieval monastic granges are still archaeologically ill-defined and poorly understood. My thesis is intended to make a contribution to our understanding of monastic granges by identifying, interpreting, and defining the nature of Cistercian granges in southern England from a landscape archaeology perspective. It presents a synthesis of existing and new research on the granges of the twenty-eight Cistercian houses, including nunneries, located in a large and diverse part of the country where the subject has received very little previous attention.

My research endeavours to answer four overarching questions: how can Cistercian granges be defined from a landscape archaeology perspective, how were granges organised and operated by Cistercian communities, how did Cistercian granges compare and contrast with the granges of other monastic orders and with secular manors, and how did the establishment and operation of Cistercian granges affect, and were affected by local secular communities?


Dr David Griffiths, Reader in Archaeology; Director of Research,

Dr Paul Barnwell, Director of Studies in the Historic Environment; Co-Director of Courses and Workshops in the Historic Environment



After retiring from business, I began studying archaeology and completed the OUDCEs Certificate in Archaeology in 2006 before progressing to obtain a MSc in Applied Landscape Archaeology in 2012.

During that period my archaeological interests moved from the Neolithic to the Palaeolithic and then, perhaps surprisingly, to the Medieval period, in all instances principally from a landscape archaeology perspective. An interest in buildings archaeology has also been developed from my current research. I am currently the Chairman of Gloucestershire Archaeology and have taken part in excavations and landscape and building surveys in both Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.



John Traherne, FSA, and William Buckland's 'Red Lady': an archaeological perspective. The Antiquaries Journal 88 (2008): 347-64.

Palaeoliths from the Thames headwaters in Gloucestershire and North Wiltshire. Lithics: The Journal of the Lithic Studies Society 29 (2008): 36–54.

Cistercian Settlement in the southern Cotswolds. Medieval Settlement Research 26 (2011): 74.

Hazleton Manor: A Landscape Betwixt and Between. Glevensis 46 (2013): 37-49.

Two abortive attempts to establish a Cistercian abbey at South Tawton in Devon. Transactions of The Devonshire Association, 147 (2015): 243-52.