Dr Stephen Mileson

Profile details


Dr Stephen Mileson is Departmental Lecturer in English Local History and Course Director for the Diploma in English Social and Local History. He was awarded a doctorate by the University of Oxford in 2005, and since then has been a contributor to the Victoria County History of Oxfordshire, researching and writing histories of rural parishes in the south and west of the county and latterly investigating the urban development of Chipping Norton. For nine years Stephen was Lecturer in Medieval History for St Edmund Hall, and since 2010 he has edited the county history and archaeology journal Oxoniensia.


Stephen directs the Undergraduate Diploma in English Social and Local History. He has also taught on the MSt in Historical Studies, the MSc in English Local History, and has acted as a DPhil co-supervisor and examiner. He regularly teaches short courses for the Oxford Experience summer school at Christ Church. He is particularly keen to explore with students the value of spatial approaches to social history.

Research interests

Stephen’s research is mainly concerned with medieval English social and landscape history, especially people’s perceptions of their environment and sense of identity. His latest project on peasant perceptions of landscape 500-1650 was funded by the Leverhulme Trust and resulted in a major monograph (published by OUP in 2021), a Past and Present article on ‘Openness and Closure in the Later-Medieval Village’ (2017), and a chapter on ‘Sound and Landscape’ in the Oxford Handbook of Later Medieval Archaeology (2018). An earlier book on the significance of medieval deer parks as expressions of aristocratic values revealed the responses of peasants and townsmen to lordly enclosure of woods, pastures and arable land (OUP, 2009; paperback 2014). Recent work includes co-editing a volume on the archaeology of medieval and early modern Oxford and an article about the restoration of the historic buildings on the Mapledurham Estate in the period after 1960. Stephen has shared his research widely in popular articles, on television and radio, and through podcasts.

Selected publications

Peasant Perceptions of Landscape: Ewelme Hundred, South Oxfordshire, 500-1650, with S. Brookes (OUP, 2021), shortlisted for Current Archaeology ‘Research Project of the Year’, 2022

 ‘Beyond the Dots: Mapping Meaning in the Later Medieval Landscape’, in M. Hicks (ed.), The Later Medieval Inquisitions Post Mortem: Mapping the Medieval Countryside and Rural Society (2016), pp. 84-99

‘People and Houses in South Oxfordshire, 1300-1650’, Vernacular Architecture, 46 (2015), pp. 8-25