Mapping the Medieval Countryside: Places, People, and Properties in the Inquisitions Post Mortem

Mapping the Medieval Countryside is a major research project dedicated to the online publication of medieval English inquisitions post mortem (IPMs).

These inquisitions, which recorded the lands held at their deaths by tenants of the crown, comprise the most extensive and important body of source material for landholding in medieval England. They describe the lands held by thousands of families, from nobles to peasants, and are a key source for the history of almost every settlement in England (and of many in Wales).  They are indispensable to local and family historians as well as to academic specialists in areas as diverse as agrarian history and political society.

The project will publish a searchable English translation of the IPMs covering the periods 1236 to 1447 and 1485 to 1509. From 1399 to 1447 the text will be enhanced to enable sophisticated analysis and mapping of the inquisitions’ contents. The online texts will be accompanied by a wealth of commentary and interpretation to enable all potential users to exploit this source easily and effectively.

The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and is a collaboration between the University of Winchester and the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. The project uses five volumes of the Calendars of Inquisitions Post Mortem, gen. ed. Christine Carpenter, xxii-xxvi  (The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 2003-11) with kind permission from The Boydell Press. These volumes are all in print and available for purchase from Boydell, price £195.