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Dr. Michael Fradley
Research Associate



Dr Michael Fradley has a BA in Archaeology from Cardiff University, an MA in Medieval Archaeology from the University of York and a Ph.D in Archaeology awarded by the University of Exeter in 2011. He is a landscape archaeologist with a focus on the medieval archaeology of Europe. His doctoral research was linked to the AHRC-funded ‘Wallingford burh to borough’ project undertaken jointly by the Universities of Exeter, Oxford and Leicester, to which he made the major contribution through the detailed mapping of archaeological earthworks across the historic settlement and its environs.

Michael has also worked professionally as an archaeologist for English Heritage, Cambridgeshire County Council and Shropshire Council. In Shropshire he worked on the HEEP-funded Stiperstone Hills project, while part of his employment at English Heritage was spent as an Investigator in the former Archaeological Survey and Investigation team where he led on major research work at sites such as Charterhouse-on-Mendip.  Since the completion of his doctoral research Michael has been a Researcher based at Bournemouth University working on the INTERREG-funded ECOSAL Atlantis project.


Full publications list

International peer-reviewed journals

Iriarte, J., Cope, S., Fradley, M., Lockhart, J. and Gillam, C. (forthcoming). ‘Sacred landscapes of the southern Brazilian highlands: Understanding the grammar of the southern proto-Jê mound and enclosure complexes’. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology.

Fradley, M. 2009. ‘The field archaeology of Charterhouse-on-Mendip’. Britannia 40. 99-122.

Fradley, M. 2006. ‘Space and structure at Caernarfon Castle’. Medieval Archaeology 50, 165-78.

Fradley, M. 2006. ‘Monastic enterprise in town and countryside: two case studies from north-east Shropshire’. Landscape History 28, 5-20.

Book contributions

Fradley, M. (forthcoming). ‘Urban castles in the Middle Ages: Wallingford in Context’ in N. Christie, K. Keats-Rohan and D. Roffe (eds.) Wallingford Castle and town in context. Oxford: Archaeopress/British Archaeological Report.

Creighton, O. and Fradley, M. (forthcoming). ‘Urban redefinitions in Norman England, AD 1000-1200’ in N. Christie, O. Creighton, H. Hamerow and M. Edgeworth (eds.) Towns in Transformation. From Burh to Borough: The Archaeology of Wallingford, AD800-1400. Leeds: Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph.

Regional journal papers

Fradley, M. 2010. ‘Earthwork survey at Huntingdon Mill Common’. Proceedings of the Cambridgeshire Antiquarian Society 99, 89-96.

Christie, N., Creighton, O., Edgeworth, M. and Fradley, M. 2010. ‘‘Have you found anything interesting?’ Exploring Late-Saxon and Medieval urbanism at Wallingford: sources, results and questions’. Oxoniensia 75, 35-48.

Fradley, M. 2010. ‘Tempsford’. Society for Medieval Archaeology Newsletter 43, 18-20.

Fradley, M. 2009. ’Field investigation at Newhall Tower, Newhall CP, Cheshire’. Medieval Settlement Research 24.

Fradley, M. 2008 ‘A Templar chapel site at Onneley’. Journal of the Staffordshire Archaeological Society 42, 64-7.

Fradley, M. 2005. ‘Newhall Tower: the identification of the medieval castle and a nearby cropmark from aerial photographs’. Journal of the Cheshire Archaeological Society 80, 91-7.

English Heritage Research Report series

Fradley, M. 2009. ‘Charterhouse, Somerset: the development of a Romano-British mining settlement and associated landscape’. English Heritage Research Department Reports Series 9/2009.

Fradley, M. and Newsome, S. 2008. ‘East Hill, Hastings, East Sussex: a landscape survey and investigation’. English Heritage Research Department Report Series 35/2008.

Fradley, M. 2007. ‘Water Street, Lavenham, Suffolk: a desk-based assessment of a brick-lined culvert’. English Heritage Research Department Report Series 7/2007.

Fradley, M. 2007. ‘Dowdeswell, Gloucestershire: an assessment of earthworks at Upper Dowdeswell’. English Heritage Research Department Report Series 46/2007.



Michael’s doctoral research investigated the context and impact of the construction of castles on urban settlements in England following the Norman Conquest in AD 1066. By critically reviewing the traditional historical narrative that has been dominant in this subject area and reassessing spatial development of urban centres across the Saxo-Norman period this work has provided a dynamic new interpretation of urban castle-building in England and its European context. In addition to his earlier work at Charterhouse in Somerset, this work has allowed him to develop a distinct interest in urban archaeology, particularly in terms of the often overlooked scale of earthwork preservation that may survive in historic towns due to complexities of land ownership and in spite of development pressure.

This interest in archaeological earthworks relates to his previous employment at English Heritage, and he has been keen to develop the analytical earthwork survey method elsewhere, for instance in his groundbreaking contributions to the study of pre-Hispanic settlement in southern Brazil with Prof Jose Iriarte at the University of Exeter. He is also interested in wider issues of archaeological approaches to cartography and spatial mapping.

At present his future research interests include developing a progressive archaeological programme of research for the Early Medieval period in the West Midlands, building on the high public profile of the discovery of the ‘Staffordshire Hoard’. This will be achieved through the combination of an integrated strategy of the non-intrusive survey methods to characterise settlement forms of this period with the theoretical questioning of why most of forms of material culture were not utilised throughout much of the history of this region. A second interest is in the archaeology of the prohibition of recreational drugs, using archaeology as a means of developing a novel perspective on a key social issue within contemporary society.  



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External activities

Michael Fradley (rhc)

Contact details

Michael Fradley