Stefania Merlo Perring
Research Associate



Laurea in Lettere (Universita’ di Torino), MA Medieval Archaeology (Universita’ di Pisa), MA Archaeology of Buildings (University of York), PhD (Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York)

Stefania is a specialist in the medieval and early modern periods with a focus on the urban experience in European cities. She is particularly interested in the development of interdisciplinary approaches bringing together the evidence of documentary sources, archaeology of buildings and material culture to understand the relationships between people and places and to demonstrate how buildings and objects are active in mediating social relations and in negotiating social and political identities. In her research she applies skills in archaeology and in historical research that she has developed during previous study and employment in field archaeology, historical archives and heritage management, both in Italy and in Britain.



Stefania is interested in several strands of research in which she applies social theory and a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the material past of medieval cities. She has developed her MA dissertation into an article reassessing the classical tradition in English medieval architecture and the value of the iconography of buildings; she has interpreted aspects of the form and decoration of York Minster chapter house in connection with contemporary ideals of Chivalry and the politics of the Church of York and of the Crown, which resulted in the 1290 Jewish expulsion from England and from York.

Her AHRC funded PhD research was concerned with the impact of the Reformation on the landscape and built environment of the cathedral precincts of York Minster. This has resulted into a study of the wider significance of religious change on the life or urban communities in the early-modern period.  She has worked as post-doctoral researcher with international and interdisciplinary teams such as the AHRC ChartEx Project, a partnership between historians and computer scientists from Canada, the Netherlands, the UK and the US, developing new ways to explore the contents of charters to reconstruct the historic urban landscape and communities’ networks. She was a researcher and joint author of The Atlas of Historic Towns, vol. 5, York. Currently she is part of the interdisciplinary and transnational CitiGen project researching the material culture of London’s medieval immigrants.


Selected publications

Merlo Perring, S., 2013, ‘The Reformation of the English cathedral landscape: negotiating change in York Minster Close c.1500-1642’. World Archaeology, 45 No.1: 85-104. 

Merlo Perring, S., 2013, ‘Iconography of buildings and the politics of Crusading. York Minster Chapter House at the eve of the Jewish expulsion 1290’. Church Archaeology 15: 17-34.

Merlo Perring, S., 2014, `La demolizione del Castello di Pontestura all’esordio dell’Unita’ d’Italia (1861)`, in Eds G. Giorcelli and E. Lusso, Pontestura e il suo castello nel medioevo, Arte e Storia in Monferrato, Casale Monferrato, Italy, pp. 81-91.

Sheils, W. and  Merlo Perring, 2015, ‘York 1536-1696’, in The British Historic Towns Atlas, York, vol. 5. Ed. P. Addyman. Oxford, pp 49-60.

Thomas, E., with Merlo Perring, S., 2015, ‘Gazetteer of buildings and sites’, in The British Historic Towns Atlas, York, vol. 5. Ed. P. Addyman. Oxford, pp 73-97.

Contact details

Dr Stefania Merlo Perring
Department of History
Kings' Manor, K/182
University of York
King's Manor