Hannah West



College: College of Humanities
Research Centre/Unit: Centre for Medieval Studies

I am concluding my PhD research on the action and reception of the institutional church in late medieval Somerset.  This project is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, under the expert supervision of Professor Catherine Rider and Professor Sarah Hamilton.

My research explores pious provision and pastoral care in the fifteenth-century communities of a provincial town, Bridgwater, and its hinterland villages.  Religious life is surveyed beyond the conventional parish unit by identifying the ways in which people were exposed to, or engaged with, secular and regular clergy from different ecclesiastical institutions.  This case study investigates the role of religious houses and the parish church in local lay piety.

My other interests involve improving public access to material and historical evidence, helping to bridge the gap between academic research and local heritage.  I've worked on collaborative projects at Wells Cathedral and Blake Museum and continue to work on a community garden.