The culture of the West Country in the Middle Ages and its role in shaping the identity of Medieval England is the focus of a new research project at the University of Bristol. The project aims to bring together researchers from across the region to initiate a re-examination of the Medieval West encompassing its legends, literature and learning, architecture, church communities, and role as a frontier between the English polity and Wales, Ireland and the wider world.
The West Country – the region extending westward from Salisbury Plain to the Severn Basin, the Wye Valley and the coastlines of Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall – played a critical role in the making of medieval England. Within these landscapes were formed the legends of Arthur and Joseph of Arimathea which became the corner-stones of national identity.
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