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Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Ms Sophie Laidler

(email at

Academic and Professional Biography

In 2008 I graduated from Newcastle University with a BA (hons) in Archaeology. In 2010 I was awarded an English Heritage Studentship affiliated to Durham and Newcastle Universities to pursue a Masters by Research titled: Contemporary and Competing Vistas; public perceptions of the iconic Anglo-Saxon monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow. This research was conducted at the time of the UNESCO World Heritage Bid for the twin monasteries. Currently, I am pursing doctorate research into the impact of archaeological research in the North East of England. This research is being conducted in collaboration with Durham and Newcastle Universities as part of an AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership funded PhD.

Since 2006 I have worked on numerous research and volunteer fieldwork projects in the UK and abroad. I have supervised fieldwork and provided teaching and training to students and volunteers. Upon completion of my undergraduate degree in 2008, I worked with various contract units pursuing fieldwork, post-excavation analysis and environmental sample processing for development-led projects. I have also led validation evaluations for both projects and institutions to obtain feedback from community groups and schools.

Research Topic

The impacts of Archaeological Research in the North East of England


The primary aim of this research is to identify and evaluate the tangible and intangible impacts of archaeological research conducted by archaeological and heritage sectors. Quantitative and qualitative data sets will be collected, analysed and evaluated to gain a greater understanding of the impacts of archaeological research in the North East of England between 2005 and 2015. It is envisioned that this project will gain new insights into contemporary engagement with archaeological research and enable the formation of new methods of public engagement and cross-sector interaction.


2014: Arts and Humanities Research Council Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership Scholarship covering tuition fees and maintenance

2010: English Heritage Studentship and maintenance fees


Book Chapter:

Laidler, S. Semple, S. and Turner, S. 2013. Public Perceptions of Wearmouth and Jarrow: Contemporary and Competing Vistas in Turner, S., Semple S. and Turner, A. Wearmouth and Jarrow: Northumbrian monasteries in an historic landscape. University of Hertfordshire Press, Hertfordshire pp.177 - 189.


Laidler,S. 2011. Contemporary and Competing Vistas; Public Perceptions of Wearmouth and Jarrow. E-thesis (

Is supervised by