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Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Staff and Governance

To contact the IMEMS administrative office please use the following details:

For the Administrator (maternity cover)


T: 0191 334 6574

For the Administrative Assistant


T: 0191 334 42974


Associate Director (World Heritage): Professor Robin Coningham - view profile

Associate Director: Professor Barbara Ravelhofer - view profile

Core Staff

The day-to-day running of IMEMS is the responsibility of the Core Executive Committee, comprising the Director and Associate Directors and the Administrator. 

Publication details

Brown, A. T. (2014). Estate Management and Institutional Constraints in Pre-Industrial England: the Ecclesiastical Estates of Durham, c.1400-1640. Economic History Review 67(3): 699-719.

Author(s) from Durham


This article explores how far estate management and institutional constraints help to explain the transformations of rural society in England from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. The monks of Durham Cathedral Priory and the bishops of Durham faced many of the same exogenous pressures in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries but they responded differently to these challenges. By the seventeenth century all of the dean and chapter's lands were consolidated holdings on 21-year leases, whereas a confused mixture of copyhold and leasehold land had developed on the bishops' estate. This had a significant impact upon the challenges and opportunities facing their tenants. Institutional constraints were often crucial factors in the transformation of the English countryside: these two neighbouring ecclesiastical estates faced broadly the same problems and yet the composition of their estates diverged significantly across this period, having a profound effect not only on levels of rent, but also on the tenure of holdings and ultimately their relative size; three of the most important factors in the formation of agrarian capitalism. This article also argues that how rural society adapted to the fifteenth-century recession greatly affected the ability of their sixteenth-century counterparts to respond to inflation.

Full Executive Committee

Our Full Executive Committee is made up of the Core Executive Committee, listed above, plus a number of executive members including:

International Advisory Board

We are extremely fortunate to have be able to call on the help and guidance of colleagues from around the world who help to shape and guide our direction, strategy and international reach. Our current Advisory Board members are: