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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. (2015). Rural Society and Economic Change in County Durham: Recession and Recovery, c.1400-1640. Boydell and Brewer.

Author(s) from Durham


In the middle of the fifteenth-century, the economy of north-east England was beset by crises: population was low, production was stagnant and many landowners faced penury. By the end of the sixteenth century, however, the precocious development of the coal industry and high levels of inflation provided opportunities for investment and profit in the Durham countryside. Although this period is often seen as a transitional era between medieval and early-modern England, this book argues that it needs to be studied as one long agrarian cycle, showing the degree to which patterns of landholding fixed during the fifteenth-century recession affected the distribution of profits between different types of lords and tenants in the sixteenth and early seventeenth century.

This northern study examines the development of agrarian capitalism; estate management; tenure and the land market; social mobility; the gentrification of merchant wealth and the emergence of the yeomanry, as well as re-assessing the debates on the rise of the gentry and crisis of the aristocracy. What role did estates and institutions play in the development of agrarian capitalism? How was the coal industry affected by the fifteenth-century recession and what effect did the rapid take-off in this trade have upon landed society? Above all, how did the wholesale economic changes of this period affect the social structure of late-medieval and early-modern England?

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: