I have become particularly fascinated by the topic of medieval lay piety in Scotland, especially the patterns of worship of late medieval Scottish kings and their subjects. This has drawn me in turn to themes such as saints' cults and images, liturgy, pilgrimage, monastic identity, burial and monumental tombs, cartulary records, and subsequent heritage and commemoration. I have tried to explore many of these topics for Scottish history by making direct comparisons with contemporary England, Ireland and continental Europe (helping me ‘fill-in-the-gaps' by analogy in the often patchy Scottish evidence).
This paper will explore the results of a four-year project to apply ground-penetrating radar in search of the overbuilt remains of the medieval choir of the Benedictine Abbey of Dunfermline, Fife, home to the royal cult shrine of St Margaret as well as the tombs of several generations of Scottish kings and queens down to the 14th century. By combining this geophysical evidence with historical and antiquarian evidence, as well as architectural and liturgical allegories, this project then attempts to recreate for the first time key elements of the settings, calendar and meaning of worship conducted there by monks and a variety of patrons down to the Reformation.
All welcome- but booking is required.