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Outside the gate: sub-urban legal practices in early medieval England

Baker, John; Brookes, Stuart


Associate Professor

Stuart Brookes


Many aspects of English early medieval (Anglo-Saxon) legal landscapes can be discerned in archaeological and toponymic evidence, ranging from the locations of legislative councils and judicial assemblies to sites of capital punishment. Among the corpus of such sites a striking group can be detected at the periphery of urban spaces. Gates into a number of towns appear to have functioned as legislative meeting-places, and even gave their names to some legally constituted communities, while suburban locations also feature prominently as sites of gallows and public punishment. In this paper historical, archaeological and toponymic evidence is used to examine this phenomenon of suburban legal practices and to pose questions about the wider dimensions of the early medieval legal landscape.


Baker, J., & Brookes, S. (2013). Outside the gate: sub-urban legal practices in early medieval England. World Archaeology, 45(5),

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2013
Deposit Date Apr 25, 2014
Publicly Available Date Apr 25, 2014
Journal World Archaeology
Print ISSN 0043-8243
Electronic ISSN 0043-8243
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 5
Public URL
Publisher URL


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