Guest Blog Post

Adam Freeman’s Dublin trip

On my family weekend trip to Dublin in August 2015 I tried to take in as much history as much as I could, with a special focus on its medieval past. Dublin was invaded by the Vikings in the ninth century, with a date of 841 being given as the foundation of the city of Dublin. After the Norman invasion of England in 1066, when they quickly and effectively conquered the Irish lands, Dublin became the centre of English power in Ireland after the Norman invasion of the southern half of Ireland.

Euros packed and camera ready…


 On a warm (ish) day, my visit started with a walk down the river Liffy.  


I found the National Museum of decorative arts, located at a former army barracks.


Can’t complain about a free museum (already having noted the Archaeology and Painting Museum in my guidebook).

Dodging modern trams, I stuck to my walking, so as not to miss places of historical interest.



Walking towards Dublin castle and surrounding areas I noticed a lot of great architecture….


Christ Church Cathedral is easily seen from the riverfront…


Finding this cathedral shut I went looking for the twelfth century St Patrick’s Cathedral…



And enjoyed some nice views as I queued up behind many tourists




I found the similarity between an ‘English’ Norman cathedral startling


Next stop Dublin Castle! Nice round tower, a large range of ages and periods between the buildings, i.e tower, nave and entrance gallery


A more modern looking entrance; eighteenth century. The castle looks like it’s been dropped into a modern estate, expensive offices behind the photo, and a road


Time to consult the map, it has changed a lot since its foundation by King John, and I thought all he did was sign the Magna Carta…


Time to take a rest in the old inner walls, still feels odd how close the new apartments are on the site. As the sun starts to set a good day of visiting, travelling back home tomorrow.


Monday 16th November

Monday 16th November 2015 4pm

 Seminar Room, Westmere House

Blogging the Medieval

Want to know more about finding useful medieval blogs and writing your own posts?

In this session EMREM will discuss finding different types of blogs (based at Birmingham, written by PhD’s and ECR’S, focused on particular topics and general interest), and writing your own posts (about your research, sources, trips etc).

If you have experience or questions you would like to share, please come along!

As always, wine and nibbles will be provided!

call for blog posts

Our First Guest Post, Courtesy of Adam Freeman

Annual Ironbridge lecture 2015

The Urban Splash Story – How Celebrating Heritage is Consistent with Celebrating the Best in Original Modern Design

Presented by Tom Bloxham MBE

Chairman and co-founder of Urban Splash

Chancellor of The University of Manchester

Trustee of Manchester United FC Foundation

The 2015 Annual Ironbridge lecture in partnership between the University of Birmingham and the International Ironbridge Institute was held at Ironbridge and Gorge Museum on Tuesday 20th October. The talk was given by Tom Bloxham MBE, founder of Urban Splash a heritage regeneration company founded in 1993. Urban Splash’s literature comments that, ‘together they wanted to bring back into use the ample stock of wasted empty buildings lying around at that time in Liverpool and Manchester; with an ambition of filling them with the growing band of post-punk kids looking for cool spaces to live in and trade from’. Over time this has spread to all major cities around the UK, and Urban Splash has become a national leader of regeneration in its field.

The talk was very informative; Tom made note of previous success stories, I have yet to hear from one that failed! and also commented on current projects. These centred on Sheffield, Bristol and most excitingly Birmingham. The Sheffield project is one of the company’s most ambitious to date, seeing the regeneration of the quarter of the city that aims to create a hub for northern businesses, and a go to place for the young; the University of Sheffield has recently opened a campus there.

The Birmingham project was confirmed to the press only days before the lecture and Urban Splash hopes to follow on from the success of the previous regeneration of Ford Dunlop in the city. Urban Splash comments, ‘Birmingham City Council and the Canal & River Trust have chosen us as preferred development partner for Icknield Port Loop alongside Places for People. The huge 43 acre canal side site, sits close to the city centre and will deliver in excess of 1,000 homes’ ( This is an indication of the company’s progress over twenty years since its foundation, that it has the ambition to pull off a regeneration project this large.

During his lecture Tom noted the impact of the 2007/8 recession on the company. The downturn in profits necessitated a change in emphasis, but the overall message of continuing to invest and stay true to the founding principles of the company is a positive message we can all hope to learn from.

The use and preservation of former industrial buildings and heritage sites is of significance to all historians, to preserve our past and as an education tool for the next generations. The prospect of losing our past, whether industrial, early modern or even medieval remains in a building, is a possibility. It is only through concerted attempts to save it and try to find modern uses that it can then survive into the twenty first century. Leaving buildings and artefacts to decay should not be an option.

Monday 9th November

Monday 9th November 2015 4pm

Seminar Room, Westmere House

Conference Workshop


Writing an abstract for a conference and don’t know where to start?

Want to submit a panel with a group of friends but struggling to make your papers tie together?

In this session EMREM will give you tips in conferencing:

How to find conferences and choose which to attend, what organisers are looking for, what to expect when chairing a panel, and practical advice for presenting a paper.



In addition to our open Call For Papers, EMREM has opened a Call For Blog Posts.

If you would like the chance to contribute to this blog, perhaps in the form of a book review, conference report or short account of your research, please get in touch! We are looking for posts of 500-800 words, but are open to suggestions if you have a longer post to pitch!



Hi everyone!

Thank you to everyone who came to last week’s session on funding. You can see the slides again here: Funding-with-updated-slides

Just a reminder that there is no session in Westmere this Monday as it is Reading Week.

There has also been a change to the programme. Week 7’s session on ‘Digital Wizardry’ will now run in Week 9. This means that our next session will discuss conferences and abstracts.

Finally, in addition to the open call for papers, there is now a call for blog posts. If you would like to write something about your research or sources, a book review, conference report, or anything else, please get in touch!

call for blog posts

An updated programme and other information…

This is how our programme currently stands for the rest of the semester:

Week 4

Roundtable: Medieval and Renaissance Studies in the Curriculum

Week 5

Funding Applications

Week 7

Digital Wizardry

Week 8

Research Presentation Session:

Speaker TBC

Week 9

Conference Workshop

Week 10

Research Presentation Session

Tom Rochester ‘A Worthy Successor to Cuthbert: The Miracles of John of Beverley in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History V.2-6

Week 11

End of Term Networking and Wine Reception

 There are still slots available if you would like to present your research, so please do get in touch!

Monday 19th October 

Our next session will be a roundtable discussion considering the changing face of academia. Where does medieval (and renaissance!) studies stand in the curriculum today – and where is it going?

As promised, here is the information about the article that is our springboard for next weeks discussion:

‘On the Margin: Postmodernism, Ironic History, and Medieval Studies’ by Lee Patterson
Source: Speculum, Vol. 65, No. 1 (Jan., 1990), pp. 87-108
Published by: Medieval Academy of America
Stable URL:

This can be found online through the findit@bham site.

As always, wine and nibbles will be provided!

Monday 12th October

Monday 12th October 2015 4pm

 Seminar Room, Westmere House

Manuscripts, Libraries and Archives

Want to know more about finding and accessing manuscript sources? In this session EMREM will discuss finding sources, behaviour in archives and the skills needed to work with manuscripts. We will cover the British Library, Cadbury Research Library and National Archives, among others, as well as online sources. If you have experience or questions you would like to share, please come along!

As always, wine and nibbles will be provided!

manuscripts session