I am an archaeologist and historian specialising in the early medieval period but with interests across British landscape history, from the Bronze Age through to the Second World War. My particular areas of research look at developments in the Anglo-Saxon landscape, from the fall of Roman Britain to the eve of the Domesday Book and the Norman Conquest. I am also interested in the topography of early medieval towns and proto-urban development from the ninth to the eleventh centuries. I have developed a strong GIS-orientated approach to landscape interpretation and heritage management and in recent years I have worked with Ordnance Survey exploring methods for assessing the historic character of landscapes and understanding temporality in both landscapes and the mapped and digital data relating to them.

I have over six years’ experience working as a field archaeologist on commercial and research excavations across Britain and Europe. I have also worked in the broadcast media as a presenter and producer for BBC Two and Channel 4, including Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm and Wartime Farm, one of the most successful history television brands on BBC Two, achieving regular viewing figures of over 3 million but peaking at 5.9 million viewers. I have co-authored a Sunday Times Bestseller in the Hard-back Non-Fiction category, been nominated for British Broadcast Awards in category of Best Factual Programme and presented in a BBC Two series winning the prestigious Learning on Screen Award given by the British Universities Film & Video Council. As an independent heritage professional I continue to consult on a range of heritage related projects and feature in broadcast productions for BBC Two.

Areas of Expertise

  • Medieval history
  • Medieval archaeology
  • Landscape history
  • Landscape archaeology
  • Broadcast media


  1. Langlands, A. The Ancient Ways of Wessex: Travel and Communication in an Early Medieval Landscape Windgather.
  2. Langlands, A. Ceapmenn and Portmenn: Trade, Exchange and the Landscape of Early Medieval Wessex. In Alex Langlands and Ryan Lavelle (Ed.), The Land of the English Kin: Studies in Wessex and Anglo-Saxon England in honour of Professor Barbara Yorke (pp. 294-311). Brill
  3. Langlands, A. Local Places and Local People: Peasant Agency and the Formation of the Anglo-Saxon State. In Julio Escalona, Orri Vésteinsson and Stuart Brookes (Ed.), Polity and Neighbourhood in Early Medieval Europe (pp. 381-403). Brepols
  4. Langlands, A. Travel as communication: A Consideration of Overland Journeys in Anglo-Saxon England. World Archaeology, 43(3), 410-427.
  5. Langlands, A. Placing the burh in Searobyrig: Rethinking the urban topography of early medieval Salisbury. Wiltshire Archaeology and Natural History Magazine, 107, 91-105.

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  • HIH237 The Practice of History

    The purpose of the module is to encourage you to think more deeply about how historians work and, in particular, about how we as historians can locate and use primary historical sources effectively as a means of interpreting and understanding the past. During the module we will learn about the survival of historical evidence, how it is organised and made accessible to historians to undertake their research, and how to effectively locate and interpret it in your studies. We will consider how the process of doing historical research changes over time, in particular with the impact of recent developments like digitization. At the core of the module will be the work you undertake with others in your seminar group using a range of primary sources which your seminar tutor will introduce to you. As part of the module assessment you will also undertake your own primary source based research project using items from these collections. The module is designed strengthen your analytical skills and to help prepare you for the more extensive uses of primary evidence which you will encounter in final year special subjects and dissertation.

  • HIH276 Anglo-Saxon and Viking-Age England

    Between the eighth and the eleventh centuries England was subjected to an almost relentless onslaught of Viking raids and invasions. This titanic clash between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and the Danish armies who sought to commandeer their lands was to have a profound effect on the social, political, economic and cultural developments of the period. This module will provide an overview of the key historical and archaeological debates concerning the impact of Viking activity in England. From the earliest chance raids of the eighth century, through the collapse of the European Age of Emporia in the ninth, to the founding of the Danish kingdom of the Danelaw and the ascendency of the Danish kings to the English throne in the eleventh century, the module will evaluate how the Viking incursions had both a catastrophic effect on society in some areas of England but also served as a stimulus to economic developments in others. The legacy of these centuries was the birth of a state infrastructure, a system of effective governance and a developing economy that was the envy of the wider European.

  • HIH3300 History Dissertation

    The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.

  • HIH3357 The Placing of History: Digitally mapping the Historic Past

    Whether you are interested in medieval, modern or early modern history, this module will allow you to learn an extremely useful set of transferable skills and will boost your employability. Taught almost exclusively on-line, `The Placing of History¿ will guide you through the introductory basics of using Geographic Information Systems in order for you to digitally map an aspect of your chosen period of history. You¿ll be given step-by-step guidance on how to use industry standard software and will be given the opportunity to define your end of module project focusing on an area of your own interest or specialism (You may chose an aspect that aligns with your dissertation research). More so than ever before, geo-spatial (location) data is being used to manage and understand the modern world and the historic past. This module gives you the chance to overlap your areas of historic interest with the learning of a key set of industry-relevant skills.

  • HIHD00 Heritage Dissertation (Practice-Based)

    This module affords students the opportunity to complete their MA in Heritage by undertaking a practical heritage project. The project, worth 67% of the marks, may be undertaken independently, or via a placement with a heritage project or organisation. It will be accompanied by a reflective commentary worth 33% of the marks.

  • HIHD01 Heritage Dissertation (Written)

    Students produce a dissertation on a heritage topic, chosen and developed in conjunction with their supervisor in line with the standard College MA requirements.

  • HIHM04 Heritage Work Placement

    This module enables students to gain practical experience of working with a heritage organisation or project in a graduate-level role. Placements may involve the acquisition of skills in museum work, community projects, heritage interpretation and policy (but are not restricted to these areas). Group discussion and individual tutorials will support students in preparing an extended essay reflecting on their work experience in the context of literature on heritage and public history.

  • HIMD00 Medieval Studies Dissertation

    A dissertation of 15,000 - 20,000 words written on a topic decided by the student in consultation with the dissertation supervisor. This represents Part Two of the MA programme in Medieval Studies.

  • HIMM04 Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 2: Themes and Sources

    This module aims to apply the skills and approaches learned in the module HIMM01: Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 1: Skills and Approaches to a range of important themes in Medieval Studies, including gender, identity, laws and customs, spirituality, heritage. The module is interdisciplinary and draws on historical, literary and visual sources. The content of the module will be arranged in 2-weekly blocks, with the first week in each block dedicated to introducing students to the specific theme and the second week being used as a practical application of this knowledge to a source or text.


  • Innovative Approaches to Mapping the Historic Landscape Character of Space and Place in South Wales (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Sarah May May
    Other supervisor: Dr Alexander Langlands
  • Public Perceptions of the Early Medieval Period in England and Wales (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Sarah May May
    Other supervisor: Dr Alexander Langlands

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
January 2015 Present Author Faber & Faber
October 2013 August 2015 Lecturer University of Winchester
October 2013 March 2015 Consultant researcher Ordnance Survey
September 2003 Present Broadcaster Freelance
January 2001 August 2007 Archaeologist Freelance

Key Grants and Projects