Prof Barbara Crawford MA, PhD, FRSE, FSA, FSA Scot


Honorary Professor, Member of the Norwegian Academy

Institute for Northern Studies
University of the Highlands and Islands
Scott's House

Grainshore Road
KW15 1FL

d: +44 (0)1856 569300

Dr Barbara CrawfordBiography

Prof Crawford is also Honorary Reader in History at the University of St. Andrews having spent over thirty years as a teacher in the Department of Mediaeval History. Since taking early retirement in 2001 she has continued to pursue her researches into the history and archaeology of the Scandinavian settlements in Scotland, and contacts across the North Sea in the Middle Ages.

Research Interests

Recently completed research projects include
i) The place-names of the Norse-Celtic frontier zone in Northern Scotland (2003)
ii) The ‘papar’ project (2009)                  
iii) The cult of St. Clement in England and Scotland and Scandinavia (2008)
iv) The partial reconstruction of the medieval log-timbered ‘stofa’ (2007-8) which was excavated on the island of Papa Stour, Shetland (1977-90)

Prof Crawford's doctoral research was a study of the history of the earls of Orkney-Caithness and their relationships with the kings of Norway and Scotland from the late Norse period until the pledging of the islands to Scotland in 1468. She developed a keen interest in archaeology as part of an inter-disciplinary approach to Norse studies, and has excavated the site of a royal Norwegian farm on the island of Papa Stour in Shetland. The report of that excavation The History and Excavation of a Royal Norwegian Farm at the Biggings, Papa Stour, Shetland was published in 1999 jointly by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Prof Crawford has also edited a volume of Conference papers Papa Stour and 1299 (The Shetland Times 2002) resulted from a conference commemorating the 700th Anniversary of Shetland’s first document and the completion of the Papa Stour excavations. This brings together papers by Scandinavian, Scottish and Polish historians and archaeologists which were also published in Norway as a volume of the academic journal Collegium Medievale (2002. vol. 15).

The same multi-disciplinary approach underlay the successful and innovative study Scandinavian Scotland (Studies in the Early History of Britain. Leicester Univ. Press, 1987, now out-of-print) and an edited book of essays on the place-names of Norse settlement Scandinavian Settlement in Northern Britain. (Leicester Univ. Press, 1995). She initiated the successful series of Day Conferences at the University of St. Andrews which have focused on ‘Dark-Age’ Scottish themes - again with a multi-disciplinary content- and edited the papers which have been published as: Scotland in Dark-Age Europe, (St. Andrews. St. John’s House papers no.5, 1994): Scotland in Dark-Age Britain (St. Andrews. St. John’s House Papers no.6, 1996): Conversion and Christianity in the North Sea World, (St. Andrews. St. John’s House Papers no. 8, 1998) (all out-of-print): The ‘papar’ in the North Atlantic: Environment and History (St. Andrews. St. John’s House Papers no.10, 2002).

Select Publications

‘F.T. Wainwright and The Problem of the Picts’ in Pictish Progress. New Studies on Northern Britain in the Early Middle Ages ed. S. Driscoll, J. Geddes and M. Hall (NW series 50) (Leiden 2011): 3-12

‘The Joint Earldoms of Orkney and Caithness’ in The Norwegian Domination and the Norse World c.1100-c.1400, ed. S. Imsen (Trondheim Studies in History 2010): 75-98

‘The Bishopric of Orkney within the Archdiocese of Trondheim, 1152/3-1472’, New Orkney Antiquarian Journal, vol.4, (2009): 47-68

‘The Saint Clement dedications at Clementhorpe and Pontefract Castle: Anglo-Scandinavian or Norman?’ in Myth, Rulership and Charters (Ashgate 2008): 189-210

‘The Churches dedicated to St. Clement in Medieval England. A hagio-geography of the seafarers’ saint in 11th century North Europe 237pp. Scripta Ecclesiastica Tome 1 (serié supplémentaire á SCRINIUM. Révue de Patrologie, d’Hagiographie Critique et d’Histoire Ecclesiastique (St. Petersburg 2008)

‘The Cult of Clement in Denmark’, Historia. Jysk Selskab for Historie (Århus 2006): 235-282

‘Kongemakt og jarlemakt, stedsnavn som bevis? Betydningen av Houseby, Harray og stadir navn på Orknøyenes West Mainland’ Viking (Norsk Arkeologisk årbok), lxix, (2006): 195-214

‘Houseby, Harray and Knarston in the West Mainland of Orkney. Toponymic indicators of Administrative Authority?’ in Names Through the looking-Glass. Festschrift in Honour of Gillian Fellows-Jensen, ed. P.Gammeltoft and B.Jørgensen, (Copenhagen 2006): 21-44

‘Thorfinn, Christianity and Birsay: what the saga tells us and archaeology reveals’ in The World of Orkneyinga Saga, ed. O.Owen (Kirkwall 2005): 88-110

‘The Sinclairs in the Late Middle Ages’ in Lordship and Architecture in Medieval and Renaissance Scotland ed. G.Stell and R.Oram, (RCAHMS 2005): 189-204

The Govan Hogbacks and the Multi-Cultural Society of Tenth-century Scotland (No. 3 in Old Govan Lecture Series 2005)

‘Orkney in the Middle Ages’ in The Orkney Book ed. D.Omand (Edinburgh) (2004): 64-80

‘Earldom Strategies in North Scotland’ in Sagas, Saints and Settlements ed. G.Williams and P.Bibire (Northern World series 11), (Leiden 2004):105-24

‘The Churches dedicated to St. Clement in Norway. A discussion of their Origin and Function’, Collegium Medievale, 17. (2004): 100-32

The ‘papar’ in the North Atlantic: Environment and History (St. Andrews. St. John’s House Papers no.10, 2002 )