Manuscripts and Medieval Life: the Great Cowcher Book of the Duchy of Lancaster

Saturday 18 November 2023, 10:00am to 4:00pm


Lancaster Suite, Lancaster Castle, Lancaster, LA1 1YN

Open to

All Lancaster University (non-partner) students, Alumni, External Organisations, Public, Staff


Cost to attend - booking required

Registration Info

For more information and to book tickets, please see our Events listings.

Ticket Price

Standard Ticket £20 Current Friends&Patrons of the RHC £18

Event Details

An off-campus Study Day on The Duchy of Lancaster’s Great Cowcher Book, considered ‘second only to Domesday’ as a record of places across England and Wales. Produced by order of King Henry IV, it records the possessions of the Duchy of Lancaster, along with beautiful medieval illuminations.

The Great Cowcher Book was produced c. 1402 on the orders of King Henry IV to record the deeds of the possessions of the Duchy of Lancaster. The two volumes therefore comprise copies of the Duchy’s records up to that point, presented alongside beautiful illuminations that represent the highest quality of medieval artwork. The records of settlements and forests in Lancashire offer vital insights into the medieval history of the county.

This study day follows an innovative light display based on the manuscript’s extraordinary art at Light Up Lancaster on 2–4 November 2023. It also forms part of a wider research project that involves colleagues from Lincoln University and The National Archives. We are grateful to the Duchy of Lancaster for their ongoing support of this project. Speakers include Professor Fiona Edmonds, (Director Regional Heritage Centre, Lancaster University), Dr Paul Dryburgh (the National Archives), Dr Sophie-Therese Ambler (Department of History, Lancaster University) and Professor Alison Findlay (Department of English and Creative Writing, Lancaster University)

From 9.30am Assemble in Lancaster Suite at Lancaster Castle (tea/coffee is not served at beginning of the day – but is available to purchase at the café on site)

10.00-10.15am Introduction to the day – Professor Fiona Edmonds, Director, Regional Heritage Centre, Lancaster University

10.15-11.00am The Duchy of Lancaster Great Cowcher Book and Duchy Archive - Dr Paul Dryburgh, The National Archives

11.15-11.45am Coffee/tea & biscuits

11.45-12.30pmRebellion and Revolution in Medieval England: The Making of the Duchy of Lancaster – Dr Sophie-Therese Ambler, History Department, Lancaster University

12.30-1.30pm Lunch*

1.30-2.30 pm The Great Cowcher Book at Light Up Lancaster - Professor Fiona Edmonds, History Department, Lancaster University

2.30-3.00pm Tea/Coffee & biscuits

3.00-4.00pmStaging The Reign of Edward III by Shakespeare and ? in the 1590s and at Lancaster Castle in 2023 - Professor Alison Findlay, Department of English and Creative Writing, Lancaster University

4.00pm end of event


Contact Details

Name Ann-Marie Michel