Helen Portrait by Rob Judges 3

Academic Background and Previous Positions
I studied English Literature at Newcastle University and then came to Oxford as a graduate student in early medieval history. After ten happy years teaching at the University of Kent, I moved back to take up my current post in Oxford.

Undergraduate Teaching
British and European History of the early and central middle ages.

Graduate Teaching
I teach on the MSt and MPhil in Medieval History. I am keen to supervise projects that relate to my research interests.

Research Interests
I am particularly interested in the history of the church and its rituals in the Middle Ages, and I am as keen on buildings, objects and archaeological evidence as on written texts. My first book was Liturgy, Architecture and Sacred Places in Anglo-Saxon England (2013); I have also co-edited two collections of essays on the topic: The Liturgy of the Late Anglo-Saxon Church (2005) and Understanding Medieval Liturgy (2015). A second strand of my research is about language, and in particular the role and status of English in relation to Latin; I am currently writing a book on English: The Forgotten Language of the Medieval Church. I welcome applications from graduate students wanting to work on related topics.

H. Gittos, Liturgy, Architecture and Sacred Places in Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, Pb 2015)

Edited Books
Vernacular Languages in the Long Ninth Century, ed. A. Gautier & H. Gittos, Journal of Medieval History Special Issue (in preparation, to be published 2021)

Understanding Medieval Liturgy: Essays in Interpretation, ed. H. Gittos and S. Hamilton (Ashgate, 2016, Pb Routledge, 2019)

The Liturgy of the Late Anglo-Saxon Church, ed. H. Gittos and M. B. Bedingfield, Henry Bradshaw Society Subsidia 5 (London: 2005)

Journal Article
H. Gittos, 'The Audience for Old English texts: Ælfric, Rhetoric and ‘the edification of the simple’, Anglo-Saxon England 43 (2014), pp. 231-66

Book chapters
H. Gittos, ‘Built Environs and Sacred Places’, Worked in Stone, ed. S. Semple (OUP/ British Academy, in progress, to be published 2022)

H. Gittos, ‘Archaeological Evidence for Local Liturgical Practices: The Lead Plaques from Bury St Edmunds’, Crossing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Art, Material Culture, Language and Literature of the Early Medieval World, ed. E. Cambridge & J. Hawkes (Oxbow Books, 2017), pp. 127-138

H. Gittos, ‘Researching the History of Rites’, Understanding Medieval Liturgy: Essays in Interpretation, ed. H. Gittos and S. Hamilton (Ashgate, 2016, Pb Routledge, 2019), pp. 13-37

H. Gittos, ‘Sources for the Liturgy of Canterbury Cathedral in the Central Middle Ages’, Art and Architecture at Canterbury Cathedral, ed. A. Bovey, (British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions 35 (London, 2013), pp. 41-58

H. Gittos, ‘Christian Sacred Spaces and Places’, The Oxford Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology, ed. H. Hammerow, D. Hinton, S. Crawford (Oxford: OUP, 2011), pp. 824-43

H. Gittos, ‘Is there Any Evidence for the Liturgy of Parish Churches in Late Anglo-Saxon England? The Red Book of Darley and the Status of Old English’, Pastoral Care in Late Anglo-Saxon England, ed. F. Tinti, Anglo-Saxon Studies 6 (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2005), pp. 63–82. A study of a priests’ book which pays particular attention to its use of Old English.

H. Gittos, ‘Architecture and Liturgy in England c. 1000: Problems and Possibilities’, The White Mantle of Churches: Architecture, Liturgy and Art Around the Millennium, ed. N. Hiscock (Turnhout: Brepols, 2003), pp. 91-106

H. Gittos, ‘Resting in peace: churchyard consecration and sacred spaces in Anglo-Saxon England’, Burial in Early Medieval England and Wales, ed. A. Reynolds & S. Lucy (London: Society for Medieval Archaeology, 2002), pp. 195-208

Email address
[email protected]



Honorary Fellows

See a list of Brasenose's Honorary Fellows.

Emeritus Fellows

See a list of Brasenose's Emeritus Fellows.

Read the Prospectus

Prospective Students

Read more about studying at Brasenose College.

Undergraduate Courses

Interested in undergraduate study? Read about the courses we offer