LangScape (The Language of Landscape: Reading the Medieval Countryside)


The Language of Landscape (LangScape) is an on-line searchable database of Anglo-Saxon estate boundaries, descriptions of the countryside made by the Anglo-Saxons themselves. It provides a point of departure for the exploration of the English landscape and its place-names in the period before the Norman Conquest. It is based in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London.

At LangScape’s core is a comprehensive corpus of boundary surveys drawn up in charters during the Anglo-Saxon period and surviving in manuscripts dating from the 8th to the 18th centuries; each text has been checked against its manuscript source or been freshly transcribed and is available on the website in both semi-diplomatic and edited form, together with a word-for-word translation.

Extensive XML-TEI mark-up allows concordances to be produced (for example of all the springs, ploughed fields or salt routes mentioned in the boundaries or of linguistic features within the texts). The location of the estates containing these features can then be displayed on maps. Accompanying descriptive data adds information about the charters in which the boundary surveys occur.

LangScape includes an Old English Tutorial geared at encouraging users to engage with the texts in their original language.

Funding was from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Project Team

Project Director: Professor Dame Janet Nelson

Research Team

  • Joy Jenkyns (Senior Researcher)
  • Peter Stokes (Research Associate and Database-related development)

Technical Research Development

  • Professor Harold Short (Technical Research Director)

Database Team

  • John Bradley (Technical supervision of all database-related work, including web access)
  • Gerhard Brey (Technical supervision, database related support, and adaption of TextStat software)
  • Elliot Hall (Database and web application development)

Data Visualisation Team

  • Martyn Jessop (Supervision of all data visualisation work)
  • Hafed Walda (Data visualisation development)

XML Team

  • Arianna Ciula (Initial web development)
  • Eleonora Litta Modignani Picozzi (XML encoding)
  • Elena Pierazzo (Lead XML analyst)
  • Lucas Sekula (XML encoding)
  • Paul Spence (Supervision of all work related to the XML-driven parts of the web development)
  • Faye Thompson (XML encoding)
  • Paul Vetch (Technical supervision of web publication: interface and visual design)
  • José Miguel Vieira (XML web application development)

International Advisory Committee

  • Dr Rosamund Faith
  • Dr Mechthild Gretsch
  • Prof. Toni Healey
  • Prof. John Hines
  • Dr Della Hooke
  • Dr Carole Hough
  • Prof. Simon Keynes
  • Dr David Parsons
  • Dr Rebecca Rushforth