The University of Sheffield
Department of Archaeology

Dr Hugh Willmott FSAHugh Willmott

Senior Lecturer in European Historical Archaeology

BA Hons., MA, PhD (Dunelm)

Email address

0114 2222940

Department of Archaeology, Northgate House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 4ET

Room 202

Brief personal biography

Hugh studied archaeology at the University of Durham, completing his PhD in 1999. After a brief period working in commercial archaeology, he was appointed a lecturer in European Historical Archaeology at Sheffield in 2004, and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2010.

Research interests

Hugh's research interests lie in the archaeology of the later medieval and early modern period in Europe.

Currently, he is primarily focused upon exploring the archaeology of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in England, although other aspects of his work examine the development of historical societies through their production, consumption and deposition of material culture.

Current research projects

Converting from Christianity, the Archaeology of the Dissolution

In 2011 Hugh started a major survey and excavation project centred on the well-preserved monastic enclosure at Thornton Abbey, Lincolnshire, a site that was converted into a early modern estate by several successive families of wealthy landowners. This project is a key case study in a wider research project investigating the aftermath of the Dissolution on the Monasteries in Northern England.

Newark Civil War Siegeworks Project

Working with Dr Rachel Askew, Hugh is currently establishing a community outreach project to be jointly run by the University of Sheffield and Newark & Sherwood District council's recently established National Civil War Centre, focusing on the Civil War era siegeworks surrounding Newark-on-Trent. These represent the most complete example of their kind in the UK, and the project will utilise the latest geophysical and topographical survey techniques to revaluate upstanding earthworks and features previously thought to have been destroyed in order to produce an accurate reconstruction of a mid-17th century town at war.

Trade and Exchange in The Adriatic

Hugh recently published (with Dr Irena Lazar) the first comprehensive analysis of the glass cargo of Gnalić shipwreck, a Venetian galley that sank in the 1580s. He is currently extending this research into the material culture of the Adriatic, in collaboration with colleagues from Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg and Univerza na Primorskem, to help better understand the cultural encounters that took place between Christian and Ottoman groups in the region during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Early Medieval Glass Production

Hugh has recently finished investigating (with Dr Kate Welham of Bournemouth University), the Saxon glassworking evidence from Raleigh Radford´s 1950s excavations at Glastonbury Abbey as part of an AHRC funded project. This research is now being extended to look at other early medieval monastic sites with evidence for glass manufacture.

Research supervision

Hugh is interested in supervising research students who have an interest in historical archaeology and/or material culture research.

Recently completed PhD students

Current PhD students




Selected publications



Full publications list

Other professional activities

Hugh Willmott’s Research Page