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Medieval markets, the Portable Antiquities Scheme, and the IPMs

The Inquisitions Post Mortem are a key source for the study of economic history in the Middle Ages; among the wealth of varied historical evidence they contain are included records and valuations of medieval markets and fairs. Our project, 'Placing Medieval Markets in their Landscape Context through the Portable Antiquities Scheme Data', hosted by the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS, at the British Museum, examines medieval commercial sites and their relationships with the small archaeological finds in the PAS database. The PAS was established in 1997 and today contains information on over 1,200,000 objects found by members of the public, mostly by metal-detecting. Some 190,000 finds are medieval (1066-1540). We aim to study the emergence, growth and decline of medieval markets, and associated infrastructure such as roads and navigable waterways, through this archaeological evidence.

IPM valuations: the question of accuracy (1)

Digitization of the IPMs makes the documents much more widely accessible. The addition of extensive markup also allows new questions to be asked and old questions to be answered in new ways. The markup relating to holdings is now (more or less) complete for the years 1427-42 (CIPM volumes 23 to 25) and in the coming months we will be exploring the data that is now available.

Place-name challenge

A number of places mentioned in the IPMs have not been identified, for various reasons. Existing works of reference may be inadequate or may not have been available when the volumes were originally compiled. Sometimes the resources required to identify places - time as well as reference works - may not have been available to the editors. In many cases, however, identification is possible with further work and in particular with local knowledge. Perhaps you can help us identify some of the unidentified locations in volume 21, listed below by county. (These are major place-names only: in general the calendars did not attempt to identify minor names such as field-names.)


We have a new corrigenda page! It will alert you to mistakes we have found while we are waiting for the next site update, when corrections will be fully incorporated.

eCIPM 25.261-93

[update 16 July 2015: the issue with the display of the IPMs has been resolved and they can now be seen on the main website]