This volume contains papers delivered at the Thirteenth-Century England conference held at the University of Wales conference centre at Gregynog in September 2005. It thus marks a new phase in the history of the Thirteenth-Century England conferences. The change of location (from Northumbria and the Palatinate of Durham to Powys) bears testimony to how much the field has changed over two decades, and how the thematic, geographical and chronological focus of the conferences has developed. The study of thirteenth-century English history has become a distinctly international endeavour, both as far as the geographical focus of papers is concerned, and the provenance of those who give them. In 2005 we thus had speakers and participants from Austria, France, Germany, Taiwan and the United States, and we hope that this international dimension can be expanded upon in future years. Equally, Thirteenth-Century England is quite evidently not just about England or the thirteenth century, but, in geographical terms, includes England's neighbours in Britain and Ireland, as well as those on the European mainland, while, in chronological terms, it follows the current vogue for ‘long centuries’, and covers the period from c. 1180 to c. 1330.
The papers, divided between broad identifiable themes, encapsulate the dynamic of the study of the thirteenth century in recent years. In terms of a focus away from England, papers relating to Ireland, Scotland and Wales feature prominently in this collection.