Street life in medieval London
This chapter provides an analysis of how we might reconstitute the everyday life and space of a pre-modern street, namely Cheapside in late medieval London. Street life in the past can be difficult to recapture in all its complexity and inter-relations. Written documents, such as deeds, purveyances, regulations and court cases, can tell us much, but it is only through a broader range of evidence – archaeological, architectural, literary and visual – that we achieve a better understanding. Such an approach also reminds us how both the built environment and culture of urban space shapes its use, and that the form of the street can be resilient over time despite radical changes.
About James Davis
James Davis is Professor in Medieval History at Queen’s University Belfast, and he specialises in the urban, economic and cultural history of late medieval England. His publications include the monograph Medieval Market Morality (Cambridge University Press 2012) and his current project, funded by the British Academy, examines medieval street life.