Portrait of Professor Richard Morris Professor Richard Morris

r.morris@hud.ac.uk | 01423 504219


Richard Morris read English at Oxford, studied music at York, and then turned to archaeology. In 1971 he became a member of the team excavating under York Minster, moving from there to become the Churches Officer of the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), responsible for setting up archaeological advice networks for churches and cathedrals. In 1988 he joined the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. In 1991 he returned to the CBA as its director, there helping to launch the popular magazine British Archaeology. From 2003 to 2010 he directed the Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds, joining Huddersfield in 2010.

Richard is an energetic champion of the study and care of the historic environment. From 1996 to 2005 he served as a Commissioner of English Heritage. He has chaired the Ancient Monuments Advisory Committee for England and the Expert Panel of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and is a former trustee of the National Coal Mining Museum for England. Today he is a trustee of the York Archaeological Trust, the Landscape Research Centre, the National Heritage Memorial Fund, a member of the North East committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund and chair of The Blackden Trust.

Richard is a Frend Medallist of the Society of Antiquaries of London. In 2003 he was appointed OBE for services to archaeology.

Research and Scholarship

Richard has written extensively on the archaeological study of churches and buildings, and on the historical geography of parish churches. In recent years he has collaborated with Glenn Foard on approaches to the archaeology of medieval and early modern battles. In parallel, Richard has worked as an historical biographer, and on themes relating to aviation and warfare. He is currently working on a new biography of Barnes Wallis, and a social history of 20th-century Britain from the air.

His latest book, Time’s Anvil: England, archaeology and the imagination is due to be published in November this year by Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Morris, R (2014) Interwar England: an aerial history . : English Heritage.


Morris, R (2012) Time's Anvil: England, Archaeology and the Imagination . London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 978-0297867838

Foard, G. and Morris, R. (2012) The archaeology of English battlefields . CBA Research Report. York, UK: Council for British Archaeology. ISBN 9781902771885


Morris, R (2011) ‘Local churches in the Anglo-Saxon countryside’. In: A Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 174-199. ISBN 9780199212149

Morris, R (2011) ‘Comparative analysis’. In: The Twin Monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow. Nomination as a World Heritage Property. Sunderland, UK: Sunderland City Council on behalf of the Wearmouth-Jarrow Partnership. pp. 132-155. ISBN 9780905108537


Morris, R (2009) ‘Operation Chastise: the raid on German dams, 16/17 May 1943’. In: Defining moments: dramatic archaeologies of the twentieth century. Oxford: Archaeopress. pp. 83-94. ISBN 9781407305813


Morris, R. and Owen, R. (2008) Breaching the German Dams London: Newsdesk Communications on behalf of Royal Air Force Museum


Morris, R., Owen, R., Rodgers, J., Sturtevant, P., Horsley, W. and Garner, A.(2007) Forty-year winter.A companion to the Royal Air Force Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition [Show/Exhibition]

Morris, R (2007) ‘Breathing the Future: The Antiquaries and Conservation of the Landscape, 1850-1950’. In: Visions of Antiquity. The Society of Antiquaries of London 1707-2007. London: Society of Antitquaries of London. pp. 329-351. ISBN 9780854312870

Wood, I., Powlesland, D. and Morris, R. (2007) ‘Deira and York in the 7th and 8th centuries’. In: La Ciudad medieval y su influencia territorial. Longroño: Instituto de Estudios Riojanos. pp. 423-438. ISBN 9788496637153


Morris, R (2005) ‘Book review - Markets in Early Medieval Europe: Trading and 'Productive' Sites 650-850. Eds Tim Pestell and Katherina UlmschneiderInternational History Review , 27 (3), pp. 336-338. ISSN 0707-5332

Morris, R (2005) Journeys from Jarrow Jarrow: St. Paul's Church

Morris, R (2005) ‘‘Calami et iunci’: Lastingham in the Seventh and Eighth Centuries’Bulletin of International Medieval Research , 11, pp. 3-21.


Morris, R (2004) ‘Journeys from Jarrow’. In: Jarrow Lecture, 2004, Jarrow, UK


Jeffrey, S., Jones, S., Heyworth, M., Macsween, A. and Morris, R. (2003) From the ground up. The publication of archaeological projects York, UK: Council for British Archaeoology


Baker, D. and Morris, R. (2001) ‘Last orders?Antiquity , 75 (289), pp. 608-611. ISSN 0003-598X

Morris, R (2001) ‘Book review - The archaeology of early Christianity. A history. By W H C FrendJournal of Ecclesiastical History , 52 (3), pp. 521-523. ISSN 0022-0469


Morris, R (2000) Cheshire. The biography of Leonard Cheshire VC OM . : Viking Penguin. ISBN 0670867367

Morris, R (2000) ‘Heritage strategy reviewConservation Bulletin (37), pp. 2-5. ISSN 0753-8674


Morris, R (1999) ‘Victory at Tewkesbury’s battlefieldBritish Archaeology (43). ISSN 1357-4442


Morris, R (1998) ‘Journey through history to Penda’s FenBritish Archaeology (39). ISSN 1357-4442

Morris, R (1998) ‘Farewell, cousin to the Crystal PalaceBritish Archaeology (38). ISSN 1357-4442


Morris, R (1997) ‘Why peat extraction must be stoppedBritish Archaeology (28). ISSN 1357-4442

Morris, R (1997) Churches in the landscape . London: J M Dent/Phoenix Giant. ISBN 0753801175


Morris, R. and Gilchrist, R. (1996) ‘Continuity, reaction and revival: church archaeology in England, c. 1600-1880’. In: Church Archaeology. Research directions for the future. York: Council for British Archaeology. pp. 112-126. ISBN 9781872414683

Morris, R (1996) ‘The Archaeological Study of Cathedrals in England, 1800-2000’. In: The Archaeology of Cathedrals. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Committee for Archaeology. pp. 1-8.

Morris, R. and Corbishley, M. (1996) Churches, chapels and cathedrals: a teacher’s guide . London: English Heritage. ISBN 9781850744474


Morris, R (1994) ‘A public past?’. In: Rescuing the historic environment: archaeology, the green movement and conservation strategies for the British landscape. : Rescue. pp. 9-13. ISBN 9780903789172

Morris, R. and Dobinson, C. (1994) Guy Gibson . London: Viking/Penguin. ISBN 0670828785

Morris, R. and Butler, L. (1994) ‘The Cavendish vault, Derby CathedralDerbyshire Archaeological Journal , 114, pp. 14-28.

Morris, R (1994) ‘Buildings archaeology’. In: Buildings Archaeology. Applications in Practice. Oxford: Oxbow Books. pp. 13-21. ISBN 9780946897759


Morris, R. and Gilchrist, R. (1993) ‘‘Monasteries as settlements: religion, society and economy AD 600-1050’’. In: In Search of Cult: essays in honour of Philip Rahtz. Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell Press. pp. 113-118. ISBN 0851153372, 9780851153377


Morris, R (1991) ‘Baptismal places: 600-800’. In: People and Places in Northern Europe 500-1600. Essays in honour of Peter Hayes Sawyer. London, UK: Boydell & Brewer. pp. 15-24. ISBN 9780851155470


Cambridge, E. and Morris, R. (1989) ‘Beverley Minster before the early thirteenth century’. In: Medieval art and architecture in the East Riding of Yorkshire. London: British Archaeological Association. pp. 9-32. ISBN 978 0 901286 23 9


Morris, R (1988) ‘The archaeological value of churchyards’. In: The Churchyards Handbook. : Church House Publishing. pp. 20-24. ISBN 9780715175545

Morris, R (1988) ‘Churches in York and its hinterland: building patterns and stone sources in the 11th and 12th centuries’. In: Minsters and parish churches. The local church in transition 950-120. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Committee for Archaeology. pp. 191-199. ISBN 9780947816179


Morris, R (1987) ‘Parish churches’. In: Urban archaeology in Britain. London: Council for British Archaeology. pp. 177-191.


Butler, L. and Morris, R. (1986) The Anglo-Saxon Church . Research Reports. London: Council for British Archaeology.

Morris, R (1986) ‘Alcuin, York, and the Alma Sophia’. In: The Anglo-Saxon Church: papers on history, architecture, and archaeology in honour of Dr. H.M. Taylor. York, UK: Council for British Archaeology. pp. 80-89. ISBN 9780906780541


Morris, R (1985) ‘The church in the countryside: two lines of enquiry’. In: Medieval villages: a review of current work. Oxford: Oxford University Committee for Archaeology. pp. 47-60. ISBN 9780947816056


Morris, R (1983) The church in British archaeology . Research Report. London: Council for British Archaeology. ISBN 9780906780176

Morris, R (1983) An introduction to church archaeology . : Ecclesiological Society. ISBN 9780950126296

Morris, R (1983) ‘Book review: Christianity in Roman Britain to AD 500. By Charles ThomasMedieval Archaeology , 27, pp. 230-232. ISSN 0076-6097


Morris, R. and Roxan, J. (1980) ‘Churches on Roman buildings’. In: Temples, churches and religion in Roman Britain. Oxfrord: British Archaeological Reports. pp. 175-209. ISBN 9780860540854


Morris, R (1979) Cathedrals and abbeys of England and Wales . London: J M Dent. ISBN 046004334X


Morris, R (1978) Churches and archaeology. Archaeological work in and around churches in use . : Church Information Office. ISBN 9780715175330


Morris, R (1977) ‘Redundant churches and the historic environment’. In: Planning and the historic environment II. Oxford: Oxford University Department for External Studies. pp. 94-119. ISBN 0903736055

Morris, R (1977) ‘Archaeology’. In: Change and Decay. : Studio Vista. pp. 134-140. ISBN 9780289707753


Morris, R (1976) ‘Kirk Hammerton: the tower and the fabricArchaeological Journal , 133, pp. 95-103. ISSN 0066-5983

Morris, R. and Wade-Martins, P. (1976) ‘Diocesan archaeological consultants: steps towards a plan for church archaeology in England’. In: The archaelogical study of churches. London: Council for British Archaeology. pp. 10-14.

Research Degree Supervision

Richard has supervised or co-supervised nine doctoral projects in the last nine years. He also has considerable experience as an external examiner. He is glad to hear about and discuss potential research proposals in any of the fields or periods in which he works.

These include

  • Church archaeology and ecclesiastical geography
  • Settlement and landscape
  • Yorkshire history
  • Aerial reconnaissance for archaeology and cultural history
  • Aviation and cultural history down to c.1960
  • History of conservation
  • Battlefield archaeology

Contact him direct if you have an idea or project that you would like to explore.

Richard’s current research students are undertaking projects on the role of 617 Squadron RAF from 1943 to 1945 (Robert Owen), a GIS study of enclosure and landscape in Northamptonshire (Tracey Partida), and the Minister and borough of Ripon after the Black Death (Steve Werronen, at Leeds). Subjects of recent successful completions at Leeds were Based on a True History: Medieval Narratives in Modern Film (Paul Sturtevant); The Influence of hadith on the Architecture or Early Congregational Mosques (Essam Abdelrahman) and St Alban and the Cult of Saints in Late Antique Britain (Michael Garcia).