ECCLES: Early Christian Churches and Landscapes

Pre-Romanesque ecclesiastical architecture in Scotland in its European context

The main objective of ECCLES is to lead to a wider understanding and appreciation of the nature, value and significance of pre-Romanesque ecclesiastical architecture to AD 1100 in Britain and Ireland, within a European context.

For Scotland, this will include:

  • Increased knowledge and understanding of surviving evidence for early medieval ecclesiastical architecture
  • Increased availability and accessibility of information about such places, their value, significance and potential for future research
  • Facilitated interpretation, presentation, management and protection of the surviving archaeological resource and early church sites
  • Increasing the cultural, social and economic potential of such places for wider public benefit.

Image of Early Christian Churches

The priority is to evaluate the opportunities and benefits of linking with, an existing European initiative, Corpus Architecturae Religiosae Europae, and existing Scottish online resources, as well as producing a series of related, free-standing Scottish research projects and online resources.

A preliminary project in Scotland received funding from the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The project received a grant for an AHRC International Network, which held its first meeting in Chester in August 2017.

Led by Dr Thomas Pickles, Chester (Co-Investigator Sally Foster, Stirling), the team for Britain and Ireland brings together considerable interdisciplinary expertise in church architecture, archaeology, sculpture, history and heritage management: 

  • Scotland: Dr Sally Foster (University of Stirling)
  • England: Dr Thomas Pickles (University of Chester)
  • Wales: Professor Nancy Edwards (University of Bangor)
  • Ireland: Dr Tomás Ó Carragáin (University of Cork).

For further information, please see our project website or contact Dr Sally Foster.