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David Wyatt

Dr David Wyatt

Reader in Early Medieval History

School of History, Archaeology and Religion


Research interests

  • Slavery in the societies of medieval Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia c. 800-1200 C.E.
  • The warrior fraternities of medieval Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia c. 800-1200 C.E.
  • The heritage and archaeology of Caerau and Ely, Cardiff.
  • Community engagement, co-production and heritage regeneration
  • The narrative of William A. Hall (a fugitive slave in Cardiff).

Impact and engagement

As community engagement co-ordinator for the School:













Book sections





CAER Heritage Project

CAER Heritage Project Youtube video

The CAER Heritage Hidden Hillfort Project works together with the communities of Caerau and Ely in Cardiff to co-produce research and new knowledge about the area's 6,000 years of heritage.

CAER Heritage Project website

CAER Heritage Project Facebook Page

'We dig Caerau!' Cardiff's Hidden Hillfort and the Power of Community Archaeology - Blog

SHARE with Schools Project

I co-ordinate SHARE with Schools (SwS) a project which creates links with local secondary schools and sixth forms in a variety of 'widening access' locations in South-east Wales (currently Ely, Caerau, Leckwith and the Cynon Valley). For further details of the project see my research page.

SHARE with Schools Project Website


Year one

The module provides an introduction to the history of Europe during the Middle Ages.

History in Practice introduces students to the different frameworks which underpin historical research and the many different ways of writing history, while providing training in the skills necessary to practice history at undergraduate level.

Year two

  • HS1723 Blood and Honour: the Viking Age in the West - 30 Credits

Wales and Ireland have frequently been regarded by historians as marginal frontier regions on the fringes of medieval Europe. In this module we will take a very different perspective, examining how the Irish Sea region was at the heart of a dynamic maritime network linking communities around the North Atlantic.

Year three

This module examines the enormous social and cultural significance of slavery in Christian Europe from the late Roman period to the eve of the discovery of the New World.

Postgraduate teaching

  • HST078 Heritage, Community Action and Public Engagement

This module provides you with the knowledge and skills to explore the challenges and opportunities of working in the field of heritage, as well as gain practical experience in developing and delivering your own group project. It offers an opportunity to explore the place of the past in contemporary culture through studying approaches to the management and communication of ‘heritage’. The module will introduce you to the history of ideas of heritage, and the ways in which heritage is treated in present-day legislation, policy and practice.

Lifelong learning teaching - Exploring the Past

I conceived, designed and strategically manage this progression pathway for adult learners facilitating progression onto undegraduae degrees in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion. For further details see:

Exploring the Past website


I came to Cardiff University to study history and archaeology as a mature student during the mid-1990s. For a number of years, I co-ordinated a vibrant programme of open access adult education courses in history and archaeology at the Centre for Lifelong Learning. I assumed the role of Lecturer and Community Engagement Co-ordinator in the School of History and Archaeology at Cardiff in 2009 where I also teach and research. I specialise in the history of slavery and servitude in the societies of medieval Britain. I have published a number of articles on this topic and my book Slaves and Warriors in Medieval Britain and Ireland, 800-1200 (2009) examines the social and cultural significance of slavery for these societies. My research interests also include: Viking era settlement and society in the Irish Sea region, gender and power in early-medieval Britain and the Anti-Slavery movement in 19th Century Wales, community engagement and co-production in relation to heritage and the archaeology and history of Caerau and Ely in Cardiff.

Education and qualifications

1998-2003, PhD in Medieval History, Cardiff University 'Slavery and culture in medieval Britain and Ireland : an alternative perspective of an enduring institution'

1997-1998, MA in Medieval British Studies with distinction, Cardiff University

1995-1997, BA Joint Honours in History & Archaeology, 1st Class, Cardiff University

Career overview

September 2009 to present day:

  • Reader in Early Medieval History, Community and Engagement
  • School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University.

November 2003 to August 2009:

  • Co-ordinating Lecturer in History & Archaeology.
  • Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning, Cardiff Univers
  • Archaeological Supervisor/Analyst, School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University.

Honours and awards

Awards won:

Successful grant applications secured

  • 2012 The CAER Heritage Project £25,000 (AHRC Connected Communities), (Heritage art, geophysical survey)

  • 2013 Pathway to the Past £9,638.00 (Heritage Lottery Fund), (Heritage mural and short trail)

  • 2013 Digging Caerau £89,578.00 (AHRC Connected Communities), (Community excavation and year of heritage initiatives)

  • 2013 HEART of Cardiff £31,511.00 (AHRC Connected Communities), (Co-design digital heritage trails and art across Ely and Caerau)

  • 2014 On Shared Ground (CAER) £39,476.00 (AHRC Connected Communities), (Collaborative film with communities in Ely, Sheffield and Aberdeen)

  • 2014 Digging communities £51,352.00 (AHRC Connected Communities), (Community excavation, co-produced heritage-art, films, performances)

  • 2015 Messages from Medieval Caerau £1,250.00 (Cardiff University), (Co-produced geophysical survey of medieval ringwork

  • 2015 CAER HEDZ £9,990.00 (AHRC Connected Communities), (Co-produced animated film exploring value of Caerau’s heritage)

  • 2015 Romano-British £1,490.00 (Arts Council Wales), (co-produced heritage art installation with local schools)

  • 2016 CAER Young People Opportunity proj.  £29,973.00 (RCUK Schools Partnership), (Providing heritage themed life opportunities for young people facing exclusion)

  • 2016 Dusty’s First World War Project £12,000.00 (AHRC WW1 Engagement), (Exploring WW1 origins of Ely’s garden village housing estate)

  • 2016 The Model Village Project £19,973.00 (AHRC Connected Communities), (Community excavation at deserted medieval village in Ely plus animated co-produced film

  • 2016    Trek to Connect  £5,000.00 (Cardiff University, City Region) (Create geocaching trails with communities in Ely/Caerau, Merthyr Tydfil and Buretown)

  • 2017 Uneathing Utopias - £2,980.00 (AHRC) (Community heritage partnership project with University of Lincoln)

Professional memberships