The early churches of Fife : a gazetteer of sites
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During the middle centuries of the first millennium AD, Christianity began to penetrate the north of Britain, and the establishment of the church within the community eventually brought a level of organization which would be vital to the development of subsequent society during the Middle Ages. In line with the fragmentary and culturally diverse nature of north Britain at this time, the experience of conversion and the arrival of Christianity differed from area to area, as well as reflecting some common trends. For the purposes of this dissertation, I have looked at the cultural trends which lay behind the form and distribution of Early Christian sites within Fife during the Pictish period, and the locations of the sites themselves. In the introduction, I shall address the geography of Fife; the political and cultural background of the region; the form of the church and the significant events which occurred in it during this period; the factors, identified in other areas, that are most likely to have affected church settlement; and the features which may indicate the presence of an early church. In the body of the dissertation, I shall address each parish individually, providing an introductory discussion of the area and a gazetteer entry for each possible site identified, followed by an analysis of the findings. The conclusion will focus on an analysis of how the previously discussed factors relate to Fife.
Thesis, MPhil Master of Philosophy
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