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BA (Hons) University of Wales, Bangor
Diploma in Palaeography and Archive Administration, University of Wales, Bangor
PhD University of Wales, Cardiff


Madeleine Gray is a medieval historian with close links with a number of heritage and community organisations and is an honorary research fellow of the National Museum of Wales. She has published extensively on late medieval and early modern history with a particular focus on visual evidence for the history of religious belief and practice. She appears regularly on television and radio, and is currently working on a survey of medieval tomb carvings in Wales. She blogs at , and , posting updates on research and heritage projects.


Madeleine Gray trained as an archivist and worked in extra-mural education before becoming a lecturer at Newport in 1998.


• Images of Piety: the iconography of traditional religion in late medieval Wales (Oxford: BAR, 2000)
• The Protestant Reformation: belief, practice and tradition (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2003)
• With Peter Webster, eds: Cistercians in Wales and the West (Archaeologia Cambrensis special number, vol 154, 2005)
• With Prys Morgan, eds: Gwent County History vol III: Monmouthshire, 1530-1780 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2009)

Recent journal articles
• ‘The brass of Richard and Elizabeth Bulkeley in Beaumaris: some new light on the Reformation in Wales?’ Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society, 2010, pp. 9-25
• ‘Sacred space and the natural world: the shrine of the Virgin Mary at Penrhys’, European Review of History: Revue europeenne d’histoire, 18 (2), 2011, pp. 243-260
• ‘Death, Commemoration and the Reformation in Monmouthshire’, The Monmouthshire Antiquary 27,2011, pp. 43-56
• ‘The brass of Richard and Joan Foxwist at Llanbeblig: death, commemoration and the Reformation in Wales’, Transactions of the Caernarfonshire Historical Society, 72, 2011, pp. 54-68
• ‘ “Gwyrth yn y coed gynt”: a rediscovered miracle collection from the shrine of the Virgin Mary at Penrhys?’, Studia Celtica 45, 2011, pp. 105-9
• ‘Holy wife, holy maiden: the life of the Virgin Mary on the canopy of honour at Llanelian-yn-Rhos’, Welsh Journal of Religious History 6, 2011, pp. 1-18
• ‘Reforming memory: commemoration of the dead in sixteenth-century Wales’, Welsh History Review 26(2), 2012, pp. 186-214
• ‘The “Dawns o Bowls” and the macabre in late medieval Welsh art and poetry’, Studia Celtica, 47, 2013, pp. 41-57
• 2014, ‘Four weddings, three funerals and a historical detective puzzle: a cautionary tale’, Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society, pp. 31-46.
• 2014, ‘Piety and power: the tomb and legacy of John Marshall, bishop of Llandaff 1478–96’, Archaeologia Cambrensis 162 (2013), pp. 339–349
• 2016, ‘Post-medieval cross slabs: closet Catholics or stubborn traditionalists?’, The Antiquaries’ Journal 96, pp. 207-240

Recent chapters in books
• With John Winton, ‘The effects of religious tourism on host communities’, in Tourism, Religion and Culture: Regional Development through Meaningful Tourist Experience (proceedings of the University of Salento Regional Conference, Lecce, 2009)
• ‘ Ritual space and ritual burial in the early modern Christian tradition’, in R & J Allen, eds., Faith of Our Fathers: Six Centuries of Popular Belief in Britain and Ireland. (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009), pp. 11 – 25
• ‘Images of words: iconographies of text and the construction of sacred space in medieval church wall painting’ in Peter Thomas and Joe Sterrett, eds., Sacred Text – Sacred Space: Architectural, Spiritual and Literary Convergences in England and Wales (Leiden: Brill, 2011), pp. 15-34
• ‘ “The Heavens and All the Powers Therein”: the iconography of the font of All Saints, Gresford, in its political context’ in Harriet de Sonne and Miguel Torrens, eds., The Visual Culture of Baptism (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013), pp. 105-28
• ‘ “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night”: the pre-Reformation church in Wales’ in Christianities in the Early Modern Celtic World, ed. Robert Armstrong and Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)
• ‘Contested Relics: Winefride and the Atlantic churches’ in James Robinson and Lloyd de Beer with Anna Harnden, eds, Matter of Faith: an interdisciplinary study of relics and relic veneration in the medieval period (London: British Museum, 2014)

In press
• M. Gray, ed., Rewriting Holiness: studies in the reconfiguration of cult (London: King’s College London Medieval Studies, forthcoming in 2017)

Public history
• I have contributed a series of articles to the Western Mail’s ‘History Research Month’ series, in conjunction with History Research Wales, of which I am a member. These are subsequently published by Gomer as the Western Mail’s New History of Wales series, edited by Huw Bowen, and launched at the Hay Literary Festival; I have been invited to speak at all the launches to date.

Public Engagement Activities and Esteem Indicators

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Antiquaries
Honorary research fellow, National Museum of Wales
Member of working party on the restoration of St Teilo’s Church at the National History Museum, St Fagan’s, and chair of the wall paintings committee
Presented the public lecture at the opening of St Teilo’s Church in October 2007


Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries
Member of Council, Church Monuments Society
Gwent Historical Association (general and editorial committee member)
Gwent Local History Council
Glamorgan History Society (committee member)
Monmouthshire Antiquarian Association
South Wales Record Society (President 2010-13)
Welsh History Forum


Adviser and participant in award-winning BBC TV series ‘Bread of Heaven’ and ‘The Story of Wales’ (presented by Huw Edwards)
Adviser and participant in TV series ’Ogilby’s Roads of Wales’ (presented by Terry Jones)


Dr Gray has been consultant on a number of heritage projects, including:
the St Teilo’s Project at the National Museum of Wales
the digital reconstriction of the castle chapel at Oystermouth, Swansea
digital heritage trails of Cwmbran and Monmouth
the Llantwit Major Galilee Project
the Llancarfan wall paintings project (for which see )
the Laleston Stones Trail
the Cistercian Way (a round-Wales heritage footpath taking in Cistercian abbeys and other sites of historical importance)


Expertise or Interest

Dr Gray has published extensively on late medieval and early modern Welsh and European history. In recent years her interests have focused on the visual and literary evidence for religious belief. She is currently compiling a database of medieval Welsh tomb carvings and working on a parallel British Academy-funded survey of probate evidence for changing attitudes to death and commemoration in the sixteenth century.

Grants Awarded

Cadw and VisitWales grants for the Cistercian Way heritage footpath project, 2005

British Academy small grants

For research into the administration of the Crown’s landed estate, 1989
For a study of sixteenth-century surveys of the church in Wales, 1992
For a survey of probate evidence for changing attitudes to death and commemoration in the sixteenth century, 2011


I have been part of the team supervising successful M Phil/Ph D theses on early medieval palaeography and on medieval hospitals. I am currently supervising theses on
perspectives on death in medieval Welsh poetry
C17 and C18 Quakers
C17 and C18 urban development
national identities in the heritage industry

Centre or Group



Death, tombs and commemoration in medieval and Reformation Wales
Led by Dr Madeleine Gray the aim of this project is to provide an analytical database of medieval tombs and monumental sculpture in Wales from 1100 to 1540.

Gwent County History Association
The Association has been formed to publish a substantial new history of the former county of Gwent. It aims to combine the latest research and high academic standards with accessibility and readability.

Medieval wall paintings
A project undertaken by Dr Madeleine Gray in conjunction with the National History Museum, St Fagan’s. The St Teilo’s Project is now being developed by a major research initiative on medieval church ritual and music.

Areas of Expertise

Medieval and early modern Welsh history, church history, hagiography, pilgrimage, death and commemoration


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