Dr Gabriel Byng

My research concerns patterns of power and authority in local society in late medieval and early modern England. I am particularly interested in the development of parochial institutions during this period – the churchwardens, the masters and the vestry – as they coped with economic, social and religious change. These form the topic of my current research project. Recent publications include ‘The Contract for the North Aisle at the Church of St James, Biddenham’, The Antiquaries Journal (2015).

My doctorate examined the management and financing of church construction as a study in cooperation and conflict at the parish level. It identified the social groups that ran and paid for work, the strategies they used to control cost and timescale, and the place of church building in contemporary society. I completed my PhD at Cambridge in 2014, supervised by Professor Paul Binski, and won scholarships from the Lightfoot, Ellen McArthur and Ochs Trusts along with several other awards and prizes. I studied for my Master’s degree at the Courtauld Institute, where my dissertation on the liturgy of Exeter Cathedral won the Director’s Prize, and I was an undergraduate at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. I won the Reginald Taylor and Lord Fletcher prize in 2013. 

I am a Research Fellow at Clare Hall and Director of Studies in History of Art at Clare College. I am a trustee of the Mausolea and Monuments Trust and Caius House, and I have worked as a consultant for several architects’ practices and for the National Trust.