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Professor Roger H Leech 

Visiting Professor

Professor Roger H Leech's photo

Professor Roger H Leech is a Visiting Professor in Archaeology at the University of Southampton.

I am Visiting Professor in the department, was earlier Visiting Professor at Reading University, and was formerly Head of Archaeology in the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, now part of English Heritage, before which I was Director of the Cumbria and Lancashire Archaeological Unit at Lancaster University, now reconstituted as Oxford Archaeology North. Earlier I was Assistant Director of the Western Archaeological Trust in Bristol, concerned with rescue archaeology projects in Avon, Gloucestershire and Somerset. My PhD dissertation at Bristol University drew on some of this research and was on 'Romano-British Rural Settlement in South Somerset and North Dorset'. In recent years my interests have moved to the archaeology of the recent past and at Southampton I have lectured in earlier years on the historical archaeology of Britain and North America, 1500 to the present, a unit named ‘The Familiar Past', offered to 3rd year students, but following financial cuts not now delivered.

I am a former President of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, was in 2002 co-organiser of the Society's conference at Southampton University on Cities in the world 1500-2000 and was in 2005 co-organiser of the Society's conference on The Colonial landscape of the Caribbean, held on the island of Nevis in the Leeward Islands. I am also a former President of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, and am a council member of the Royal Archaeological Institute.  I am also about to join the National Trust's advisory committee for London and SE England.

Research interests

I have recently completed a long term project looking at urban housing in Bristol, England's second city for much of the medieval and early modern periods.  Funded by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and English Heritage, this is now in press with the latter.  This archaeological and architectural study has been underpinned with a historical study of property holdings in the city, providing vital documentary context for the builders, owners and occupiers of houses, the results of this being separately published by the Bristol Record Society in a series of volumes on the topography of medieval and early modern Bristol.

My second research interest in recent years has been in furthering our understanding of the historical archaeology of the English Caribbean islands.  My work on Nevis has formed part of the Archaeology Department's Nevis Heritage Project. I have also been studying plantation life on the islands of St Kitts and Barbados.

This research has contributed to papers delivered to recent conferences, ‘Slavery and the Country House' held in London in 2010 in association with English Heritage and the National Trust and its proceedings now in press, and the conference of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, held in Jamaica in 2011.   The research on Nevis, a project looking at the colonial landscape of the eastern Caribbean, has been funded to date by the British Academy and the Society of Antiquaries, and is being carried out in partnership with colleagues from National Museums Liverpool and Bristol City Museum in England and Mercer University, Mary Washington College and the University of Virginia (including the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery project) in the United States. This project forms part of Archaeology's Nevis Heritage Project, in which up to ten students from Archaeology have participated in each year that funding has been available.

Research project(s)

The St Kitts-Nevis Digital Archaeology Initiative

The St Kitts-Nevis Digital Archaeology Initiative is a multiple-year project to create an integrated digital archive of archaeological and historical data related to the experiences of the enslaved men and women who laboured on three 18th and 19th century sugar plantations on Nevis and St Kitts.

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Book Chapters


  • Leech, R. (2003). Portsmouth: a window on the world? In A. Green, & R. Leech (Eds.), Cities In The World, 1500-2000 (pp. 299-306). (Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology Monograph; No. 3). Leeds, UK: Maney.
  • Leech, R. (2003). Summing up: cities in the world. In A. Green, & R. Leech (Eds.), Cities In The World, 1500-2000 (pp. 321-322). (Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology Monograph; No. 3). Leeds, UK: Maney.
  • Leech, R. (1993). Data standards for archaeological site records in England: RCHME initiatives. In A. Roberts (Ed.), European Museum Documentation Strategies and Standards: Proceedings of an International Conference Held in Canterbury, England, 2-6 September 1991 (pp. 159-162). Cambridge, GB: The Museum Documentation Association.




Working Papers

Not teaching in 2012-2013

Professor Roger H Leech
Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton
Avenue Campus, Highfield
SO17 1BF
United Kingdom

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