Spotlight on: Harriet Mahood

Before university, I lived and worked on my parents’ sheep farm in the Scottish highlands and amongst my more normal skills, I can shear sheep with traditional clippers and count a flock of sheep in under a minute. Oddly enough, these are not skills I’ve been called upon to use since moving to England…

Pink SheepReading Abbey Tour

My undergraduate degree was in Archaeology and History which I completed in 2011 here at Reading. Since then, I’ve gone on to complete the MA (Res) in Medieval Studies with the GCMS department and I’m currently a PhD student in the History department. Once you get the Reading bug you apparently never want to be anywhere else!

Research-wise, the medieval period in general is where my interests lie but more specifically, the eleventh and fifteenth centuries in what is now Britain. Unsurprisingly, my PhD topic is rooted firmly in these centuries and I’m looking at the design, function and context of ecclesiastical gatehouses. This research incorporates my love of both archaeological and historical evidence and I’m really enjoying the challenge of bringing the plethora of evidence together.

Alongside my PhD research, I teach one of the first year Approaches classes on the Rule of St Benedict as well as holding the role of ASK advisor for the History department.  

Outside of academia I’m a big reader, particularly of science fiction and fantasy, and I make far more jam than I could ever possible eat.  One day I’d like to have a garden full of healthy, fruitful plants and imitate ‘The Good Life” but for now I’ve settled for tomatoes that yearly refuse to ripen, and a sage plant with triffid aspirations.

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