Charles Insley

Charles Insley


If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


Dr Charles Insley has been a Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at Manchester since 2012, having held posts at Canterbury Christ Church, Northampton and Bangor Universities since 1995.  He was head of the History Department at Manchester between 2018 and 2021.


Charles Insley studied for his undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the University of Oxford, receiving his doctorate in 1998 for a thesis on the pre-Norman Conquest archive of Exeter Cathedral.  His first post was at Bangor University, on a project (with Professor Huw Pryce) to edit the surviving Acta of the Welsh Princes (1137-1283), which was published in 2005. He is a historian of the Atlantic Archipelago in the earlier Middle Ages, ca. 800-1100 and has published widely on aspects of English and Welsh history during that period.  His current interests centre on a comparative study of queens and elite women in the Atlantic Archipelago during the ninth, tenth and eleventh centuries. 

D.Phil. Medieval History, University of Oxford (1998)

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society since 2004



Postgraduate Research

I am happy to supervise Ph.D. research in the in most aspects of British History, c.800-1300.  I have a particular interests in ideas of state formation; historical landscapes and spatial organisation; identity and ideas around assimilation and acculturation across Britain and Ireland in this period. 

Current Students:

Katherine Fliegel: For the Love of God: Male Cross-dressing and Religion in Pagan Anglo-Saxon England (Co-supervised with Prof Paul Fouracre)



Teaching Interests

My teaching interests lie in the European Middle Ages, with a particular focus on Britain between 800 and 1200, especially political and social history. 


Courses Taught 2022-23

Undergraduate Teaching

Level 1: An Introduction to the Medieval World

Level 3: Heroes and Holy Men: The Irish Sea World in the Viking Age c.750-1100


Postgraduate Teaching

Perspectives in Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Reading the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: History, Codicology, Palaeography and Source Analysis

Research interests

My research interests lie in Insular History between c.800 and c.1100.  I have written extensively on Anglo-Saxon charters and state formation and have recently completed a biography of Athelstan, first king of the English (Routledge, 2023).  My current research interests focus on intercultural connections and interactions around the Irish Sea between c.800 and c.1150, and I am convenor of The Irish Sea in the Middle Ages research network, along with Dr Marios Costambeys and Dr Clare Downham (Liverpool) and Dr Fiona Edmonds (Lancaster).  I have also published on aspects of Welsh History of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, with a focus on politics and documentary culture. 

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society since 2004

Member of the Programming Committee of the International Medieval congress

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, The Anglo-Saxon Charters of Exeter: an Edition and Commentary, Oxford University


Award Date: 28 Jul 1998

External positions

External Examiner, Canterbury Christ Church University

1 Sept 202131 Aug 2025

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Creative Manchester


Dive into the research topics where Charles Insley is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles