Wendy Davies’s research centres on the social and economic history of pre-industrial rural communities in Europe; to that end, she has worked on the way surviving text conditions our perception of community identity and land-use (hence work on early medieval charters) and has been involved in archaeological fieldwork. She is committed to working across disciplines and to working in collaboration with other scholars: she has convened the – still active – ‘Bucknell’ charter group since 1979, and, with others, has run interdisciplinary projects which explore the interaction between text and field evidence. Always with a broad interest in western Europe, her earlier work focussed on Wales and Brittany, but in recent years she has been primarily occupied with northern Spain in the early middle ages. She is currently working on gardens and gardening.
Wales in the Early Middle Ages (Leicester, 1982)
(ed. with Paul Fouracre) The Settlement of Disputes in Early Medieval Europe (Cambridge, 1986)
Small Worlds. The Village Community in Early Medieval Brittany (London, 1988)
Patterns of Power in Early Wales (Oxford, 1990)
(ed. with Paul Fouracre) Property and Power in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1995)
(with G. G. Astill) A Breton Landscape (London, 1997)
(with James Graham-Campbell et al.) The Inscriptions of Early Medieval Brittany (Oakville CT & Aberystwyth, 2000)
Acts of Giving. Individual, Community, and Church in Tenth-Century Christian Spain (Oxford, 2007)
Welsh History in the Early Middle Ages: Texts and Societies. Farnham: Ashgate, Variorum Collected Studies Series (2009). Brittany in the Early Middle Ages: Texts and Societies. Farnham: Ashgate, Variorum Collected Studies Series (2009).
(edited, with Paul Fouracre) The Languages of Gift. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2010).
Windows on Justice in Northern Iberia, 800-1000. Abingdon: Routledge, 2016.
(edited) Themed Volume on gardens in southern Europe, Early Medieval Europe 27:3 (2019)
Christian Spain and Portugal in the Early Middle Ages: Texts and Societies. Abingdon: Routledge, Variorum, 2020
(with Bernhard Zeller, Charles West, Francesca Tinti, Marco Stoffella, Nicolas Schroeder, Carine van Rhijn, Steffen Patzold, Thomas Kohl, Miriam Czock), Neighbours and Strangers. Local Societies in Early Medieval Europe. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2020
‘Surface Scatters of Building Stone: Enhancing Field Survey Work’, Oxford Journal of Archaeology 12 (1993), 337–53
‘On servile status in the early middle ages’ in Serfdom and Slavery. Studies in Legal Bondage, ed. M. L. Bush, London, 1996, 225–46
‘Thinking about the Welsh environment a thousand years ago’ in Cymru a’r Cymry 2000. Wales and the Welsh 2000, ed. G. Jenkins, Aberystwyth, 2001, 1–18
‘Sale, price and valuation in Galicia and Castile-León in the tenth century’, Early Medieval Europe 11 (2002), 149–74
‘Looking backwards to the early medieval past: Wales and England, a contrast in approaches’, Welsh History Review 22 (2004), 197–221
‘The early middle ages and Spanish identity’ in Power and Identity in the Middle Ages, ed. H. Pryce & J. Watts, Oxford, 2007, 68–84
‘Economic change in early medieval Ireland: the case for growth’, Settimane di Studio di Centro Italiano di Studi sull’alto medioevo, 57 (2010), 111–33
‘Judges and judging. Truth and justice in northern Iberia on the eve of the millennium’, Journal of Medieval History 36:3 (2010), 193–203
‘Notions of wealth in the charters of ninth- and tenth-century Christian Iberia’, in Les élites et la richesse au haut moyen âge, ed. J.-P. Devroey, L. Feller, R. Le Jan, Turnhout, 2010, 265–84
Water mills and cattle standards; probing the economic comparison between Ireland and Spain in the early middle ages, H. M. Chadwick Memorial Lectures 21, Cambridge: Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, 2012, 1–28
'Free peasants and large landowners in the West' in Autour de Yoshiki Morimoto. Les Structures agricoles en dehors du monde carolingien, formes et genèse, ed. J.-P. Devroey and A. Wilkin, Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire 90 (2012), 361-80.
'Local priests and the writing of charters in northern Iberia in the tenth century' in Chartes et cartulaires comme instruments de pouvoir. Espagne et Occident chrétien (VIIIe-XIIe siècles), ed. J. Escalona and H. Sirantoine, Toulouse, 2013, 29-43.
'Local priests in northern Iberia', in Men in the Middle. Local Priests in Early Medieval Europe, ed. S. Patzold and A. C. van Rhijn, Berlin, 2016, 125-44.
With David Peterson, 'The management of land-use in Old Castile: the early strands of the Becerro Galicano of San Millán de la Cogolla' in Penser la paysannerie médiévale, un défi impossible?, ed. A. Dierkens, N. Schroeder, A. Wilkin, Brussels, 2017, 47-68.
'Boni homines in northern Iberia. A particularity that raises some general questions', in Italy and Early Medieval Europe: Papers for Chris Wickham, ed. R. Balzaretti, J. Barrow, P. Skinner, Oxford, 2018, 60-72.
'Gardens and Gardening in Early Medieval Spain and Portugal', Early Medieval Europe 27:3 (2019), 327-48.
'Small worlds beyond empire: the contrast between eastern Brittany and northern Iberia', in Kleine Welten. Ländliche Gesellschaften im Karolingerreich, ed. T. Kohl, S. Patzold and B. Zeller, Vorträge und Forschungen, Konstanz, 2019, 385-409.
'Counts in ninth- and tenth-century Iberia', in Beyond the Reconquista: New Directions in the History of Medieval Iberia (711-1085), ed. S. Barton and R. Portass, Leiden, 2020, 143-68.