By E.A. Jones
Oxoniensia, Vol.63 (1998)
Abstract: Since the publication of Rotha Clay’s Hermits and Anchorites of England in 1914, very little of the basic historical and topographical research which would be needed to bring our knowledge of the solitary vocations in the Middle Ages up to date has been carried out. The present survey identifies 37 sites in Oxfordshire which were associated with solitaries (as against 23 recorded by Clay) between the 12th and 16th centuries. The documentary evidence for each site is listed and analysed. The introduction attempts to place the solitaries of Oxfordshire in context, relating the pattern of eremitic and anchoritic activity in the county to the broader national picture, and illustrating how the evidence from the Oxfordshire site fits in with historical developments within the vocations.