Although religious life in medieval Durham was ruled by its prince bishop and priory, the laity flourished and played a major role in the affairs of the parish, as Margaret Harvey demonstrates. Using a variety of sources, she provides a complete account of its history from the Conquest to the Dissolution of the priory, with a particular emphasis on the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. She shows how the laity interacted vigorously with both bishop and priory, and the relations between them, with the priory providing schools, hospitals, chantries and regular sermons, but also acting as a disciplinary force. On a wider level, she also looks at the whole question of lay religion and what can be discovered about it. She finishes by an examination of local reactions to the Reformation.