The Manchester Medieval Society began life in 1933 as a northern branch of the Oxford Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature. The first Chairman was Eugene Vinaver, and the committee consisted of E.V. Gordon, E.F. Jacob, Florence Harmer, Christopher Cheney, James Tait and J.W. Rees. The Manchester grouping of medievalists has had a continuous existence to the present day, evolving over time into an autonomous and more inclusive society. Over the years, lecturers have included many major figures in Medieval Studies, among them C.S. Lewis, R.W. Chambers, J.R.R. Tolkien, M.K. Pope, Lewis Thorpe, R.M. Wilson, R.W. Southern, Margaret Gibson, C.R. Dodwell, N.F. Blake, John le Patourel, Peter Clemoes, J.M. Wallace-Hadrill, Walter Ullman, Rachel Bromwich, James Campbell, Marina Warner, Jonathan Alexander, J.S. Roskell, Anne Hudson and Rosemary Cramp.
The Society continues to have the aim of arranging lectures and events covering all aspects of medieval life and thought, seeking to promote an atmosphere of good fellowship among individuals interested in the medieval period both in Britain and Europe. It is currently open to all members of the University of Manchester, and to all those in the vicinity who have an interest in any aspect of medieval studies. Four lectures are arranged each year, as well as an excursion to see sites of medieval significance.