University of Exeter Press

Landscape and Townscape in the South West

    • 142 Pages

    This book examines recent views on the emerging settlement patterns of early medieval Britain and their relation to land use, drawing on both archaeological and documentary sources. Six essays, displaying the combined skills of historians, archaeologists and geographers, explore the evolution of the South West in rural and urban contexts across many centuries.

    Simon Esmonde Cleary takes the study from the later Romano-British into the post-Roman period; Christopher Holdsworth examines the re-emergence of Christianity in sixth-century England, the location of minsters and their role in the economy. The problematic theme of continuity or dislocation recurs in a number of chapters and is closely investigated by Peter Rose and Ann Preston Jones in their chapter on Cornwall, a region marginal to the main thrust of Anglo-Saxon cultural influence. Ethnicity as a factor for change is challenged and Colleen Batey, looking at Northern Britain, finds that archaeology fails to identify with any degree of certainty the specific Scandinavian house type in the uplands.

    Della Hooke presents a more general summary of the period across England, noting the evidence for the emerging landscape regions which were characterized by particular settlement types and field systems and, in a case study of the Failand ridge in North Somerset, James Bond sets the evidence within a much broader time scale, revealing the gaps which still caracterize our knowledge of the early medieval period.

    This book examines recent views on the emerging settlement patterns of early medieval Britain and their relation to land use, drawing on both archaeological and documentary sources.

    "… a fascinating insight for historical geographers, historians and archaeologists." (The Geographical Journal, Vol. 164(1), March 1998) "A good introduction to current debates, research preoccupations and methodological approaches, as well as giving the specialist much food for thought." (Landscape History)

    The Contributors, vi; List of Illustrations, vii; List of Abbreviations, viii; Acknowledgements, ix; Preface Robert Higham, xi; English Uplands, South West and North East: local history and archaeology at inter-regional level. (The Harte Lecture, 1987) Peter Fowler, 1; The development of medieval rural settlement in Somerset Michael Aston, 19; Peasant farmers, patterns of settlement and pays: transformations in the landscapes of Devon and Cornwall during the Later Middle Ages Harold Fox, 41; New towns for old? Urban reconstruction after fires in the South West: the case of Blandford Forum, Dorset, 1731 Michael Turner, 75; The Georgian landscape garden: Devon in the national context Steven Pugsley, 91; The reform of urban management and the shaping of Plymouth's mid-Victorian landscape Mark Brayshay, 105.

    Robert Higham is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Exeter. His research interests cover two broad topics relating to the medieval period: the general theme of defence, in both its military and social aspects, and the medieval archaeology of South West England. He has directed a number of excavations and published several books.

    He has particular interests in the interplay between archaeological and historical data in the medieval period. Specific areas of research include urban defence, the archaeology, social and settlement history of castles and castle-building society, and the settlement history of Greater Exmoor.

    Della Hooke is part-time Senior Lecturer in Historical Geography and Landscape Conservation at Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education, after many years as a Research Fellow in the University of Birmingham. Simon Burnell taught early medieval archaeology in the University of Exeter from 1990 to 1992, and has since taught at the universities of Berne and Zurich. He works as a freelance consultant and is based in Suffolk.