Shaping Medieval Landscapes: Settlement, Society, Environment (None)

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9780954557584: Shaping Medieval Landscapes: Settlement, Society, Environment (None)
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The English landscape of today owes much to changes and transformations that took place in the medieval period, i.e. before the large-scale planned enclosures from the 1700s onwards. What went before was a much more open system of fields with regional variations in the configuration of settlement, fields, hedgerows, roads and paths. Throughout this book Tom Williamson discusses the dichotomy between 'planned' and 'ancient', 'woodland' and 'champion' landscapes; between areas where nucleated villages were separated by regular open fields, as opposed to isolated farms and small hamlets with fields enclosed by hedges and larger amounts of woodland. Collating a great deal of information from an area extending from the Thames to the Wash, Williamson reveals fresh insights into the complex social, economic and demographic pressures that led to regional variation in landscape types.

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Review:

'...if what you really want is to get right down in the dirt with Medieval farmers, to see the land as they saw it, to understand how it worked and how they drew life from it, this is the book for you.' Current Archaeology. 'a wonderful piece of work , Williamson's best yet'. Christopher Taylor 'This is an extremely interesting and original argument... Research on the history of the medieval landscape has neglected the influence of environment and geography in recent years, and this book firmly places them back on the agenda...' British Archaeology

From the Publisher:

Tom Williamson was born in Hemel Hemstead in Hertfordshire, and was brought up in Bushey, before reading history and archaeology at Jesus College, Cambridge. Since 1984 he has taught at the University of East Anglia. He is now Professor of Landscape History there, and has written widely on landscape archaeology, agricultural history and the history of landscape design. He has a particular interest in the landscape history of Hertfordshire.

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