The development of Anglo-Saxon settlement structure: Helena Hamerow

A new generation of large-scale, developer-funded excavations of Anglo-Saxon settlements are revolutionising our understanding of the socio-economic development of rural communities in the mid- to late Saxon periods. After characterising the settlement forms seen during the fifth to seventh centuries, this paper traces the diversification in the structure and layout of settlements from later seventh century onwards and considers its causes, such as the possible relationship between the construction of extensive complexes of ditched enclosures and droveways, and new forms of land use.

 

Sustainable environments: common wood pastures in Norfolk: Patsy Dallas

 

The following paper examines the management and sustainability of wood pasture on the commons of Norfolk the medieval period until the early nineteenth century. It has been generally accepted that areas of common wood pasture were particularly unstable environments, subject to overgrazing and tree removal with little means of maintaining the dual resources of pasture and wood. However, evidence from the populous and intensively farmed county of Norfolk challenges that assertion. Using sources including manorial records, manuscript maps and the documentation associated with Parliamentary Enclosure this paper demonstrates that individual tenants and groups of commoners defended their right to use and maintain wooded common pastures. Manorial records defined customary rights to manage existing pollards and for the regular planting of young trees on commons. Peasant farmers continued to exercise these rights throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth century and when challenged, took their grievances to the law courts, making full use of the contemporary judicial system. The evidence from Norfolk suggests that wood pastures were managed and replenished by those with common rights, who sustained this resource despite opposition and the potential for overuse. Only when the commons themselves succumbed to Enclosure in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century did common wood pasture cease to be a customary part of the Norfolk landscape.

 

Hushes, delfs and river stonary: alternative methods of obtaining lime in the gritstone Pennines in the early modern period: David Johnson

The production of burnt lime in regions with outcrops of limestone is well documented but lime was also produced on a proto-industrial, scale along the northern edges of the South Pennines where sandstone and gritstone constitute the dominant solid geology. Demand for lime led to the development of alternative ways of obtaining raw limestone locally. Along the moorland edge water was channelled to flush limestone cobbles out of glacial deposits by hushing; cobbles were dug from limestone boulder pits on the moors north and south of Airedale and Wharfedale; and rights to pick limestone cobbles from within river channels were leased as river stonary along the Wharfe and smaller streams. These practices have been identified from the medieval period to the end of the eighteenth century.       

Land use and landownership: a recent history of parks in Hertfordshire: Hugh Prince

This article raises new questions about the use of land for parks in competition with other land uses and examines conflicts between private and public interests over ownership and access to parkland. The identification of parks in this study is based on areas signified as parks or ornamental grounds by the Ordnance Survey. From 1873 onwards, the wealth and power of the great landowning families declined. Successive owners demolished country houses and converted parks to new uses as public recreation grounds, golf courses, playing fields for schools, hospitals and other institutions. Privately owned parks are rapidly disappearing and remains of historic designed landscapes, ancient woodlands, chalk downlands and diverse wildlife are in danger of being lost.

 

Reviews

Peter Murphy, The English Coast. A history and a prospect (Stephen Rippon).

Tom Welsh, Local History on the Ground (Brian Rich).

Gordon Noble, Tessa Poller, John Raven & Lucy Verrill (eds) Scottish Odysseys. The archaeology of islands (Bruce Proudfoot).

Richard Bradley, Image and Audience. Rethinking Prehistoric Art (Alasdair Whittle).

 Ian Brown, Beacons in the Landscape. The hillforts of England and Wales (John Collis).

Richard Tabor, Cadbury Castle. The hillfort and landscapes (Jodie Lewis).

 Oliver  H. Creighton, Designs upon the Land. Elite landscapes of the Middle Ages (Paul Stamper).

Mark Bowden, Graham Brown & Nicky Smith, An Archaeology of Town Commons in England (Bob Silvester).

 John Barnatt & Nicola Bannister, The Archaeology of a Great Estate: Chatsworth and Beyond (David Hey).

S. A. Mileson, Parks in Medieval England (Robert Liddiard).

Ian D. Rotherham, Peat and Peat Cutting (Bob Silvester).

Anne V. Ellis, The Estates of Winchcombe Abbey, Gloucestershire. A preliminary landscape archaeological survey (Simon Draper).

Terry Slater & Nigel Goose (eds) A County of Small Towns. The development of Hertfordshire’s urban landscape to 1800 (Alan Dyer).

Mary Wiltshire & Sue Woore, Medieval Parks of Derbyshire (Amanda Richardson).

Glenn Foard, David Hall & Tracy Partida, Rockingham Forest. An Atlas of the medieval and early-modern landscape (Charles Watkins).

Stephen Rippon, Peter Claughton & Chris Smart, Mining in a Medieval Landscape. The royal silver mines of the Tamar Valley (Frances Griffith).

Elizabeth Baigent & Robert J. Mayhew (eds) English Geographies. 1600–1950. Historical essays on English customs, cultures, and communities in honour of Jack Langton (Della Hooke).

Fiona Cowell, Richard Woods (1715–1793). Master of the pleasure garden (Timothy Mowl).

Anne Anderson, Robert Meyrick & Peter Nahum, Ancient Landscapes, Pastoral Visions. Samuel Palmer to the Ruralists (Christiana Payne).

Catherine Jolivette, Landscape, Art and Identity in 1950s Britain (David Matless).

 

Other Books Received

Robert Bevan-Jones, Poisonous Plants. A cultural and social history.

Simon Buteux & Henry Chapman, Where Rivers Meet. The archaeology of Catholme and the Trent-Tame confluence.

Susan Oosthuizen & Frances Willmoth (eds) Drowned and Drained: exploring Fenland records and landscape.

John Davies, The Land of Boudica. Prehistoric and Roman Norfolk.

S. Bergmann, P. M. Scott, M. Jansdotter Samuelsson & H. Bedford-Strohm (eds) Nature, Space and the Sacred. Transdisciplinary perspectives.

 

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Volume 31 (2010) Issue 1