Llanau, llysoedd, and llociau: identifying the early  medieval landscape of Gower, Jonathan Kissock

This paper offers a detailed study of the landscape of the Gower peninsula in south Wales in the early medieval period. It attempts to identify the key settlements of the elite (the llysoedd) and the church (the llannau). It does this by the careful scrutiny of the evidence from Gower itself and selected, apt parallels from adjacent, better-understood, areas. Whilst this approach is standard, it has not been utilised in the limited number of historical studies of Gower and so the results are novel. In addition to identifying early llysoedd and churches it identifies a number of extensive tracts of cattle pasture (the llociau). All were key elements in the multiple estates into which the landscape was organised. Elements of this pattern could have their origins in the late Roman era. Crucial in the identification of these sites has been the idea of the boundary — defensive, divine and practical — which served to demark and divide space and society.


A wall with a view? The gardens at Ravensworth Castle, North Yorkshire, Shaun Richardson and Ed Dennison

Ravensworth Castle in North Yorkshire is a well-known and frequently cited example of a late medieval designed landscape; indeed, with its enclosed gardens, mere, moats and terraces, it has been described as displaying what appears to be a typical or classic medieval arrangement. As a result of a new measured survey to the north of the castle complex, two separate phases of medieval garden development have been recognised. The recognition of this phased development, more frequently recorded in sixteenth- to eighteenth-century gardens, and, equally importantly, a consideration of what little remains of the castle itself, raises questions as to what extent the gardens were either ‘typical’ or ‘classic’.

The house and garden of Henry Winstanley, Littlebury, Essex, Christopher Taylor

The remarkable House of Wonders, erected in the later seventeenth century by Henry Winstanley, the designer and builder of the first Eddystone Lighthouse, is examined, perhaps for the first time by a landscape historian. It is concluded that its usually accepted date is eighteen to nineteen years too early and that it was actually built in 1695‒6, probably to help finance the construction of the lighthouse. The remains of Winstanley’s garden are also analysed, showing that it had a complex history spread over some forty years. New light is shed on Winstanley’s life, interests and intentions revealing that he was not the wild eccentric genius he has been considered hitherto, but was fully in touch with contemporary thinking.

A postscript. Henry Wintanley: polymath and outsider, Alexandra Ault

The Halaesa landscape (III B.C.) as ancient example of the complex and bio-diverse traditional Mediterranean polycultural landscape, Guiseppe Barbera and Sebastiano Cullotta

Southern Europe and the whole Mediterranean area are distinguished by landscape types whose characters result from countless, long and complex cultural and historical processes that developed in an equally complex and varied environment. The Mediterranean rural landscape would keep these same distinctive characteristics until the crisis of the mixed crops, and the phenomena of urbanisation in the1960s/70s.

           This paper identifies the characteristics of the Mediterranean polycultural and polyspecific (coltura promiscua) landscape, characterised by the presence of trees (both wild and cultivated), starting from a historical overview of the central Mediterranean. The analysed case-study of the Halaesa landscape (Sicily), as one of the first historical detailed descriptions of a complex Mediterranean cultural landscape, is the result of a polycultural agro-silvo-pastoral system which guarantees complexity and richness (in terms of structural and biological diversity), as well as with reference to others environmental, cultural and economic multi-functionality. The analysis of these polycultural landscapes reveals a rich spatial configuration and the patchiness of the land mosaic. The presence of historical features, of traditional crops and land use, of traditional land management, and the conservation of the rural architecture and other material cultural heritage related to agricultural activity, as well as the non-material cultural heritage, are particularly important aspects considered by international and European organisations towards their valorisation and conservation. The pressure on these landscapes and their rapid transformation into more modern forms call out for a better knowledge of the more complex forms of traditional land use and their relative rural landscapes.

Indigenous Australian land management before the European settlement in 1788: a review article

Bill Gammage. The Biggest Estate on Earth: how Aborigines made Australia (Allen & Unwin, Sydney, Australia, 2011).


Bernard Knapp, The Archaeology of Cyprus (Louise Steel)

Őmur Harmanşah, Cities and the Shaping of Memory in the Ancient Near East (J. N. Postgate)

Irad Malkin, A Small Greek World. Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean (Jorrit M. Kelder)

D. W. Harding, Iron Age Hillforts in Britain and Beyond (Harold Mytum)

Annalisa Marzano, Harvesting the Sea. The exploitation of marine resources in the Roman Mediterranean (Candace Rice)

Mantha Zarmakoupi, Designing for Luxury on the Bay of Naples: villas and landscapes (c.100 BCE–79 CE) (Stephen G. Upex)

Inge Lyse Hansen, Richard Hodges and Sarah Leppard (eds), Butrint 4: the archaeology of an Ionian town (Rebecca J. Sweetman)

Neil Christie, The Fall of the Western Roman Empire. An archaeological and historical perspective (David Petts)

John Baker, Stuart Brookes and Andrew Reynolds (eds), Landscapes of Defence in Early Medieval Europe (Jeremy Haslam)

Ross Balzaretti, Dark Age Liguria: regional identity and local power, c.400‒1020 (Enrico Giannichedda and Caroline Goodson)

Neil Christie, Oliver Creighton, Matt Edgeworth and Helena Hamerow, Transforming Townscapes. From burh to borough: the archaeology of Wallingford, AD 800‒1400 (Andrew Rogerson)

Erik Thoen, Guus Borger, Adriaan de Kraker, Tims Soens, Dries Tys, Lies Vervaet and Henk Weerts (eds), Landscapes or Seascapes? The history of the coastal environment in the North Sea area reconsidered (Susan Oosthuizen)

Toby Driver and Oliver Davis, Historic Wales from the Air (Bob Silvester)

Tom Williamson, Robert Liddiard and Tracey Partida, Champion. The making and unmaking of the English Midland landscape (Della Hooke)

David Austin Rosamund Faith, Andrew Fleming and David Siddle, Cipières: community and landscape in Alpes-Maritimes, France (Susan Oosthuizen)

Jane Whittle (ed.), Landlords and Tenants in Britain, 1440‒1660 (Chris Briggs)

Martin Greaney, Liverpool: a landscape history (Katy Layton-Jones)

Steve Hindle, Alexandra Shepherd and John Walter (eds), Remaking English Society. Social relations and social change in early modern England (Samantha Williams)

Mark Page and Matthew Bristow (eds), Victoria County History of Northamptonshire, Volume VII: Corby and Grest Oakley (ChristopherTaylor)

John Newman, Kent: North East and East (Linda Hall)

Nicholas Antram, The Buildings of England: Susses: East with Brighton and Hove (Jane Briscoe)

Madge Dresser and Andrew Hann (eds), Slavery and the British Country House (David Brown)

Catherine Armstrong, Landscape and Identity in North America’s Southern Colonies from 1660 to 1745 (Jeff Oliver)

Mike Williams, Textile Mills of South West England (Matthew Bristow)

Margaret F. MacDonald and Patricia de Montfort, An American in London: Whistler and the Thames (Katie Campbell)

Jonathan Coad, Support for the Fleet. Architecture and engineering of the Royal Navy’s bases 1700‒1914 (Ann Coats)

Clare Hickman, Therapeutic Landscapes. A history of English hospital gardens since 1800 (Steffie Shields)

John Walton and Jason Wood (eds), The Making of a Cultural Landscape. The English Lake district as tourist destination (Don Macleod)

Ian D. Rotherham, The Lost Fens: England’s greatest ecological disaster (Charles Turner)

Brendan McGrath, Landscape and Society in Contemporary Ireland (Patrick Duffy)

Other Books Received …..

Koen Kleijn and Rob van Zoest, The Canals of Amsterdam – 400 years of Building, Living and Working (Susan Oosthuizen)

Michael Chisholm, In the Shadow of the Abbey: Crowland (N. James)

Jan Klápštĕ (ed.), Heirarchies in Rural Settlements, Ruralia IX (Susan Oosthuizen)

Vanessa Greatorex and Mike Heason (eds), Field-Names in Cheshire, Shropshire and north-west Wales (Della Hooke)

Jordi Bolòs and Jacinto Bonales, Atlas històric de Menàrguens (Della Hooke)

Jordi Bolòs (ed.), Poblament I societat als Pirineus els darrers dos mil anys (Della Hooke)


Landscape Research, Vol 39, Nos 1‒5 (Della Hooke)


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Volume 35 (2014) Issue 2