Oliver Rackham OBE FBA 1939‒2015, Charles Watkins

The landscape development of the Tofts of south-east Lincolnshire 1100‒1650, I. G. Simmons

In a further dissection of the subtleties of landscape evolution in south-east Lincolnshire, the nature and history of the Tofts is examined. The name refers to a belt of raised silts which lie between the Low Grounds and the Marsh. The hypotheses of the origin of this land type are discussed and note made of the agreement that the top few metres of sediment and soil are products of the human economy and most probably the result of salt-making. The documentary evidence for the existence of salterns along the medieval and early modern coast between Wainfleet and Wrangle is summarised and it is concluded that enough of them existed to constitute the coastline and that the creation of wastes resulted in a seawards movement of that interface. After the cessation of salt-making in the early seventeenth century, the reclamation of the Marsh meant that a succession of sea-banks left the Tofts as a kind of ‘fossil’ feature and their height relative to the Low Grounds and the Marsh may derive in part from the dewatering of those two zones. The total volume of the Tofts’ waste sediments makes case for their status as a major medieval structure.

Chapel-le-Dale, North Yorkshire: the making of an upland landscape, David Johnson

The Chapel-le-Dale valley on the north-western side of Ingleborough and the Ribblehead area now appear to be under-populated with an economy largely based on livestock farming. Currently, only eleven farms are operational but at one time there were nearly forty. Much of the study area was managed by Furness Abbey from vaccaries and subsidiary bercaries and lodges, most of which still survive in the landscape in one form or another. Judging from surname evidence in archival sources, monastic tenants established themselves after the Dissolution as customary manorial tenants developing the mix of improved enclosed pastures, unimproved common fellside grazing, and stinted pastures, that are the essence of today’s landscape. Visible in the landscape, too, is archaeological evidence of farming and settlement in the early medieval period, some of which has been investigated by excavation in the area outside former monastic lands. This article draws on archival research, and the techniques of field and landscape archaeology, to build up a picture of how the area developed, and changed, over the centuries.            

Post-medieval upland settlement and the decline of transhumance: a case-study from the Galtee Mountains, Ireland, Eugene Costello

This paper examines evidence for transhumance in the Galtee Mountains during the post-medieval period, c. 1600‒1900 A.D., and attempts to explain the reasons for its decline. The results of field survey into seasonal upland structures (or booley houses) occupied during this time are discussed while considering the difficulties involved in their identification and dating. In the parish of Kilbeheny, it is shown how a number of these booley houses were used in a nineteenth-century system of small-scale transhumance, contrasting this with what appears to have been a more important form of the practice in the mid-seventeenth century. The paper then goes on to demonstrate how population growth and the commercialisation of farming in the intervening period contributed to the marginalisation of transhumance in the regional farming economy. It is speculated that much of the extant archaeological evidence for seasonal settlement belongs to a post-1750, reduced, form of transhumance in which the produce of dairying was vital to the semi-subsistence farming carried on by tenants on small and relatively new holdings in the foothills.

The landscape of the gibbet, Sarah Tarlow and Zoe Dyndor

From the Murder Act of 1752 until the Anatomy Act of 1832 it was forbidden to bury the bodies of executed murderers unless they had first been anatomised or ‘hung in chains’ (gibbeted). This paper considers some of the observations of the Wellcome-funded project ‘Harnessing the Power of the Criminal Corpse’ as they relate to the practice of gibbeting. The nature of hanging in chains is briefly described before an extensive discussion of the criteria by which gibbets, which often remained standing for many decades, were selected. These are: proximity to the scene of crime, visibility, and practicality. Exceptions, in the forms of those sentenced by the Admiralty Courts, and those sentenced in and around London, are briefly considered. Hanging in chains was an infrequent punishment (anatomical dissection was far more frequently practised) but it was the subject of huge public interest and attracted thousands of people. There was no specified time for which a body should remain hanging, and the gibbet often became a known landmark and a significant place in the landscape. There is a remarkable contrast between anatomical dissection, which obliterates and anonymises the body of the individual malefactor, and hanging in chains, which leaves a highly personalised and enduring imprint on the actual and imaginative landscape.


Julie English, Pattern and Progress: field systems of the second and early first millennium BC in southern Britain (Andrew Fleming)

Barry Cunliffe, Britain Begins (Della Hooke)

Antonieta Jerardino, Antonia Malan and David Braun (eds), The Archaeology of the West Coast of South Africa (Andrew Reid)

Jim Leary, David Field and Gill Campbell (eds), Silbury Hill. The largest prehistoric mound in Europe (David Jacques)

Charles F. W. Higham, The Origins of the Civilization of Angkor (Britt Bailie)

Colin Richards (ed.), Building the Great Stone Circles of the North (Gary Robinson)

Florin Fodorean, The Topography and the Landscape of Roman Dacia (Dan Stewart)

James Gerrard, The Ruin of Roman Britain. An archaeological perspective (Susan Oosthuizen)

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

Andrew Reynolds and Leslie Webster (eds), Early Medieval Art and Archaeology in the Northern World: studies in honour of James Graham-Campbell (Alex Woolf).

Sam Turner, Sarah Semple and Alex Turner, Wearmouth and Jarrow: Northumbrian monasteries in an historic landscape (John Blair)

Christopher Loveluck, Northwest Europe in the Early Middle Ages c. AD 600‒1150. A comparative archaeology (Susan Oosthuizen)

Gale R. Owen-Crocker and Brian W. Schneider (eds), Kingship, Legislation and Power in Anglo-Saxon England (John Baker)

Sarah Semple, Perceptions of the Prehistoric in Anglo-Saxon England (Sam Lucy)

Koji Mizoguchi, The Archaeology of Japan: from the earliest rice farming villages to the rise of the state (Anthony Sinclair)

S. W. Nordeide and S. Brink (eds), Sacred Sites and Holy Places (Sarah Semple)

Marc Boone and Martha C. Howell (eds), The Power of Space in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Keith D. Lilley)

David Bates and Robert Liddiard (eds), East Anglia and its North Sea World in the Middle Ages (Bob Silvester)

Tao Tong, The Silk Roads of the Northern Tibetan Plateau during the Early Middle Ages (from the Han to Tang Dynasty) as Reconstructed from Archaeological and Written Sources (Tim Williams)

Mandy de Belin, From the Deer to the Fox. The hunting transition and the landscape, 1600‒1850 (Amanda Richardson)

Nigel Everett, The Woods of Ireland. A history, 700‒1800 (Della Hooke)

Josephine Kane, The Architecture of Pleasure. British Amusement Parks, 1900‒1939 (Alan Powers)

John Carman, Archaeologies of Conflict (Martin Brown)

Sunhild Kleingärtner, Timothy, P. Newfield, S. Rossignol and D. Wehner (eds), Landscapes and Societies in Medieval Europe East of the Elbe (Aleks Pluskowski)

Ian O. Brodie, Why National Parks? (Phil Back)


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Landscape History


Volume 36 (2015) Issue 1