Groves in Anglo-Saxon England, Della Hooke

Sacred tree cults, including those concerning groves, have a long-established history in the Classical World, lingering on in England under Roman rule; groves had also played a central role among the Druids in late Iron Age Britain. However, such ‘pagan’ beliefs involving trees were to be curtailed under Christianity, especially following the late tenth/eleventh-century reforms within the Catholic Church. In early medieval literature woods were generally (but not always) seen as dangerous wilderness areas, places likely to try the faith of hermits. Early medieval documents and place-names are more pragmatic: the terms used are often indicative of the nature or use of woods and the grāf term seems to have been used for relatively small managed woods that often appear to have been coppiced for timber and small wood.

The distribution of rabbit warrens in medieval England—west divide? David Gould

Following their introduction into the British Isles by the Normans, rabbits were farmed in manmade warrens called coneygarths, whose so-called pillow mounds encouraged the species to burrow and facilitated their capture. The construction of pillow mounds represents a remarkably long-lived form of animal husbandry, which in some places, notably Dartmoor, remained in use until the early twentieth century. Despite some potential for surviving medieval examples, the vast majority of known pillow mounds are now thought to be post-medieval and consequently the landscapes of extant rabbit warrens are a reflection of the post-medieval warrening experience rather than that of the medieval period. Moreover, although former warrens are geographically widespread across England and Wales, their remains are more prevalent in western upland areas as an intensification of arable practices in eastern England during the post-medieval period likely removed many of that region’s former warrens. The study of documents produced by the medieval chancery reveals numerous references to rabbits and rabbit warrens throughout England, of which many have left no archaeological remains. These chancery rolls suggest that in contrast to surviving post-medieval warrens, those of the medieval period were more numerous in eastern England compared to elsewhere. They also imply that the warrens in eastern England were able to produce a surplus of rabbits that supported an export trade and supplied the royal court at Westminster, something that warrens in the remainder of England were less able to do.

The control of salters (deer-leaps) in private deer-parks associated with forests: a case study using a 1608 map of Leagram Park in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire, Graham, J. Cooper and William D. Shannon

The legitimate means of populating a deer-park in the medieval period were principally by imparkment of woods already containing deer coverts, a royal grant of live deer, or the use of salters (deer-leaps) licensed by the monarch. Salters encouraged and enabled deer to enter parks through modified pale fence systems, but impeded their egress. Private parks within or close to forests were scrutinised to identify and control unauthorised salters entrapping royal deer.

                Using medieval accounts, Chancery documents, post-medieval park maps, antiquarian sources and place-name evidence, the paper reviews salter licensing and control by the Crown. Salter and pale fence designs are described and classified, and two salter types and associated fencing are defined: lowered pale fences, and ramped revetments providing a drop into the park, each with its characteristic groundworks, earthworks and topographical settings. Salters may also be associated with short offsets in the pale course.

                Contemporary maps showing salters are very uncommon. In 1608, a dispute between the Duchy of Lancaster and the owner of Leagram deer-park within the Duchy’s forest of Bowland, Lancashire, led to the making of an accurate, scaled map by local surveyor Roger Kenyon. Kenyon marked sixteen salters in the pale, which have been used to predict the locations of relict salters in the park boundary. An exploratory field survey, employing salter identification guidelines developed from the historical review, subsequently discovered and characterised probable salter groundworks at six of the sites.

Geological resources and their exploitation in the Berkshire chalklands of the later nineteenth century: a first survey, J. R. L. Allen

The Chalk Group downlands and the closely associated outcrops of early Tertiary sediments provided to farmers, estate owners, and business men during the later nineteenth and early twentieth century a wide variety of earth-materials that were exploited at many hundreds of sites for mainly local but also regional needs. Chalk was used as for soil-conditioning, road metal, flooring and hard-standing, as a walling material, and for lime-burning and the manufacture of whiting and putty. The early Tertiary silts and clays (Reading Beds, London Clay, Bagshot Beds) that unconformably overlie the Chalk Group, together with the closely associated Clay-with-Flints, were the basis of a major building-ceramic industry (bricks, tiles, chimney pots, drain-pipes) that served both regional and local markets. More than ninety kiln sites are known. Flints present in or derived from the Upper Chalk were extracted at many sites for hard-core, rough walling, typically combined with brick, and for facing and repairing important buildings, such as Victorian churches. Today almost no physical evidence of these various activities has survived in the landscape. Pits and scrapes are no longer evident in the fields and along the lanes, and smoking chimneys no longer rise above estates, villages, and towns such as Reading and Wokingham. Improvements in transportation, and a lowering of transport costs, have effected a transformation of the landscape.

The (lost) life of an historic rural route in the core of Gudarrama Mountains, Madrid (Spain). A geographical perception, Angel Paniagua Mazora

Few studies in the geographical literature have focused on historic rural routes, which are traditionally considered to be part of the farming landscape. Today, this subject can be tackled from the perspective of changing rural spaces and the disappearance of traditional landscapes and societies. This work studies the evolution of routes that connected municipalities in a mountainous region in the north of the Madrid province, focusing on the creation and disappearance of one particular historic rural route. Various information sources are used: documentary and archival sources, fieldwork for geographical dating of the route and informal interviews and geoethnographical analysis of the elderly population of permanent residents in the area.    

Reviews

Luc Laporte and Christopher Scarre (eds), The Megalithic Architectures of Europe (Oxbow, Oxford, 2015 (David Wheatley)

Colin Richards, Richard Jones and Stuart Jeffrey (eds), The Development of Neolithic House Societies in Orkney (Clive Waddington)

A. J. Prag (ed.), The Story of Alderley. Living with the Edge (Bob Silvester)

Christopher Evans, Grahame Appleby and Sam Lucy (eds), Lives in Land – Mucking Excavations (Stephen G. Upex)

Robin Brigand and Olivier Weller, Archaeology of Salt. Approaching an invisible past (Simon Woodiwiss)

José Sánchez-Pardo and Michael G. Shapland (eds.), Churches and Social Power in Early Medieval Europe. Integrating archaeological and historical approaches (Sally Foster)

Keith Ray and Ian Bapty, Offa’s Dyke: Landscape and hegemony in eighth-century Britain (Jeremy Haslam)

Ryan Lavelle and Simon Roffey (eds), Danes in Wessex. The Scandinavian impact on southern England, c.800–c.1100 (Simon Draper)

Erik Thoen and Tim Soens (eds), Rural Economy and Society in North-Western Europe, 500–2000. Struggling with the environment. Land use and productivity (Della Hooke)

Valerie Allen and Ruth Evans (eds), Roadworks. Medieval Britain, medieval roads (Max Satchell)

Mark Lee Broderick (ed.), People with Animals: Perspectives and studies in ethnozooarchaeology (Julie Daujat)

Simon Townley (ed.), A History of the County of Oxford XVIII: Benson, Ewelme and the Chilterns (Ewelme Hundred) (John Blair)

Ron Baxter, The Royal Abbey of Reading (Julian Luxford)

Margaret Willes, A Shakespearean Botanical (Caroline Holmes)

Luke Morgan, The Monster in the Garden. The grotesque and the gigantic in Renaissance landscape design (Miriam Bay)

Gillian Cookson (ed.), A History of the County of Durham, Volume V: Sunderland (Graham Milne).

Bianca Maria Rinaldi (ed.), Ideas for Chinese Gardens: Western accounts, 1300–1860 (Jan Woudstra)

Richard Jones and Christopher Dyer (eds), Farmers, Consumers and Innovators. The world of Joan Thirsk (Ronan O’Donnell)

Elaine Jamieson, The Historic Landscape of the Mendip Hills (Susan Oosthuizen)

David Brown and Tom Williamson, Lancelot Brown and the Capability Men. Landscape revolution in eighteenth-century England (Kate Felus)

Jon Stobart and Andrew Hann (eds), The Country House: material culture and consumption (David Brown)

Peter Addyman (ed.), British Historic Towns Atlas Volume V. York (Steven P. Ashby)

Kate Felus,  The Secret Life of the Georgian Garden: beautiful objects and agreeable retreats

Jeremy Gould and Caroline Gould, Coventry: the making of a modern city 1939-73 (Richard

Peter Coates, David Moon and Paul Warde (eds), Local Places, Global Processes. Histories of environmental change in Britain and beyond (Della Hooke)

Journals: Landscape Research, Vol. 41, Nos 1–8 (Della Hooke)

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Volume 38 (2017) Issue 1