Landscapes of sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) in Britain their ancient origins, Rob Jarman, Frank M. Chambers and Julia Webb

The Sweet chestnut ` has been regarded as a Roman archaeophyte in Britain ever since a debate in the eighteenth century contested whether it was indigenous or introduced. This paper re-examines its status, presenting new evidence within an ‘historical ecology’ analytical framework. Sweet chestnut trees and coppice stools from 237 sites across England and Wales were assessed using genetic, dendrochronological, palaeoenvironmental, archaeological, and historical analyses. Seven types of ‘sweet chestnut landscape’ were identified: ancient inclosures/ groves; ancient coppice woods; historic boundaries; historic gardens; ancient deer parks and historic parklands; historic formal avenues; and more recent high forest and production coppice. Genetic analysis has indicated that the sources of the oldest British sweet chestnut trees and stools lie in parts of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy which were refugia during the Last Glacial Maximum. Tree and stool antiquity are verified for the first time through clonal analysis and dendrochronology. The earliest written record of sweet chestnut growing in Britain found in this study was 1113, referencing a boundary marker tree for Goldcliff Priory in south-east Wales). Later twelfth-century records evinced localised coppiced woods, nut production, and ‘totemic’ plantings of individual trees in noble house and garden settings. By the eighteenth century sweet chestnut was extensively planted in designed parklands and avenues; and in woods, mostly as ‘industrial’ coppice. Present-day ‘landscapes of sweet chestnut’ are endowed with ancient trees, stubs and coppice stools of great significance for cultural and ecological interests.

The history and archaeology of temporary medieval camps: a possible example in Wales Christopher Taylor

The paper begins with a discussion of the problems involved in establishing the location, layout and functions of temporary medieval camps in Britain. It then examines the historical and archaeological evidence for a possible camp created for Edward I in the spring of 1284 after his conquest of Wales. This camp may have been relevant for discussions of political, social, military and commercial matters between the victors and losers of the war, and held as a Round Table. But its actual location may shed further light on Edward’s deep belief in his symbolic inheritance.

An open strip-field system at its tipping point in the German–Dutch River Dinkel catchment. Part 2, Hein van Gils and Andreas Mölder

Three questions have been addressed. Firstly, where in the pre-nineteenth-century landscape did farmers hold strips, camps, meadows and shares in the commons? Secondly, did farmers each own strips and camps or were some specialised strip and others exclusively ‘camp’ farmers? Finally, can we corroborate or reject one of the alternative hypotheses: strip-field-first versus camp-first? The area of interest is the current cadastral district cum medieval parish Epe at today’s German-Dutch border as pars pro toto for the surrounding area of about 100 km diameter in the North-West European cover sand belt. Our key data source was the 1827 cadastre complemented by the historical topographic map and geological, soil and elevation maps. For population estimates, we used six tax registers from 14991750. All parcels per farmstead were identified in the cadastral registry, farms located on parcel maps and hamlet territories delineated as the aggregate of its farms. The following farm features were extracted from the cadastre and averaged per settlement: number of strips and strip-fields, parcel type, farm size, tenure, number of meadows, oak camps, crop camps, and pasture camps. Next, the following landscape features were identified from the map set per settlement: farmstead pattern, type of settlement, commons, strip-field, soil, and watercourse. In Part 1, we provided the introduction, the materials and methods section, and the historical and landscape context (Gis & Möldler 2019a), In this part, we present our findings, a discussion, a hypothetical narrative consistent with our findings, and aswers to our research questions.

Landscape, territory and common rights in medieval East Yorkshire, Briony McDonagh

The paper examines issues of landscape, territory and common rights, with specific references to the multi-manor parish of Burton Agnes parish in the north-east Yorkshire Wolds. Burton was a territorial unit of considerable antiquity which survived as a distinct estate until the late twelfth century when it was split between co-heiresses. This produced a complex territorial and tenurial situation, characterised in the later medieval period by ongoing conflict over common rights between neighbouring manorial families on behalf of themselves and their various tenants. Crucially given the lack of adequate commons governance structure such conflicts proved not only almost impossible to resolve but also productive in documentary terms. This paper examines the far-reaching consequences of the 1199 division of the estate in two linked sets of sources: firstly, by using legal documents and estate records; to  examine conflicts about common rights in the parish moor in the later medieval period; and secondly and relatedly, by utilising standing buildings, landscape and documentary sources to interrogate the built landscape as a site to articulate territorial claims (including to rights and resources in the parish moor) and the patronage thereof by local manorial families. In this sense, the paper both traces the consequences of earlier territorial arrangements and explores the range of strategies by which local manorial families might make and mark territory in the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In doing so, the paper makes the case for writing ‘grounded’ historical geographies of the commons which both set individual commons within their wider temporal, spatial and territorial contexts and recognise them as always entangled within the broader politics and landscapes of the parish.


Establishing architectural typology of eighteenth-century Bundeli gardenscharacteristics and extent, with reference to the gardens of Rajnagar/Khajuraho, Anjaneya Sharma, Nishant Upadhyay and P. S. Chani

Bundelkhand is a region in central India, its identification based on its peculiar socio-cultural values. During the sixteenth to nineteenth century Bundelkhand was under the reign of Bundela kings. The architectural edifices of Bundela rulers lie in all parts of Bundelkhand including popular places like Orchha, Datia and Khajuraho. Other than the palaces, forts and temples, Bundelkhand has a number of gardens created by the Bundela rulers. These gardens are an important link to the socio-cultural history of Bundelkhand, but they lie neglected. Rajnagar is a small village, only 3 km north of the World Heritage Site of Khajuraho, in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. The village was a prominent political centre during the eighteenth to nineteenth century, under the Chhatarpur princely state. As many as sixteen Bundeli gardens exist in Rajnagar! Similar gardens were found all over Bundelkhand during research visits by the authors. There is no previous research available about the typology and characteristics of these gardens, and the current research paper is a first attempt to describe the architecture of the Bundeli gardens and its extent in the region, citing examples in the Chhatarpur district. The research paper aims to establish the typology, including the period of construction of these eighteenth-century Bundeli gardens, based on architectural analysis.


Richard Brockington with Sarah Rose, Victoria County History of Cumberland (Brodie Waddell)

Susan Oosthuizen, The Emergence of the English (Della Hooke)

Mary Wiltshire and Susan Woore, Monastic Granges of Derbyshire: a gazetteer with maps, illustrations and historical notes (Harry Hawkins)

Paul Warde, The Invention of Sustainability. Nature and destiny c. 1500–1870 (James P. Bowen)

Jonathan Finch, Kristine Dyrmann and Mikael Frausing (eds), Estate Landscapes in Northern Europe (Bob Silvester)

Emily Sloan, The Landscape Studies of Hayman Rooke (1723-1806). Atiquarianim, archaeology and natural history in the eighteenth century (Robert Frost)

Martyn Lyons, The Pyrenees in the Modern Era: reinventions of a landscape, 1775‑‑2012 (Christopher Donaldson)

Robert Lee (ed.), Edward Kemp (1817-91): landscape gardener (Elaine Mitchell)

Sarah Holland, Communities in Contrast: Doncaster and its rural hinterland, c.1830‑‑1870 (Martin Watkinson)

Gregory A. Barton, The Global History of Organic Farming (John Martin)

Bud Young and Owen Manning with Jim Dening, A Bedside Landscape Reader (Della Hooke)

Jordi Bolòs (ed.), Els charàcters del paisatge històric als països mediterranis, VIII. Territori Societat: el paisatge històric (Della Hooke)

Jacinto Bonales Cortés, Traces d’un Passat Llunyà. El Baix cinca (1200 aC—1149 dC) (Della Hooke)


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Landscape History


Volume 40 (2019) Issue 2