A probable late Saxon burh at Ilchester, Jeremy Haslam

Reasons are put forward for suggesting that a burh at Ilchester would have formed one element of the system of burhs built over the whole of Wessex by King Alfred in the late ninth century, which, apart from Ilchester, are included in the Burghal Hidage document. The principal argument is that it is necessary to postulate the existence of a burghal territory of several hundred hides in addition to those given for other Somerset burhs in the Burghal hidage, in order to make up a shortfall in the total hidage values from the shire given in the Burghal Hidage compared to those in Domesday Book. A methodology is suggested by which these values can be reconstructed. There are other characteristics pertaining to Ilchester itself which are indicative of its former burghal status: its tenurial heterogeneity and its dependence on the royal estate centre at Milborne Port shown in Domesday Book, and archaeological and other evidence for its importance as a significant settlement in the late Saxon landscape of Somerset.

 

The wooded landscape of Old English poetry, Mary Ward

Trees and woodland, and their products, were of considerable significance to the daily lives of the Anglo-Saxons. The usefulness of these as a resource was counter-balanced by the threat posed to the human community by the wildness of forests; both natural dangers from wolves and other animals, and the refuge that forests offered to the lawless and dispossessed. The tree and woodland imagery of the vernacular poetry of the period shows how the Anglo-Saxons used both aspects within the texts to develop ideas and concepts that go beyond the physical realities of not only the resources obtained from trees, but also the woodland as a feature of the landscape around them. Analysis of the vocabulary used reveals a differentiation between the application of two of the terms for woodland, holt and weald. As a holt, in the form of metaphorical forests composed of spears, the landscape can protect the human community as well as threaten it. The forest which, practically speaking, is outside the confines of society becomes, by the use of weald in the poetry, a vehicle for conveying the concept of the boundaries of normality. 

 

Old English wald, weald in place-names, Della Hooke

Old English wald is a not uncommon term used in place-names and pre-Conquest charter boundary clauses. The interpretation of the term is discussed and its association with woodland, together with brief references to other woodland terms, especially British *cēto and related terms. Some early recordings of wald names appear to refer to relatively large well-wooded areas such as the Weald of south-eastern England. Some area names, like ‘Cotswold’, are not recorded until the medieval period when the meaning of ‘wold’ was beginning to change and when some such regions were becoming characterised by more open countryside; the names, however, may be much older. The term was consistently associated with upland, often in marginal areas, and it seems likely that it originally implied the presence of considerable amounts of open woodland.

 

A ‘truth universally acknowledge’?: morphology as an indicator of medieval planned market towns, Susan Oosthuizen

The paper explores, through the case study of March, a large town in the northern part of the Cambridgeshire peat fens, the general invariability of interpretation as planned markets of new medieval settlements that include both regular plots and one or more geometric open spaces. It asks whether manorial lords might achieve similar ends to those derived from medieval market grants — an increase in income from rents and tolls — by applying lessons learned from commercial planned settlements in other economic contexts.

 

Rural landscapes between the East Fen and the Tofts in south-east Lincolnshire 11001550, I. G. Simmons

Historical work has tended to lump together the different types of terrain in lowland Lincolnshire. This paper looks at the landscape subregions between the southern end of the Lincolnshire Marsh and the village of Wrangle and examines the history of one of them in more detail. Sources of evidence include documents, aerial photographs, LiDAR, modern maps and knowledge of the terrain. The picture in medieval and early modern times was one of greater landscape diversity, many differences having been lost by drainage since the nineteenth century. The emerging picture for the area between the raised silts known as the Tofts and the East Fen (known as the Low Grounds and Commons) is one in which there was a mixture of terrain types, in which dry ground was devoted to arable and pasture but alongside which wetland remnants of peat moss, abandoned turbary and reed-beds persisted. There is also evidence that salt was made at one stage in the landscape’s evolution, with the probability that this was an early medieval stage. Although now effectively drained, the field boundaries are still mostly ditches and are an element of continuity from earlier times in a landscape for long defined by the presence of water.

 

Reviews

Jamie Quartermaine and Roger H. Leech, Cairns, Fields, and Cultivation. Archaeological landscapes of the Lake District uplands (Angus Winchester)

William J. Britnell and Robert J. Silvester (eds), .Reflections on the Past. Essays in honour of Frances Lynch (Della Hooke)

Nils Anfinset and Melanie Wrigglesworth (eds), Local Societies in Bronze Age Northern Europe (Mike Parker Pearson)

M. Charlotte Arnauld, Linda R. Manzanilla and Michael E. Smith (eds), The Neighbourhood as a Social and Spatial Unit in Mesoamerican Cities (N. James)

Andrew Meirion Jones, Joshua Pollard, Michael J. Allen and Julie Gardiner (eds), Image, Memory and Monumentality. Archaeological Engagements with the Material World: a celebration of the academic achievements of Professor Richard Bradley (Bill Britnell)

James Ellis Thomas, The Maritime Landscape of Roman Britain: water transport on the coasts and rivers of Britannia (Edith Evans)

Ben Lennon, Savernake Forest: continuity and change in a wooded landscape (Ian Dormor)

Helena Hamerow Rural Settlements and Society in Anglo-Saxon England (Della Hooke)

Gill Hey, Paul Booth and Jane Timby Yarnton. Iron Age and Romano-British settlement and landscape (Andy Wigley)

Stephen Rippon, Making Sense of an Historic Landscape (Tom Williamson)

Harold Fox, edited and introduced by Matthew Tompkins and Christopher Dyer, Dartmoor’s Alluring Uplands. Transhumance and pastoral management in the Middle Ages (Peter Herring)

Philip Slavin, Bread and Ale for the Brethren. The provisioning of Norwich Cathedral Priory, 1260–1536 (David Stone)

Norwell Parish Heritage Group, Willoughby by Norwell Deserted Village (Brian Rich)

Graham Kent with David Neave and Susan Neave (eds), The Victoria History of the Counties of England. A history of the county of York: East Riding, Volume IX: Harthill wapentake, Bainton Beacon division.  Great Driffield and its townships (Barbara English)

Simon Townley (ed.), The Victoria History of the Counties of England. A history of the county of Oxford. Volume XVII. Broadwell, Langford and Kelmscott (Roger Thomas)

Hans Bleumink & Jan Neefjes, Het Loo Royal Estate (Della Hooke)

Louise Wickham, Gardens in History: a political perspective (Paula Henderson)

Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, The London Square. Gardens in the midst of town (Sally Jeffery)

Kristina Taylor and Robert Peel, Passion, Plants and Patronage: 300 years of the Bute family landscapes (Timothy Mowl)

Ian Waites, Common Land in English Painting, 1700–1850 (David Brown)

Kathryn A. Morrison and John Minnis, Carscapes. The motor car, architecture and landscape in England (Christopher Taylor)

Graham Fairclough and Per Grau Møller (eds), Landscape as Heritage. The management and protection of landscape in Europe, a summary by the COST A27 Project <LANDMARKS> (Della Hooke)

Martyn Barber, A History of Aerial Photography and Archaeology. Mata Hari’s Glass Eye and other stories (Chris Musson)

 

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Volume 34 (2013) Issue 1