Historic terraced vineyards: impressive witnesses of vernacular architecture,

Claude Petit, Werner Konold and Franz Höchtl

The history of viticulture has been widely studied in Europe. Knowledge of the landscape history of the viticulture once widely practised on terraced slopes is lacking, however. This paper contains an outline of the history of such vineyards. The forces driving the terracing of steep slopes are discussed, as are the advantages of building terraces and of using dry stone walls as retaining structures. The building fabric of historic terraced vineyards located in south-western Germany and in the Swiss canton of Valais was analysed employing a historical landscape analysis. The construction and function of the different elements of the vineyards, and their interactions, were a particular focus. Also presented are insights into how the building fabric may provide indications as to the owners and the construction history of such winegrowing areas. Finally, strategies for the preservation of these terraced vineyards, which are of great value from both a nature and a heritage conservation perspective, are presented, as are the benefits of continued research.

 

From tref(gordd) to tithe: identifying settlement patterns in a north Pembrokeshire parish, Rhiannon Comeau

This paper reports on research that uses a broad range of evidence to examine settlement patterns and field systems in a Welsh-speaking area of north Pembrokeshire where poor medieval documentation restricts conventional research. Using regressive analysis of the 1841 Tithe Schedule and documentary research into individual properties on the 1786 Land Tax list, there emerges a post-medieval settlement pattern of clustered groups of farmsteads and cottages in areas of intermixed holdings, with farmsteads in isolated positions reflecting a process of piecemeal enclosure and consolidation. In the First Edition six-inch 1888 Ordnance Survey map this pattern is obscured by roadside settlement and enclosure of common land and shared pasture, arising from an early nineteenth-century increase in small-scale owner-occupation. A concomitant decline in the numbers of large absentee landowners signals significant change in the earlier settlement pattern which was strongly affected by the capacity (or otherwise) of competing major landowners to enclose and reorganise land in a non-manorialised parish. Place-names track this process of enclosure, with landholdings at the heart of settlement clusters sharing names that are first recorded between the fourteenth and late sixteenth century. Outlying farmsteads bear later names that attest to previous use as moor and shared pasture and, with field-names, provide evidence of a medieval agricultural pattern of infield-outfield, with small open fields adjacent to loosely nucleated hamlets of probable bond origin.

Water management in the Fens before the introduction of pumps, Michael Chisholm

Much has been written about the seventeenth-century draining of the (peat) Fens debouching into The Wash but there are some persistent misunderstandings and also issues on which information is lacking. Some of the main issues relate to: relationships between drainage and navigation; management of water levels; and the antecedents of the scheme undertaken by Cornelius Vermuyden from 1649. These uncertainties are additional to the over-riding lesson of this enterprise, that the peat Fens as a whole could not be drained successfully in the absence of pumps, initially windmills, to lift water over waterway embankments to compensate for shrinkage of the peat once drained. These lessons enable us the better to appreciate the achievements of the Anglo-Saxons and their successors in defending the silt lands and modifying the channel network in the peat areas; much of this network modification was apparently for transport purposes, the peat lands acting as a vast flood storage area. From the mid-thirteenth century, Commissions of Sewers were established in response to disasters and the failure of customary maintenance arrangements; these Commissions reflect the scale and sophistication of the inherited infrastructure but we do not know how the works had originally been organised and executed.

William Andrews Nesfield and the origins of the landscape architect, Nina Antonetti

This article challenges the assumption that Frederick Law Olmsted was the first to call himself a landscape architect in the 1860s. Systematic study of archival records establishes that William Andrews Nesfield (1794–1881), an overlooked but pivotal practitioner in Victorian England, used the title as early as 1849. Dismissed by many historians as a revivalist of parterres and Italianate terraces, Nesfield encouraged the burgeoning field of landscape architecture by elevating the vocational landscape designer to professional landscape architect, expanding his audience from aristocratic clientele to the general public, and shifting his focus from rural estates to urban and suburban sites. That Olmsted stands in a landscape by Nesfield, as identified by Antonetti, when musing on his future profession, further demonstrates that Nesfield is an essential addition to the landscape studies canon. That Nesfield had broad disciplinary training and practiced a more rigorously comprehensive style of design than traditional garden design sheds new light on the origins of landscape architecture and its more expansive role in landscape studies.

Crafting Clumber: the dukes of Newcastle and the Nottinghamshire landscape, Richard A Gaunt

Clumber Park in north Nottinghamshire, England, was the principal family home of the Dukes of Newcastle-under-Lyne [sic] between 1768 and 1928. This article considers the contribution of the second, fourth and seventh Dukes of Newcastle to the landscape management and development of the parkland. The article concentrates upon the period between c. 1760 (when the property began to be developed seriously by the second duke) and c. 1851 when the fourth duke died. Particular attention is paid to the work and influence exerted over Clumber’s landscape development by William Sawrey Gilpin, the noted follower of Uvedale Price and the proponent of picturesque principles. Gilpin’s work at Clumber was noted contemporaneously but the extent of his influence has become more apparent with the publication of the fourth duke of Newcastle’s diaries. The concluding section of the article considers the (now iconic) chapel developed in the park by the Anglo-Catholic seventh duke. Whilst most of Clumber’s standing structures were subsequently dismantled before passing into the care of the National Trust in 1946, the modern parkland continues to exhibit the features of picturesque landscaping developed during the formative period of the Newcastle family’s possession of the estate.

Reviews

Helen Lewis and Sarah Semple (eds), Perspectives in Landscape Archaeology (Neil Christie)

David Mullin (ed.), Places in Between. The archaeology of social, cultural and geographical borders and borderlands (Della Hooke)

Andy M. Jones and Graeme Kirkham (eds), Beyond the Core. Reflections on regionality in prehistory (Alex Gibson)

Christopher Dyer, Andrew Hopper, Evelyn Lord and Nigel Tringham (eds), New Directions in Local History since Hoskins (Ian Whyte)                                        .

Chris Scarre, Landscapes of Neolithic Brittany (Alex Gibson)

Rowan Whimster (ed), The New Antiquarians. 50 years of archaeological innovation in Wessex (Mark Bowden)

Peter Dudley, Goon, Hal, Cliff & Croft: the archaeology and landscape history of west Cornwall’s rough ground;

Graeme Kirkham, Managing the Historic Environment on West Cornwall’s Rough Ground (Bob Silvester)

David Short (ed.), An Historical Atlas of Hertfordshire (Alan Dyer)  

Isca Howell, Dan Swift and Bruce Watson, Archaeological Landscapes of East London (John Hunt)

Gabor Thomas, The Later Anglo-Saxon Settlement at Bishopstone: a downland manor in the making (Simon Draper)

John Fletcher, Gardens of Earthly Delight. The history of deer parks (Robert Liddiard)

Gerry Barnes and Tom Williamson, Ancient Trees in the Landscape. Norfolk’s arboreal heritage (Paul Stamper)

Jane Brown, The Omnipotent Magician. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (Paul Stamper)

Jennifer Fagen, The Bennachie Colony Project: examining the lives and impact of the Bennachie colonists (Della Hooke)

Stephanie Spencer, Francis Bedford, Landscape Photography and Nineteenth-Century British Culture. The artist as entrepreneur (Rose Ferraby)

 

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Volume 33 (2012) Issue 1