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Focusing on Northampton, Championoffers a radical reinterpretation of the origins of villages and open fields, and their development in the late medieval and post-medieval periods in the Midlands. Instead of the commonly accepted belief that villages and open fields were created in the middle or later Saxon period through a process of "nucleation," or village planning, the authors of this volume suggest that these settlements only emerged in their classic, regular forms in the eleventh or twelfth centuries. Their findings are based on an innovative use of digital mapping and geographical information systems, and they cast new light on the agricultural practices in the post-medieval period.
Tom Williamson is Professor in Landscape History at UEA and published 'The Transformation of Rural England: Farming and the Landscape 1700-1870' (University of Exeter Press, 2002). Robert Liddiard completed a PhD at UEA in 2000 and has published on high-status landscapes in the Middle Ages. Tracey Partida is a consultant specializing in geographical information systems (GIS) and her PhD is in progress at University of Huddersfield.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction Why Northamptonshire? · Debating the Medieval Landscape · The Post-Medieval Landscape · Methodology Chapter 2: Structures of Landscape Geology and Topography · Climate and Soils · Territory and Topography · Late Prehistoric and Roman Settlement · Early and Middle Saxon Settlement · Territorial Organisation · Demographic and Agricultural Expansion · Conclusion Chapter 3: Medieval Settlement Introduction · Dispersion and Nucleation · Villages: Geology, 'Cores' and Expansion · Village Plans: Patterns of Earlier Land Use · Geology, Land Use and Plan Form · Regular Tofts and 'Planning' · Dispersed Settlements · Conclusion Chapter 4: Medieval Land Use: Field and Forest Introduction · Arable · Pasture · Meadow · Woodland and Forest · Heaths · The Antiquity of the Open Fields
· Conclusion Chapter 5: The Post-Medieval Landscape Introduction · Tenure and Ownership · Enclosure · Modifying the Open Fields · The Chronology of Northamptonshire Enclosure · Enclosing the Forests · Enclosure and Land Use Change · The Impact of Enclosure · The Development of Rural Settlement · Conclusion Chapter 6: Northamptonshire in Context Woodland and Champion · The Characteristics of 'Woodland' Landscapes · Variations in the Medieval Landscapes of the Midlands · Variations in Post-Medieval Landscape and Agriculture · Woodland and Pasture · The Origins of Regional Variation · Explaining Regional Variation · The Implications of Post-Medieval Developments Chapter 7: Landscape: Time, Agency and Character Historic Landscape Character · Northamptonshire Field Patterns · Landscape and Agency