Champion The Making and Unmaking of the English Midland Landscape

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 6/15/2013
  • Publisher: Liverpool University Press
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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.

Author Biography

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

Chapter 2: Structures of Landscape
Geology and Topography

Climate and Soils

Territory and Topography

Late Prehistoric and Roman

Early and Middle Saxon Settlement

Territorial Organisation

Demographic and Agricultural

Chapter 3: Medieval Settlement

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

Chapter 4: Medieval Land Use: Field and Forest




Woodland and Forest


The Antiquity of the Open Fields

Chapter 5: The Post-Medieval Landscape

Tenure and Ownership


Modifying the Open Fields

The Chronology of
Northamptonshire Enclosure

Enclosing the Forests

Enclosure and Land Use Change

The Impact of

The Development of Rural Settlement

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

The Origins of Regional Variation

Explaining Regional Variation

The Implications of Post-Medieval
Chapter 7: Landscape: Time, Agency and Character
Historic Landscape Character

Northamptonshire Field Patterns

Landscape and Agency

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