Beyond the Medieval Village

Stephen Rippon

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780199203826
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191708282 | DOI:

Series: Medieval History and Archaeology

Beyond the Medieval Village

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This book explores the origins and development of regional variation in landscape character across southern Britain during the medieval period. The ‘long eighth century’, between the late seventh and the early ninth centuries, is highlighted as having seen significant changes in how the countryside was managed, with further developments around the tenth century. While villages and open fields were created in the central zone of England (for example in the East Midlands down as far as Somerset), there were also significant changes with regard to how the landscape was exploited and managed in areas such as the south‐west of England and East Anglia. A number of major boundaries in landscape character are identified, such as the Blackdown and Quantock Hills in the South‐West, and the Gipping and Lark valleys in East Anglia, and it is suggested that these have their origins in the pre‐medieval period. In the twelfth century the concept of managing the landscape through villages and open fields was exported into newly conquered southern Wales where major differences in landscape character reflect areas of English, Welsh, and Flemish settlement.

Keywords: medieval; southern Britain; regional variation; villages; open fields; East Anglia; Pembrokeshire; Gwent; Somerset; south‐west England

Book.  336 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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Discussion and Conclusions in Beyond the Medieval Village


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