Waterways and Canal-Building in Medieval England
OUP Oxford, Oct 25, 2007 - History - 336 pages
The first study of Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman canals and waterways, this book is based on new evidence surrounding the nature of water transport in the period. England is naturally well-endowed with a network of navigable rivers, especially the easterly systems draining into the Thames, Wash and Humber. The central middle ages saw innovative and extensive development of this network, including the digging of canals bypassing difficult stretches of rivers, or linking rivers to important production centres. The eleventh and twelfth centuries seem to have been the high point for this dynamic approach to water-transport: after 1200, the improvement of roads and bridges increasingly diverted resources away from the canals, many of which stagnated with the reassertion of natural drainage patterns. The new perspective presented in this study has an important bearing on the economy, landscape, settlement patterns and inter-regional contacts of medieval England. Essays from economic historians, geographers, geomorphologists, archaeologists, and place-name scholars unearth this neglected but important aspect of medieval engineering and economic growth.
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Abbey Abbot Abingdon Anglo-Saxon Archaeology artificial watercourses Athelney Bampton batellae Blair boats Bridge Brue Cambridge canal Car Dyke carried channel charter coast coastal construction course ditch diversion downstream drainage early medieval east Eaton English evidence Excavations Fenland Fens fisheries fishing flooding flow Foss Dyke Glastonbury Glastonbury Abbey Hythe Inland Water Transport Irish Sea Itchen Kingston upon Hull Kyndelwere landing place Landscape Langdon Lincolnshire linked loads Lode London manor Margary marshland meander Medieval England medieval period middle ages mill navigation north-west Ouse Oxford Parrett Pilrow place names Place-Names port predictus quod Radcot Radcot Bridge recorded Rippon river River Brue River Severn River Thames Roman road Rooksbridge Rother route Saxon settlement Severn Estuary ships silting Somerset Levels stone stream suggested thirteenth century Torksey trade traffic Trent twelfth century upper Thames upstream valley waterways weir Willelmus Winchester