Environment, Society and Landscape in Early Medieval England: Time and Topography
The Anglo-Saxon period was crucial in the development of England's character: its language, and much of its landscape and culture, were forged in the period between the fifth and the eleventh centuries. Historians and archaeologists have long been fascinated by its regional variations, by the way in which different parts of the country displayed marked differences in social structures, settlement patterns, and field systems. In this controversial and wide-ranging study, the author argues that such differences were largely a consequence of environmental factors: of the influence of climate, soils and hydrology, and of the patterns of contact and communication engendered by natural topography. He also suggests that such environmental influences have been neglected over recent decades by generations of scholars who are embedded in an urban culture and largely divorced from the natural world; and that an appreciation of the fundamental role of physical geography in shaping human affairs can throw much new light on a number of important debates about early medieval society. The book will be essential reading for all those interested in the character of the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian settlements, in early medieval social and territorial organization, and in the origins of the England's medieval landscapes. Tom Williamson is Professor of Landscape History, University of East Anglia; he has written widely on landscape archaeology, agricultural history, and the history of landscape design.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
1 Settlement and Society
2 Natures Frame
3 Culture Ethnicity and Topography
4 Small Shires Deep Roots
5 The Gradient of Freedom
6 Two Countrysides?
7 Village Farm and Field
Other editions - View all
agricultural Anglo—Saxon appear arable Archaeology areas Bedfordshire boulder clays boundaries Cambridgeshire cemeteries chalk champion character characterised climate clustered co-axial common complex conﬁguration countryside cultivation Danelaw deﬁned described difﬁcult dispersed settlement distribution districts Domesday Domesday Book early Saxon early-medieval East Anglia England English environment Essex evidence example extensive farms Field ﬁeld systems ﬁfth ﬁrst grazing Hertfordshire historians Hitchin Ibid inﬂuence kilometres land Landscape History large numbers late later Saxon period léah Lincolnshire London major manorial manors maps medieval settlement Mercia Middle Ages middle Saxon Midlands multiple estate Norfolk Northamptonshire nucleated ofthe open ﬁelds organisation Origins parish partible inheritance particular pasture peasant place-names plateau plough population densities Rackham reﬂect regional rivers Roberts and Wrathmell Roman settlement patterns signiﬁcant social soils sokemen south Norfolk Suffolk suggested tenurial territories thirteenth century topography townships tracts uplands valleys variations villages watershed Williamson wood-pasture woodland woods