The Form, Function and Evolution of Irregular Field Systems in Suffolk, 1300 to 1550

Bailey, Mark (2009) The Form, Function and Evolution of Irregular Field Systems in Suffolk, 1300 to 1550. Agricultural History Review, 57 (1). pp. 15-36. ISSN 0002-1490

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The evolution of irregular fields deserves more attention than it has yet received in the voluminous literature on British field systems. This article briefly describes the form and function of three different types of irregular system in c.1300, and then reconstructs the changes to their layout and organization over the next two and a half centuries. It demonstrates that irregular fields were dynamic systems, and therefore liable to change their form and function over a relatively short period of time. It also provides support for the contention that structural changes to open fields were more likely to occur during periods of demographic decline, when the obstacles to, and risks associated with, such changes were reduced. Finally, it argues that historic landscape classifications, and the conventional distinction between ancient and planned landscapes, do not take sufficient account of the instability of irregular fields and their tendency to be remodelled.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Medieval History
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Depositing User: Vishal Gautam
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2011 12:31
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2023 10:30

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