‘Prospects’ and ‘promenades’: using 3D-GIS to recreate contemporary visual experiences within English designed landscapes c.1550-1660

Stewart, Elizabeth (2019) ‘Prospects’ and ‘promenades’: using 3D-GIS to recreate contemporary visual experiences within English designed landscapes c.1550-1660. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the elite amongst contemporary society had the wealth and status to create English designed landscapes and artificially-organise them around a variety of visual experiences. These experiences included 'prospects', or landscape views, which contemporaries admired either from static vantage points or along 'promenades' involving movement. In 1624, Henry Wotton theorised how creating visual experiences within these landscapes satisfied the "usurping" sense of sight through the "Lordship of the Feete [and] likewise of the Eye". These visual experiences not only influenced the composition of separate estates but also reflected the landowners' attitudes towards the landscape. However, previous research rarely determined the characteristics of 'prospects' and 'promenades' at specific sites. One significant hindrance is the destruction and modernisation of designed landscapes and the subsequent bias towards renowned or grander sites in current research. The degradation of sites affects their appearance, our understanding of their development and our comprehension of how contemporaries experienced them. Therefore, this thesis utilised a multidisciplinary approach and a digital methodology to provide an innovative yet non-invasive solution. By combining the capabilities of CAD and GIS, 3D-GIS was used to recreate certain designed landscapes within their intended geographical and historical context. The experiences within these designed landscapes were then recreated using viewshed analysis, which estimates the visibility of specific 'prospects', and animation technology, for capturing what contemporaries along particular 'promenades' observed. These results were thus interpreted using an adaptation of phenomenology and reception theory. This research has provided fresh insight into contemporary perceptions within individual designed landscapes and the perspectives of the landowners who created them. 3D-GIS has been proven to contribute towards the study of designed landscapes but also has the potential to inspire research about other historic landscapes.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2020 12:27
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2020 12:27
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/77546

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