How the land lies: - the origins of regular landscapes in the English Lowlands

Compton, Adrienne (2022) How the land lies: - the origins of regular landscapes in the English Lowlands. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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A key technique utilised when interpreting a landscape is the identification of the patterns visible within it and crucially any features that do not appear to conform to the expected arrangement. A principal division in the understanding of historic landscapes has been between apparently regular and irregular arrangements of lanes, fields, and settlements. There has been a general presumption within landscape studies that regular landscapes originated as deliberate planned arrangements, while irregular patterns are believed to have arisen from gradual or organic development. In a number of cases these regular landscapes appear to be assigned a terminus ante quem by the fact that they are ‘slighted’ by Roman roads or an analogous dated linear feature. This research argues that the pattern of boundaries, lanes and settlements derives from the interaction of people with the landscape they inhabit and illustrate the complexity of these interactions on a range of spatial scales. It further suggests that optimising of soil for farming is frequently overlooked and that interpreting a ‘relict landscape’ simply on the basis of morphology and ‘slighting’ is unreliable.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2024 11:32
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2024 11:32

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