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Title: Landscape change :the case of two Pennine parishes
Authors: Newton, Sheila Coralie Severn
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The parishes of Edmundbyers and Muggleswick in the valley of the River Derwent on the borders of Northumberland and Durham have been relatively neglected archaeologically until recently. Historically they are linked because they formed a mediaeval estate which belonged to Durham Cathedral Priory before the Dissolution of the Monasteries. This thesis investigates certain of the changes that have taken place in the landscape of the parishes and the factors that have contributed to them, making comparisons with other parts of Britain to set the conclusions in context. Landscape archaeology theory is outlined, as well as topographical details and an account of the local history. The latter includes an examination of local place names which support the evidence of the development of the parishes. Three important influences on the landscape are discussed and assessed. Firstly climate and climate change, with the influences of famine and disease, are investigated. The effects of these factors on the landscape and, especially, the possible desertion of farms are also examined. Enclosure and improvement, particularly local but with comparisons to the country as a whole, are discussed. Fields and agricultural systems are particularly studies and provide evidence of landscape changes in the study parishes. The discovery of older boundaries within some of the fields is of especial interest. Communication systems, such as roads, can be the route by which the necessary knowledge for improvement is spread. The analysis of the development of communications in the study area demonstrates this. Some significant ancient routes and alterations to routes have been discovered. This research has contributed a great deal of information to the understanding of the development of the landscape in the Upper Derwent Valley. It has also shown that even a limited area such as this has potential for further investigation.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Historical Studies

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