The Rumenesea Wall and the early settled landscape of Romney Marsh (Kent): J R L Allen
The Rumenesea Wall, a seabank of early medieval date, has been traced for almost 9 kilometres between Snargate and the coastal barrier at New Romney as a consistent rise in ground level toward the south-west averaging about 0.5 metres. It probably is rooted in the Wealden scarp at Appeldore, but between there and Snargate is today subsumed within the structure of the younger Rhee Wall. The Rumesea Wall lies north-east of the Rhee Wall and on the far side of the Rumenesea, a waterway recorded from early times with the characteristics, when it became fixed in the landscape, of a modest tidal inlet carrying some freshwater. Together with complementary earthworks identified in the north of Romney Marsh, and the coastal barrier, the Rumenesea Wall provided for the enclosure and defence against the sea of most of Romney Marsh proper. Its construction transformed the coastal wetlands, dividing the area into a north-eastern part, where permanent settlement was assured, from a south-western portion which largely remained for a long period under tidal influence and could not be exploited in this way without further embanking. After the Roman embanking of large parts of the Severn Estuary Levels, the Rumenesea Wall is perhaps the earliest seabank of any substantial length to be constructed on a British coastal lowland. The landscape changes its construction brought about illustrate a social and economic movment for which there is evidence on much of the north-west European littoral.
Landscape and society in the county of Besalú (Catalonia) in the Middle Ages: Jordi Bolòs
The county of Besalú (Catalonia, Spain) in A.D. 785 started to become dependent on the Frankish kings. The territory was divided into ‘valleys’ and other districts. The main type of settlement during the ninth and tenth centuries was half-dispersed villages (villares). After the year 1000, the search for protection against feudal violence led to the creation of many sacrariae, the sacred spaces surrounding the churches, where houses were built. In spite of the creation of these villages, dispersed settlements continued to be essential: after the year 1000, a closely-knit network of scattered farmhouses (masos, bordes, masoveries) started to expand.
The documentation and conservation of an ‘Historic landscape’: the Man-moel district of South Wales: Madeleine Gray
The landscape of the area around Man-moel in the western valleys of Gwent is a remarkable survival from the pre-industrial landscape of South Wales. Documentary evidence suggests an early Christian monastic foundation there may have been followed by a hamlet, part of the Marcher manor of Machen. This may have shrunk or even been deserted during the crisis of the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and the church had disappeared by the sixteenth century. Meanwhile, land to the south had been given to the Cistercian abbey of Llantarnam, possibly as a bulwark against further Norman expansion. Settlement in this southern area expanded again from the sixteenth century until the agricultural depression of the 1870s. The whole area is now the focus for a landscape reconstruction project which raises important questions about the perception, interpretation and management of ‘historic landscapes’.
The allocation of strips in Lammas Meadows by the casting of lots: Anthea Brian
The annual casting of lots to allocate the hay crop of a Common or Lammas Meadow is often referred to in the literature in passing but with very few details being given of just how the process was actually carried out. In this paper odd bits of detailed information available from about twenty-five parishes have been collated to obtain an overall view of how the system worked. The results indicate that although the system was basically the same in all cases it varied a great deal in the details. In some places the system had become extremely complicated before it finally ceased to function. Each Meadow was divided up into several large, named divisions in each of which lot-casting took place to allocate the strips of hay that made up the division. This took place around Midsummer Day and just before the hay was cut. The lots were made of various materials and were marked with symbols. Many of these symbols were the same in different parishes and similar to house marks used elsewhere. The mark on the lot was cut in the ground at the head of the strip, after allocation, with a special knife. The hay from some of the strips was allocated to pay for the costs of maintaining the Meadow, for setting it out ready for lot-casting, and for holding a feast afterwards.
Landscape into townscape: an historical and archaeological investigation of the Limehouse area, east London: Christopher Phillpotts
A study of the Limehouse area, combining historical and archaeological evidence, provides a settlement model for the historical development of the whole Docklands area of London. The evolution of the landscape is traced in a series of phases from the exploited marshlands of the later prehistoric periods, through the riverside ports and industry of the medieval and early modern periods, to the townscape based around the docks of the Port of London.
Cusworth Park: the making of an eighteenth-century designed landscape: Judith Roberts
The construction of the landscape park at Cusworth Hall, Doncaster, the work of the designer Richard Woods, is exceptionally well documented. The core of the landscape, including a lake system, rock arch and cascade, remains intact but semi-derelict. The use of documentary evidence in conjunction with the physical fabric of the site enables a closer understanding of the working methods, earthworks and landscape contouring involved in making a landscape park. Plans, contemporary maps and the Memoranda produced by Woods for his foreman illustrate the adaptation of an existing landscape of medieval origin and the application of contemporary technology to create an eighteenth-century landscape park.
Volume 21 (1999)