East Flanders Moss, Perthshire, a documentary study: John G. Harrison

East Flanders Moss is now the largest raised mire in Britain and enjoys statutory protection as a National Nature Reserve. Until the eighteenth century it had been exploited mainly for peat and for hunting by the occupants of surrounding settlements; pasture  was of limited value. However, by the early eighteenth century improved roads and the consequent availability of lime encouraged legal demarcation of property rights and clearance for agriculture. The broad trajectory of clearance is similar to that of many other British wetlands but detailed archival evidence illuminates the particularities of the local schemes, particularly the reasons for the diverse choices of technologies of clearance which are compared with those used elsewhere. In the nineteenth century clearance slowed and stopped in response to falling land values and other, more remunerative uses for available capital; drainage preparatory to clearance had dried the moss surface which was then exploited for sport shooting. In spite of recent efforts to raise the water-table, birch encroachment, associated with the drainage of a moss which was virtually treeless in the 1970s, remains  significant threat to the ecology.

The Characteristics of Extractive and Smelting Landscapes of the Industrial Revolution at Swansea and Blaenavon: Stephen Hughes

In the following article detailed work on the internationally significant eighteenth and early nineteenth-century landscapes at Blaenavon and Swansea are examined to see what the determinants of extractive and smelting landscapes might be.  The availability of minerals was the primary determinant of location but linear features of transport and water-power formed the framework upon which these landscapes developed.  Initially at least, open common-land allowed the easy and cheap construction of smelting works, mines, transport and key workers dwellings.  As works prospered, and allowed capital to be accumulated, owners purchased adjacent land to expand over building more and larger workers townships.  Owners were part of the Anglican Establishment and were persuaded to construct gothic churches at the core of their workers settlement but workers, often led by managers, expressed their independence, culture and language by constructing Italianate nonconformist chapels that eventually dominated worker townscapes.  Schools, for workers children, were increasingly seen as an essential part of the institutional core of worker settlements.

Re-working the crafts: Ernest Gimson and the Arts and Crafts Movement: Mary Greensted

Ernest Gimson was in many ways the archetypal designer Arts and Crafts Movement because of his interest in traditional techniques and materials. As an architectural student in London in the 1880s he studied traditional building crafts and acquired hand skills. He and his friends, Ernest and Sidney Barnsley, left London for the South Cotswolds in 1893. They wanted to develop their craft skills within the context of a particular area and vernacular tradition. From about 1900 Gimson employed experienced makers and young local apprentices to make furniture, turned ladderback chairs and metalwork. His workshops ensured the survival of craft traditions through the twentieth century and produced high quality work whose influence is still acknowledged by designers and makers.

Coal mining and the landscape of England, 1700 to the present day: Margaret L. Faull

From 1700 coal was an important source of energy in the development of industry in England. Medieval and early modern pits were located where coal outcropped or was close to the surface and was used only locally and on a small scale. But the development first of turnpike roads, then of canals and finally of railways (themselves fuelled by coal) enabled coal to replace water as the major source of energy. The influence of coal can still be seen in the present-day English landscape, and not just in the various lines of communication, many of which still exist. Although most of the collieries that have worked over the last three hundred years have now closed, sufficient remain, either as working pits or mining museums, to show what a typical colliery was like, with the various components of headgear, heapstead, winding-engine house, control room, screens building, pithead baths, etc. Alongside the pits was the accommodation for the colliery workforce and their families; initially colliers lived amongst the local community, but as larger pits were developed, purpose-built housing was erected specifically for the colliery communities. As well as the housing, these villages incorporated other elements, such as pigeon lofts, allotments and welfare clubs, for the miners’ leisure time. Earlier in the twentieth century coal-handling facilities were a frequent sight. Now these have disappeared and the only major element of the end use of coal still visible in the landscape are the coal-fired power stations and their associated waste-ash piles; railways and shipping are now powered by oil, and many power stations also now use gas or nuclear power, although if carbon capture and storage (CCS) can be made economically viable, coal may yet come back into favour for providing large-scale power.

Reviews

John Wylie, Landscape (Ian Whyte).

Jessica Mills and Rog Palmer (eds), Populating Clay Landscapes (Toby Driver)

Tom Williamson, Rabbits, Warrens & Archaeology (Paul Everson)

Marquers des Paysages et Systèmes Socio-économiques: de la construction des paysages pré-industriels à leur perception par les sociétés contemporaines (Margaret L. Faull)

Alan H Simmons, The Neolithic Revolution in the Near East (Graeme Barker)

Gary Lock and Amalia Faustoferri (eds), Archaeology and Landscape in Central Italy (Martin Sterry)

Joost Fontein, The Silence of Great Zimbabwe (Niall Finneran)

Michael Charlesworth, Landscape and Vision in Nineteenth-Century Britain and France (Harriet Hawkins)

Andrew Fleming and Richard Hingley (eds), Prehistoric and Roman Landscapes. Landscape History after Hoskins. Volume 1

Mark Gardiner and Stephen Rippon (eds), Medieval Landscapes. Landscape History after Hoskins. Volume 2

P. S. Barnwell and Marilyn Palmer (eds), Post-Medieval Landscapes. Landscape History after Hoskins. Volume 3 (Mark Bowden)

RCAHMS, In the Shadow of Bennachie. A field archaeology of Donside, Aberdeenshire (Iain Banks)

Christopher Gerrard with Mick Aston, The Shapwick Project, Somerset. A rural landscape explored (Carenza Lewis)

Jane Sidell and Fiona Haughey (eds), Neolithic Archaeology in the Intertidal Zone (Alasdair Whittle)

Gary Robinson, The Prehistoric Island Landscape of Scilly (Peter Herring)

Stephen J. Dockrill, Investigations in Sanday, Orkney. Volume 2: Toft Ness, Sanday. An island landscape through 3000 years of prehistory (Niall Sharples)

Framework Archaeology, Landscape Evolution in the Middle Thames Valley. Heathrow Terminal 5 excavations. Volume 1, Perry Oak

Framework Archaeology, From Hunter Gatherers to Huntsmen. A history of the Stansted landscape (Stephen Rippon)

Anwen Cooper and Mark Edmonds, Past and Present. Excavations at Broom, Bedfordshire 1996-2005 (Hannah Firth)

Tom Moore, Iron Age Societies in the Severn-Cotswolds (Adam Gwilt)

Stephen James Yeates, Religion, Community and Territory. Defining religion in the Severn Valley and adjacent hills from the Iron Age to the Early Medieval period (3 vols) (Della Hooke)

M. G. Fulford, A. B. Powell, R. Entwhistle and F. Raymond, Iron Age and Romano-British Settlements and Landscapes of Salisbury Plain (David Field)

Jeremy Taylor, An Atlas of Roman Rural Settlement in England (Jeffrey L. Davies)

Eddie Price, Frocester. A Romano-British Settlement, its Antecedents and Successors. Volume 4 The village (James Bond)

Simon Draper, Landscape, Settlement and Society in Roman and Early Medieval Wiltshire (Sarah Semple)

Christopher Loveluck, Rural Settlement, Lifestyles and Social Change in the Later First Millennium AD. Anglo-Saxon Flixborough in its wider context (Andrew Rogerson)

Graham Jones, Saints in the Landscape (David Petts)

S. E. Kelly (ed.), Charters of Bath and Wells (Della Hooke)

Julia Crick (ed.), Charters of St Albans (Della Hooke)

John Blair (ed.), Waterways and Canal-Building in Medieval England (Robert A. Higham)

Robert Liddiard (ed.), The Medieval Park. New perspectives (James Bond)

David Stocker and Paul Everson, Summoning St Michael. Early Romanesque towers in Lincolnshire (Christopher Taylor)

Colin Breen, Archaeology of Southwest Ireland, 1570-1670 (Michael Potterton)

Jonathan Finch and Kate Giles (eds), Estate Landscapes: design, improvement and power in the post-medieval landscape (Joseph Bettey)

Nat Alcock and Cary Carson, West Country Farms. House-and-estate surveys, 1598-1764 (Judith Alfrey)

André Rogger, Landscapes of Taste. The art of Humphry Repton’s Red Books (Paul Stamper)

Sarah Tarlow, The Archaeology of Improvement in Britain, 1750-1850 (Tom Williamson)

John Beckett, Alan Thacker and Elizabeth Williamson (eds), The Victoria History of the Counties of England: A History of the County of Northampton, Volume VI: Modern Industry (Marilyn Palmer)

 

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Volume 30 (2008-9) Issue 1