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Title: Mapping the late medieval and post medieval landscape of Cumbria
Authors: Newman, Caron
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This study is an analysis of the development of rural settlement patterns and field systems in Cumbria from the later medieval period through to the late eighteenth century. It uses documentary, cartographic and archaeological evidence. This evidence is interpreted utilising the techniques of historic landscape characterisation (HLC), map regression and maps created by the author, summarising and synthesising historical and archaeological data. The mapped settlement data, in particular, has been manipulated using tools of graphic analysis available within a Graphical Information System (GIS). The initial product is a digital map of Cumbria in the late eighteenth century, based on the county-scale maps of that period, enhanced with information taken from enclosure maps and awards, and other post medieval cartographic sources. From this baseline, an interpretation of the late medieval landscape was developed by adding information from other data sources, such as place names and documentary evidence. The approach was necessarily top-down and broad brush, in order to provide a landscape-scale, sub-regional view. This both addresses the deficiencies within the standard historical approach to landscape development, and complements such approaches. Standard historical approaches are strong on detail, but can be weak when conclusions based on localised examples are extrapolated and attributed to the wider landscape. The methodology adopted by this study allows those local analyses to be set within a broader landscape context, providing another tool to use alongside more traditional approaches to historic landscape studies. The Introduction sets out in detail the broad philosophical approaches taken by this study. It then describes the methodological approach of developing a digitised eighteenth century map and using this as a baseline for analysing and partially reconstructing the late medieval landscape. Chapter 2 discusses in detail the historical cartographic background and the technical aspects of eighteenth century map making, with particular reference to Cumbria. Chapter 3 examines the eighteenth century landscape, and the processes of change which led to its development out of the medieval landscape. A characterisation of the late eighteenth century landscape is presented. Chapters 4, 5 and 6 present an interpretation of the late medieval landscape of Cumbria, examining it through its lordship and structure and with a concentration on those aspects which are mappable attributes. Finally, a characterisation of the late medieval landscape is presented in Chapter 6. The conclusion, in Chapter 7 provides a comparison of the late eighteenth century and medieval landscape characterisations, an explanation of ii difference, and an evaluation of the research approach to understanding landscape development. There are two major products resulting from this study. The first is a digitised and enhanced county-scale map of the late eighteenth century landscape. The second is an interpretation of the late medieval landscape, based on the late eighteenth century composite map. Together, these provide a greater appreciation of the viability and value of post medieval map resources as an indicator of the later medieval landscape.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Historical Studies

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