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Title: The reclamation and land use of the Thames marshlands of north west Kent
Author: Bowler, E. E. M.
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1968
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This study seeks to trace the history of several small areas of estuarine marshland from the time when they were first utilised by the several communities living on the margin of the upland, through the centuries of encroachment by the river, to the present day. The evidence from which this can be constructed is varied and to be found in many different places. When assembled, the outlines of the story are fairly clear, but there are many problems concerning detail and the interpretation of particular pieces of evidence. In this region the problem was always one of preservation rather than reclamation, and the success which attended man's efforts depended no less on social and economic conditions than on physical conditions. The black Death, the king's wars, or an incompetent Abbot, could bedevil the work as much as high tides and unusual storms. Although the whole community was involved in the drainage and defence programme, recalcitrant individuals could, by their perversity or carelessness, cause loss and damage to everyone with marshland interests; for this reason the study covers the evolution of drainage authorities and the administration of their powers.Marshland is given its value by its use; if its maintenance cost more than the returns to be obtained from it, there would have been little reason for perseverance in drainage schemes: hence an attempt has been made to evaluate these areas by considering the uses to which they have been put, and where possible, the money values ascribed to them. Both use and value have changed greatly in the last century, and the marshland now presents an aspect far different from that which they displayed for some eight centuries previously.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available