Lundy : an analysis and comparative study of factors affecting the development of the island from 1577 to 1969, with a gazetteer of sites and monuments
The dates chosen for the thesis encompass the development of Lundy from an isolated subsistence economy, reliant on the harvesting of sea birds and rabbits, to a small village community with increasing economic dependence on seasonal visitors. This change is considered in the context of a comparative study of small islands, and in relation to the broader context of regional and national economic and social background. These, with new researches and the re-examination of existing texts, have enabled a fuller and more accurate account of Lundy's history than has hitherto been offered. This study concludes that while many factors have shaped. Lundy's development, the most illuminating have been the geography, the nature of the ownership in its response to the island and the dynamics of change, and the effect of external factors in the last two centuries. It is also suggested that the island has been more consistently populated than was previously thought. Claims to extra-ordinary legal status for Lundy are examined, and considered to be without substance. It is found that Lundy's extra-parochial status, and exclusion from administrative processes until the mid-twentieth century, rested on its isolation and lack of importance in terms of size or the value of its resources. This lack of importance has also contributed to the present re-interpretation of island resources. The study exemplifies the proposition that understanding of local history does not rest on a sequence of documented events in one place, but upon the integration of documentary, archaeological, cartographic, photographic and artistic resources taken in the broader context of comparative studies, and a wider understanding of external historical, economic and social circumstances. The systematic cross reference of the gazetteer of the sites and monuments to the main text serves both to illuminate some parts of the history, and to provide a firm base from which future work may proceed.