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Title: Landscapes of lordship : Norman castles and the countryside in medieval Norfolk.
Author: Liddiard, Robert
ISNI:       0000 0000 4196 267X
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2000
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This study examines the landscape context of the castles raised in rural Norfolk in the period 1066-1200. The processes that shaped the overall number and distribution of castles in the county are examined first. The low number of castles is explained with reference to the limited number of incoming Norman lords with a significant landed base in the county. The pronounced bias in the distribution of castles to the west of the county is related to patterns of tenurial structure already in place before the Conquest. Secondly, the landscape context of each castle is examined and it is argued that the most important castles in rural Norfolk stood at the heart of landscapes that had been elaborately contrived for the purposes of social display. These are termed "landscapes of lordship"; areas that proclaimed the lordly power of its creator, and in which the flamboyant display of lordly power was of prime significance. At its most advanced this consisted of a religious house, deer park, rabbit warren, planned settlement, dovecote and fishponds all in close proximity to the seigneurial seat. The desire to create such landscapes often compromised any defensive considerations on the part of the builder, emphasised by the fact that the majority of the Norman castles studied are overlooked by high ground. The only exception to this trend are a small number of castles in the south of the county which do appear to have been raised for genuine military purposes. The postscript deals briefly with the castles raised in the period c. 1200-c. 1500 and argues that many of the elements of later medieval landscape design had their roots in an earlier period. A major change in castle siting over the later medieval period from a hill top or false crest location to valley floors is identified, and is related to the desire of the builders to surround their castles with water. The development of castles in the county is therefore explained with reference to social factors and not military planning
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History