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Title: The forest, park and palace of Clarendon, c.1200-c.1650 : reconstructing an actual, conceptual and documented Wiltshire landscape
Author: Richardson, Amanda
ISNI:       0000 0000 3729 3047
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Winchester
Date of Award: 2003
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The main argument of this thesis is that the landscape and locality of Clarendon Forest and Park were strongly influenced by the presence (or, later, absence) of Clarendon Palace, which fell into decay in the late fifteenth century. This contention is addressed by taking the landscape as the unit for study, rather than focusing on the palace and extrapolating 'outwards'. A primary aim is to restore the wider conceptual landscape by considering the forest alongside the relict landscape of the park, and it is argued throughout that, because medieval forests are archaeologically elusive, the best way to achieve this is through an intensive documentary methodology. Attention is drawn throughout to the capacity of documents to illustrate how estates were managed over time. This is demonstrated particularly in Chapters Two and Three, the main findings of which (including observations of a major change in attitude and landscape use in the early- to mid- fourteenth century) are drawn together in the conclusions of those chapters. The thesis, representing an unprecedented systematic study of manuscript sources for Clarendon Park and Forest held at central and regional record offices, is supported by references to printed primary sources. It has resulted in the compilation of a main computer database listing over 800 relevant documents held at the Public Record Office alone (Appendix 11), from which those that might prove most useful were selected and transcribed. The transcriptions, arranged by subject, form several substantial and searchable electronic databases facilitating cross-checking and comparison, some of which are reproduced here as Appendices. The written sources themselves have informed the structure of the thesis. Their worth in a study such as this is explored in Chapter One, following a brief background history of Clarendon and an elucidation of the study's academic and historiographical context. Chapter Two then addresses ecology and economy, while the park's 'built environment' is considered in Chapter Three in order to provide new insights. Settlement is explored in Chapter Four, which reveals Clarendon Forest to have been a landscape of control in which assarting, in particular, was restricted. Chapter Five expands on this point by addressing 'closure' and conflict in the landscape. It examines also Clarendon's 'social topology', partly by employing gender as a tool to elucidate the nature of social closure, and ends by considering the palace as a scene of social negotiation. The Conclusion, Chapter Six, expands on the management of the forest and park and the phasing of the latter's use based largely on materials in Chapters Two and Three. It concludes that the hypothesis is supported; this unique landscape and locality was indeed profoundly influenced by the existence of a royal park and palace at its centre. Nevertheless, what has emerged strongly in the course of the study are the myriad ways in which the forest, in turn, shaped the lifecycle' of the palace.
Supervisor: James, Tom ; Gerrard, Chris Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Deer parks