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Title: Territorial organisation, land use and settlement in the middle Thames valley : a study of continuity and change from the late Roman to the late Anglo-Saxon period
Author: Clark, Steve
ISNI:       0000 0001 3556 8358
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis explores the themes of territorial organisation, land use and settlement in the middle Thames valley (MTV) between the late Roman period and the end of the Anglo-Saxon period. The study area lies at the interface between Berkshire, Surrey, Middlesex and Buckinghamshire, but this thesis contends that there is considerable value in studying the MTV as a unit in its own right. Following a review of relevant theoretical literature and an outline of the wide range of methods and sources employed, the first half of the thesis provides a broad thematic synthesis for the entire MTV. It is demonstrated that combining an analysis of Domesday Book 'resource' statistics and land-use place-names can provide a more detailed picture of the Anglo-Saxon landscape. Settlement patterns are investigated by placing existing archaeological records into a probability framework, revealing continuity in certain favoured areas but long-term settlement mobility at a more local level from the early Roman through to the mid Anglo-Saxon period. Territorial organisation is investigated at both the large scale level (with the MTV emerging as a 'contested zone' between larger political units) and the small scale as new land units developed in a variety of ways. The second half of the thesis consists of a series of local case studies, including examples of long-term landscape continuity in Cookham and a transitional stage in the fragmentation of territorial units at Waltham (East Berkshire). Godley and Spelthorne hundreds provide two contrasting examples of multiple estates that experiences stability and fragmentation respectively. In south Buckinghamshire the distinctive pattern of 'strip estates' is shown to have its formal origins in the late Anglo-Saxon period. The MTV is revealed to have been an area of diverse but closely intertwined landscapes, with a clear dichotomy in settlement and land use between parts of the 'Thames zone' and 'inland' areas.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available