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Title: Speaking for themselves : the significance of field-names in understanding a diverse historic landscape in Somerset
Author: Knibb, Madeleine
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 2746
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis reflects on the value of the study of field-names in understanding the historic landscape of Somerset. The post-medieval field-names recorded in the nineteenth century Tithe surveys of Somerset represent a comprehensive resource which offers evidence of how the people of a parish experienced and managed their working environment. This investigation considers field-names in their landscape, drawing on sources which offer indications of how the community understood and appreciated local conditions. The study will begin with sources post-1600, although earlier material will be included where appropriate. Wider sources such as records of archaeological investigations and aerial photography will allow additional insights into the nuanced naming of fields, boundaries and routeways and the changes which occurred over time. The focus of the study is particularly on the relationship between field-names and locality and how naming practices differed across contrasting parish settings. A key finding in this investigation was that field-names communicated a broad range of detailed information about the environment of the parish and the wider working countryside. A significant conclusion was that although parishes across the contrasting landscapes of the study area were seen to share many field-name elements, they used them in different ways and added locally distinctive elements more meaningful in their familiar environment. A significant indication was that field-names could illustrate change, for example through the naming of new field boundaries, access rights, routeways, landuse and crops. Field-names reflected the lives of the people of a parish and how they managed their land, processed materials and developed crafts for their complex lives.
Supervisor: Rippon, Stephen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Landscape Archaeology