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Title: Cornish place-names in the landscape
Author: Pye, J.
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis aims to investigate a sample of the place-names of medieval Cornwall within their landscape contexts, and thereby gain a better understanding of the relationship of the Cornish landscape to how its places were designated during the medieval period. To explore this issue, I have identified six research questions which relate to aspects of the landscape and selected seventeen Cornish place-name elements to analyse in depth. These include eleven lower and higher status commonly used habitative elements, as well as six widespread topographical elements denoting high points, waterways and woodland features throughout Cornwall. Selection criteria brought together categories used in time-depth landscape classification of landscape with types of place-name element considered important by scholars. A case study for each element has been developed to give further detail of typical landscape contexts. The analysis of place-name elements has looked at their respective landscape positions, relative elevation, proximity to watercourses, distribution and intensity, Historic Landscape Characterisation types, dates of first recording, and usual combinations with other types of place-name elements. These aspects of landscape have been drawn together through the medium of layers of a Geographic Information System (GIS) reflecting the interdisciplinary research of landscape archaeologists, place-name experts, historians, geographers, and local studies experts. The GIS is based on an extract from the Cornwall Historic Environment Record dataset covering early medieval and medieval settlements, enhanced with additional fields covering details of placenames, and has been used as an illustrative tool for the analysis. This study demonstrates how place-names reflected the medieval landscape in Cornwall and its dynamic settlement patterns. The distribution of Cornish placenames gives insights into the naming practices used during the medieval period in Brittonic-speaking regions in relation to their landscape contexts.
Supervisor: Rippon, S. ; Creighton, O. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cornish place-names ; Medieval landscape ; Settlement archaeology