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Title: The wandering herd : the medieval cattle economy of South-East England, c.450-1450
Author: Margetts, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 9355 7720
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2020
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The pastoral identity of the South-East is synonymous with the economy of sheep pasture and the medieval right of swine pannage made famous by iconic images of the South Downs and the evidence presented by Domesday. Such strong perceptions could, however, mask a pastoral heritage in which a significant part was played by cattle. This aspect of medieval pastoralism is traceable in the region’s historic landscape, documentary evidence and excavated archaeological remains. Past scholars of the South-East have been so concerned with the importance of medieval sheep, and to a slightly lesser extent pigs, that no systematic examination of the cattle economy has ever been undertaken. This thesis explores the categories of evidence highlighted above as well as excavations undertaken by the author. One of these, the Hayworth (West Sussex), comprised an early seasonal pasture which developed during the 12th and 13th centuries into a specialised cattle ranch known as a vaccary. Vaccaries are most often associated with wild northern uplands and expanses of Forest and Chase. Here they comprised leased pastures producing beef stock (herd wicks), milk and cheese (dairies) and the draught oxen necessary for medieval agriculture. Toponymic and documentary evidence indicates the presence of comparable as yet unexplored livestock establishments within the South-East and by adopting a multi-disciplinary approach these specialised settlements are examined. This study represents a deep exploration of the medieval cattle economy, especially its importance within the evolution of medieval society, settlement and landscape. Nationally, medieval cattle have been one of the most important and neglected aspects of the agriculture of the medieval period. As part of both a mixed and specialised farming economy they have helped shaped the countryside we know today.
Supervisor: Rippon, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cattle ; medieval ; seasonal settlement ; specialised settlement ; transhumance ; vaccaries ; Weald