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Title: Local and regional variation in landscape character : the significance of the Tamar Valley to the historic landscape of East Cornwall and West Devon
Author: Treveil, P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 9355 8301
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2020
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The historic landscape of the South West Peninsula has traditionally been considered in terms of its relationship to more central areas of England, and in the medieval period this has tended to be with reference to the ‘Midland System’. Often regarded as being the most developed form of rural organisation in the Middle Ages, the model is of parishes dominated by single, nucleated villages, surrounded by two or three large open fields. In regions beyond this ‘Central Zone’ the perception is of more dispersed settlement patterns and an absence of extensive open field. More recently, however, there has been an acknowledgement that such a broad-brush approach masks greater variation in landscape character within regions themselves than was previously recognised. This thesis therefore sets out to examine local and regional variation in the historic landscape of the South West Peninsula, with a particular emphasis on a potential division between Cornwall and Devon. Although on traditional models seen as characterised by a uniformity of dispersed settlement and general absence of open field, it is contended here that there were indeed notable variations in the historic landscape within the region itself, with the Tamar Valley as the dividing line. Comparing the landscapes of Cornwall and Devon was also felt to have a direct bearing on another important debate, that of the so-called distinctiveness of ‘Celtic’ Cornwall from its ‘English’ neighbour, Devon. If real, could such supposed differences have had an effect on the form of the historic landscape? This is approached through two objectives, comprising an assessment of rural settlement nucleation/dispersal on the one hand and distribution of former open field on the other. Analysis is undertaken in GIS, using as its base cartographic sources from the late 19th century, to which additional layers of data are added to aid in interpretation, from archaeological and monument surveys, documentary sources to aerial photography. By assessing such settlement and field system patterns across Cornwall and Devon the aim is to identify variations in the historic landscape of the South West that may reflect different approaches to how the landscape was organised and managed in the past by the different communities.
Supervisor: Rippon, S. ; Creighton, O. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Open fields ; Settlement nucleation ; Historic Landscape ; Cornwall ; Devon ; Medieval