Estate Landscapes : Design, Improvement and Power in the Post-medieval Landscape

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Jonathan Finch, Katherine Giles
Boydell Press, 2007 - Social Science - 234 pages
In recent years, the post-medieval landscape has attracted new interest from archaeologists, historians, and geographers concerned to understand the development of the historic environment. One of the key structuring elements within these landscapes from the sixteenth century until the aftermath of the Second World War was undoubtedly the landed estate. However, it was not until the late nineteenth century that any systematic attempt to quantify the presence of these estates was undertaken, prompted by the move to democratic reform and the persistent link between political power and landed wealth. Yet the importance of the landed estate in structuring power, social relationships, and both agricultural and industrial production was not limited to the UK. From the eighteenth century, the link between the UK estates and patterns of landholding and exploitation in the colonies became increasingly complex and recursive. This volume explores the relationships between the form and structure of British and Colonial estate landscapes, their agricultural management and the political structures and social relationships they reproduced. The articles address themes as diverse as the creation and development of the agrarian landscape, improvement, ornamental landscapes and gardens and estate architecture. Overall, it highlights the wealth and diversity of existing scholarship and suggests new directions for post-medieval archaeology in this dynamic area of research.

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