The Open Fields of England (Medieval History and Archaeology)

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The Open Fields of England describes the open-field system of agriculture that operated in Medieval England before the establishment of present-day farms surrounded by hedges or walls. The volume encompasses a wide range of primary data not previously assembled, to which are added the results
of new research based upon a fifty-year study of open-field remains and their related documents. The whole of England is examined, describing eight different kinds of field-system that have been identified, and relating them to their associated land-use and settlement. Details of field structure are
explained, such as the demesne, the lord's land, and the tenants' holdings, as well as tenurial arrangements and farming methods.

Previous explanations of open-field origins and possible antecedents to medieval fields are discussed. Various types of archaeological and historical evidence relating to Saxon-period settlements and fields are presented, followed by the development of a new theory to explain the lay-out and planned
nature of many field systems found in the central belt of England.

Of particular interest is the Gazetteer, which is organized by historic counties. Each county has a summary of its fields, including tabulated data and sources for future research, touching on the demesne, yardland size, work-service, assarts, and physical remains of ridge and furrow. The Gazetteer
acts as a national hand-list of field systems, opening the subject up to further research and essential to scholars of medieval agriculture.

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ISBN-13: 9780198702955
ISBN-10: 0198702957
Pagini: 398
Ilustrații: 24 black and white in-text images, 16pp colour plate section
Dimensiuni: 181 x 254 x 28 mm
Greutate: 1 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP Oxford
Seria Medieval History and Archaeology

Locul publicării: Oxford, United Kingdom

Notă biografică

David Hall studied chemistry at St Peter's College, Oxford, but has worked in the field of archaeology for over fifty years. He has published extensively on British archeology and the history of field-systems.


a major publication [which] provides an enormous amount of data and interpretation
The Open Fields of England provides an extremely important framework for understanding a vital part of English landscape history and will inform scholars for years to come. In addition it provides a much-needed introduction for students and teachers unfamiliar with the open fields [and] certainly provides many interesting avenues for further work
Hall works from the great strength of his own ... original research in the field and landscape
indispensable for anyone researching the agricultural practices and social structures of medieval rural England