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The remaking of the English landscape : an archaeology of enclosure

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:42 authored by Hannah Kate. Sackett
This thesis presents a study of the enclosure of the English landscape from an archaeological perspective. Enclosure is the process by which the medieval system of open fields and commons was replaced with privately owned, enclosed fields. It took several different forms and took place over along timespan, from the 1200s to the 1800s.;After outlining recent developments in the areas of post-medieval and later historical archaeology and past approaches to the study of enclosure in an English context, the thesis sets out the framework for an archaeology of enclosure. An important part of the thesis involves the development of the idea of 'documents as material culture', which allows legal papers, maps and plans associated with enclosure and land management to be examined from an archaeological perspective.;The focus of the thesis is a detailed case study of enclosure in Buckinghamshire, in particular the Chilterns in the south of the county and the clay vales immediately to their north. This area has been chosen due to the differing chronology and character of enclosure in the Chilterns and the adjacent vale. The aim of the thesis is to use specific observations about enclosure in the study area to make broader points about the nature and diversity of enclosure in general. There is an awareness throughout the thesis of the role that the discussion of enclosure has played in the study of the development of capitalism and modernity.


Date of award


Author affiliation


Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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    University of Leicester Theses