Castles and landscapes : an archaeological survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands - Volume 1
thesisposted on 15.12.2014 by Oliver Hamilton. Creighton
In order to distinguish essays and pre-prints from academic theses, we have a separate category. These are often much longer text based documents than a paper.
This thesis adopts an interdisciplinary methodology, synthesising archaeological, historical and topographical data; it aims to re-integrate English medieval castles into contemporary landscapes, both social and physical, in order to achieve a more holistic understanding of the castle as an instrument of manorial administration, as a key feature within the planning of medieval townscapes, and as an iconic manifestation of seigneural power in rural landscapes. This is achieved using an explicitly regional framework, analysing the impact of castles upon a range of landscape types in Yorkshire and the East Midlands. Although the thesis focuses primarily upon 'early castles' (c. 1066-1216), the impact of castles on Anglo-Saxon landscapes in assessed, whilst later foundations are considered where appropriate. The study is founded upon analysis of existing published material, and a corpus of primary data assimilated from a variety of sources including SMRs (Sites and Monuments Record Offices), CROs (County Records Offices) and the NMR (National Monuments Record), augmented by the selective recording of sites in the field. These data form the basis of an extensive site-based gazetteer (Volume II: Appendix I), and the platform for a thematic discussion of castle-landscape relationships.;The thesis comprises four main sections. The first (Chapters 1-3) defines the theoretical and practical basis of viewing castles within a wider frame of reference than that afforded in tradition archaeological research designs. The second (Chapters 4-6) examines the interrelationships between castles and land-holding, the significance of pre-castle occupation and the complementary role of castles and churches as instruments of Anglo-Norman social control. The third (Chapter 7-8) examines the complexities of physical, chronological and social relationships between castles and urban settlement patterns, whilst the relationship between castle and rural settlement, both nucleated and non-nucleated, forms the focus for the fourth section (Chapters 9-10). The study concludes (Chapter 11) by emphasising the need for a broader context for an established focus of research, highlighting in particular the role of integrated analysis.