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Drawing the Lines: A GIS study of enclosure and landscape in Northamptonshire

Partida, Tracey (2014) Drawing the Lines: A GIS study of enclosure and landscape in Northamptonshire. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the ways in which Geographical Information Systems (GIS) can be used, together with documentary sources, to advance the study of enclosure and landscape. The study proposes that the much researched subject of enclosure has been the focus of economic and social history and that the importance of its effects upon landscape has been under-appreciated. The study area is the historic county of Northamptonshire, an exceptionally well documented county, with one of the highest percentages of land enclosed in the parliamentary period. Enclosure from all periods is studied, with the focus on the parliamentary period as having the most extensive sources. The primary source is the historic map, from which the landscape has been digitally reconstructed in GIS using the techniques of landscape archaeology. First the methodology is defined which provides a definition of terms and explores the range and uses of the source materials. Then the process of enclosure, with the key elements of chronology, density and determinants, is explored within the context of previous studies. There follows chapters on the pre and post-enclosure landscapes which examines the influence of land owners and land use. It will be demonstrated that before enclosure it was the agricultural system that created and defined the landscape, while afterwards the landowners were the most influential factor. A final chapter uses case studies to establish a methodology for using GIS in landscape conservation and management. This has shown that GIS is essential for identifying historic features in the complexity of the modern landscape. Furthermore, the use of GIS in this study has enabled important new issues to be identified: the unenclosed landscape was not dominated by arable but was, by the mid-eighteenth century, predominantly pasture; there was no distinct enclosed landscape, it was far more nuanced than has been recognised; some features associated with enclosure, dispersed buildings and simplified road networks, were in fact associated with period rather than process.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Depositing User: Elizabeth Boulton
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2015 12:28
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2015 20:33
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/23455

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