Cliff, David (1994) Lincoln c. 850-1100 : a study in economic and urban growth. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The dissertation investigates the increasing number and
complexity of towns between c. 850 and c. 1100, through the
detailed study of Lincoln in this period. Utilising
archaeological and documentary evidence to trace the multifaceted
nature of early medieval towns, it confirms that economic
change was the principal cause of urban growth. Pottery and coin
evidence shed some light upon the progress and nature of economic

The role of a significant elite centre or an elite-founded wic
are both disputed in considering the origins of urban Lincoln.
The questioning of the importance of these reinforces the view
that the Vikings had a considerable impact on the development of
Lincoln. The nature of their role was to create a small
concentration of population, which then served as a focus for the
economic growth already underway in the rural economy; which the
Great Army must have initially disrupted.

The key role of Viking rulers or West Saxon kings in the later
economic and urban development at Lincoln is disputed. Instead
the thesis considers that subsequent topographical and economic
change is mostly attributable to urban elites in Lincoln rather
than to distant political figures. Many of these developments
were utilised by Viking and West Saxon rulers but they were not
influential in creating them. Once established Lincoln's
development seems to have been most pronounced in the tenth
century, with urban status rapidly attained.

Lincoln had an impact on the surrounding area through trade, and
tenurial links can also be identified in the late eleventh
century. Lincoln did not however dominate the surrounding area,
although it may have brought about greater landholding complexity
and influenced the composition of the surrounding rural populace.

239750.pdf - Accepted Version

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