Introduction | Exploring Medieval Village Territories | The Evolution of Post-medieval Village Territories | The Creation of Village Territories | The Development of Medieval Village Territories | Late Medieval Village Territories | Conclusions
Such a brief review of the post-medieval evidence does little justice to the scale of change effected during this extended period. And other defining elements could equally well have been considered, such as fluctuating levels of population or the removal of woodland, the latter the fate of many former royal forests (e.g. Foard et al. 2005). Successive adaptations can be observed, disrupted or driven forward by moments of more consequential change. Events such as Parliamentary Enclosure might be felt universally across several parishes. Other events, such as landscaping at Stowe, might be more localised but of no less consequence, fundamentally altering the physical structure of those villagescapes within which they were played out. Even where more than one territory was affected by adaptations that followed a similar trajectory, such as the transition from open field to enclosure, the pace at which this was achieved and the precise chronology by which it was undertaken might vary considerably between neighbouring units of landscape. And less tangibly, but no less significantly, the nature of lordship, the size and make-up of the community, and the actual extent of each village were also subject to constant or episodic modification, each according to their own particular set of rhythms and cycles.
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Last updated: Mon Sep 4 2006