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

3.2 Settlement morphology

House South Front, Stowe
Figure 6: Stowe House (now school), south front

The post-medieval period also saw dramatic changes to the morphology of the Whittlewood villages. Some atrophied slowly, like Lamport in Stowe (Brown 2005), shrivelling eventually to a loose collection of houses by the middle of the 19th century. The fate of others was more rapid, such as Stowe, cleared to make way for the landscape gardens set out around the Temple's new manse from 1711 to 1749 (Page 2005; Anon. 1997, 58-67) (Figure 6). In the cases of Lillingstone Dayrell, Furtho and Puxley, these villages were depopulated by enclosing lords. But even in these places remnant populations clung tenaciously to their holdings. By contrast, places such as Passenham, the Wickens, and Lillingstone Lovell survived but languished in their shrunken late medieval states, before a new bout of infilling in the 18th and 19th centuries. The same was true of Akeley, Deanshanger, Potterspury, Silverstone and Whittlebury; their fortunes only revived during the second half of the 20th century, but thereafter doubling or trebling in size (Anon. 2001a; Anon 2001b; Marix Evans 2001).


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