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Settlement and economy in the forest and park of Weardale, Co. Durham, 1100-1800: a study in historical geography.

Bowes, Peter (1979) Settlement and economy in the forest and park of Weardale, Co. Durham, 1100-1800: a study in historical geography. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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Decisive and far-reaching changes in upper Weardale land use were made during the thirteenth century. The prelude to and complex consequences of these changes are analysed and provide a base to a study of settlement from the medieval colonisation to the end of the eighteenth century. Particular attention is drawn to the causes, chronology and, not least, the processes and effects of farm evolution in the two adjacent and contrasting units of the High Forest and Park. Related population growth and movements, stimulated or deterred by physical realities, economic fluctuations and tenurial policies, are traced and
quantified over some six centuries. An attempt is also made to measure the attraction of lead ore and its very considerable but erratic influence upon the dale's occupation and economy. Especially important are the changing scale of the mining industry and the necessary administrative adjustments it entailed. More difficult to unravel but a factor of the greatest relevance is the interdependence of mining and pastoral farming. Thus, the nature and extent of a distinctive dual economy are also examined. Another central theme is that of land tenure beginning with the somewhat restrictive and autocratic attitudes of the powerful landlord, the Bishop of Durham,
and his representatives and ending with their decline, if not demise, and the emergence, in turn, of very many independent yeomen "owners" enjoying much greater tenurial freedom. Overall, the settlement of upper Weardale in 1800 is seen as the outward expression of factors working unequally in time and space. Their isolation, assessment, analysis and effects form the core of this investigation.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:1979
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:31 May 2012 09:26

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