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Durham e-Theses
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A contribution to the history of forest clearance in Northumberland

Davies, Grant (1977) A contribution to the history of forest clearance in Northumberland. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Four pollen diagrams have been constructed from different locations within Northumberland and three of these have been radiocarbon dated. It is considered that three of the sites, two of which were radiocarbon dated, show a regional picture of vegetation changes, whilst one site was more 'local' in character. In addition, pollen analysis was carried out on samples from a number of archaeological sites. The pollen diagrams from the 'regional' sites show a remarkable degree of similarity. In each there are three more or less contemporaneous periods of extensive forest clearance separated by some forest regeneration. It is suggested that because the sites are so widely separated, the sequence of events is representative of what was happening over much of the Northumberland uplands. Not until the beginning of Romano-British times did man have a great effect on the forests of the Northumberland hills. The indications are that, at that time, clearance took place on a scale approaching that of modern times in an area which has often been regarded as a zone of conflict and political unrest. After forest regeneration there was a further but shorter period of forest clearance which is associated with Norse settlement. The final episode of extensive clearance has lasted up to the present day and began after the depression of the fourteenth century. The situation on the Fell Sandstone hills, at least around Camp Hill Moss, is somewhat different in that the uplands there were apparently less desirable and were not cleared of forest until the fourteenth century and possibly later than that.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:1977
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Nov 2013 16:13

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