Parks in Medieval England

Paperback | October 31, 2014

byS. A. Mileson

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Parks were prominent and, indeed, controversial features of the medieval countryside, but they have been unevenly studied and remain only partly understood. Stephen Mileson provides the first full-length study of the subject, examining parks across the country and throughout the Middle Ages intheir full social, economic, jurisdictional, and landscape context. The first half of the book investigates the purpose of these royal and aristocratic reserves, which have been variously claimed as hunting grounds, economic assets, landscape settings for residences, and status symbols. An emphasis on the aristocratic passion for the chase as the key motivation forpark-making provides an important challenge to more recent views and allows for a deeper appreciation of the connection between park-making and the expression of power and lordship. The second part of the volume examines the impact of park creation on wider society, from the king and aristocracy to peasants and townsmen. Instead of the traditional emphasis on the importance of royal regulation, greater attention is paid to the effects of lordly park-making on other members ofthe landed elite and ordinary people. These widespread enclosures interfered with customary uses of woodland and waste, hunting practices, roads, and farming; not surprisingly, they could become a focus for aristocratic feud, popular protest, and furtive resistance.Combining historical, archaeological, and landscape evidence, this ground-breaking work provides fresh insight into contemporary values and how they helped to shape the medieval landscape.

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From the Publisher

Parks were prominent and, indeed, controversial features of the medieval countryside, but they have been unevenly studied and remain only partly understood. Stephen Mileson provides the first full-length study of the subject, examining parks across the country and throughout the Middle Ages intheir full social, economic, jurisdictional...

Stephen Mileson started working for the Victoria County History of Oxfordshire in 2005 and has so far been researching and writing about the history of Henley-on-Thames and surrounding Chilterns parishes in the far south of the county. He has also been Lecturer in Medieval History at St Edmund Hall, Oxford since 2006, and previously w...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:230 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 0.01 inPublished:October 31, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198723148

ISBN - 13:9780198723141

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: The Purpose of the Park1. Hunting2. Economy3. Landscaping4. StatusPart II: Parks and Society5. Parks and the Crown6. Parks and the Aristocracy7. Parks and the CommunityConclusionBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"A clear, well documented synthesis with a wealth of primary material." --Northern History