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A medieval woodland manor: Hanley Castle, Worcestershire

Toomey, James Patrick (1997)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

A woodland manor in the west of Worcestershire, Hanley was held by the Crown from 1075, and then by wealthy magnates from 1217. The Anglo-Saxon landscape, in spite of considerable woodland, gave scope for the farming communities described in the region in Domesday Book. 1-lanley not only supported a robust agricultural economy in its priJne, supplemented by woodland industries such as pottery manufacture, but it was also, with its castle built by king John, the headquarters of the royal forest and chase of Malvem. The forest covered about one hundred square miles of the Malvem plain from Worcester to Gloucester, although Corse was detached in theory in the early thirteenth century. 1-lanley's agriculture was based on open fields, along with smaller irregular fields, and crofts held in severalty. Demesne and tenant land was expanded by assarting in the twelfth century, followed by some retrenchment and a gradual decline from the early fourteenth. The assarting led to a new demesne and the growth of settlement in the west of the manor, reinforcing and adding to the pattern of dispersed hamlets, but there was an old nucleus and focal settlement in the east, near the Severn. Here lay the early demesne, the open fields, the markets, the quay, the castle, and the pre-Conquest church. A vigorous land market demonstrated by surviving deeds suggests many confident peasants, some of whom can be seen progressing towards gentry status.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Dyer, Christopher (1944-)
School/Faculty:Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Arts
Department:Medieval History
Subjects:DA Great Britain
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:123
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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