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Church and landscape : a study in social transition in south-western Britain, A.D. c.400 to c.1200

Probert, Duncan William (2002)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis explores aspects of the transitions from post-Roman British to Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman society in south-western Britain in the period c.400 to c.1200. It uses a multidisciplinary approach that focuses mainly on Exeter and a surrounding 'hinterland area' in Devon, and it also considers whether the models associated with the 'minster hypothesis' can contribute to our understanding of the area's history during this period. Four case studies are presented that examine the surviving evidence within the framework of 'conceptual boundaries' fossilised by ecclesiastical parishes; these suggest that a 'mother church system' comprising large 'original parishes' existed in the Exeter area in the late Anglo-Saxon period, although its origins remain uncertain. A possible context is explored through a re-evaluation of the evidence for local continuity of population and landscape occupation throughout the period, which provides the basis for a reinterpretation of the political and cultural metamorphoses by which the eastern part of British Dumnonia became Anglo-Saxon Devon and an exemplification of the process by which the Primitive Cornish language and toponymy of the Exeter area were replaced by Old English. The thesis concludes with a discussion of evidential and methodological problems that need to be addressed before further progress can be made.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Bassett, Steven
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Historical Studies
Department:Department of Medieval History
Additional Information:

Corrigenda pages supplied by supervisor

Subjects:D111 Medieval History
DA Great Britain
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:7255
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties.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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