Continuity and historical change in woodland and downland in an area west of Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Gough, Pamela M. (1979). Continuity and historical change in woodland and downland in an area west of Salisbury, Wiltshire. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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An area of South Wiltshire which includes the larger hounds of the former Royal Forest of Grovely and part of the former Cranbome Chase has been studied in order to ascertain the history of its woodlands and downlands. Cartographic, documentary, ecological and archaeological evidence has been used to show that the area and boundaries of the woodlands and downlands in late medieval times were similar to those still existing in the early nineteenth century and that large-scale clearance of woodland and ploughing of downland took place only after that time. The late medieval distributions remained substantially unchanged from at least late Saxon times and ecological evidence suggests continuity from prehistoric times. Management of woodlands and downlands from at least the twelfth century has shown little change until the present century. The status of the existing woodlands is studied and it is shown that some areas could be primary. Much of the downland is probably Bronze Age or earlier in origin. The distribution of certain woodland and downland plant species is shown to be directly related to past land use and certain assemblages of plants are suggested as indicators of ancient woodland in south Wiltshire.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Science
School or Department: Department of Geography
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)


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