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

Probert, Duncan William (2002). Church and landscape : a study in social transition in south-western Britain, A.D. c.400 to c.1200. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

PDF - Accepted Version

Download (23MB)


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: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Historical Studies
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of History
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year