Manor houses, churches and settlements: historical geographies of the Yorkshire Wolds before 1600

McDonagh, Briony A.K. (2007) Manor houses, churches and settlements: historical geographies of the Yorkshire Wolds before 1600. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

The thesis examines conceptions and experiences of space in later medieval and early modern England with specific reference to the Yorkshire Wolds, a region of low chalk hills in the historic East Riding of Yorkshire. Particular attention is paid to the spatial and symbolic relationships between manor houses, parish churches and rural settlements in the period before c. 1600, and to the ways power was articulated through such a landscape. Chapter IV examines evidence for early church foundations and argues that the geographical relationships between manor houses and churches evident in the Wolds and elsewhere in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were not simply an outcome of earlier pre-Conquest practices. The remainder of the thesis explores the continued meaning of these relationships in the later medieval and early modern period, arguing that while landowners might constitute or maintain their power through the architecture of their houses or patronage of nearby churches, these practices were at least partially dependent on the geographical relationships between manor, churches and settlements.

Chapters V and VI examine the use and meaning of manorial and church space in the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in greater detail. Both chapters are attentive to the ways that manorial lords might articulate their gentility, status and power, as well as their piety, through these spaces. Conversely, the thesis also investigates evidence for public use of manorial and church space, and consideration is given to the ways manor houses and churches might be constituted and experienced as public, private, secular or religious spaces. The thesis also examines evidence for the meaning of private space and property within the wider landscape and in doing so, investigates a variety of sites at which individuals and groups other than the gentry might assert identity, status and power. The thesis concludes by suggesting that buildings and landscapes not only reflected the status, wealth and lineage of those who occupied and used them, but also provided sites through which social status and political power could be actively negotiated and maintained.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:Watkins, C.
Heffernan, M.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Historical geography, Wolds
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Geography
ID Code:1632
Deposited By:June Walsh
Deposited On:05 Nov 2010 10:30
Last Modified:05 Nov 2010 10:31

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