The Wandering Herd: The Medieval Cattle Economy of South-East England c.450-1450 [Paperback]

Andrew Margetts (Author)

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ISBN: 9781911188797 | Published by: Windgather Press | Publication: March 2021 | Language: English 320p, H246 x W189 (mm) B/w and colour
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The Wandering Herd

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The British countryside is on the brink of change. With the withdrawal of EU subsidies, threats of US style factory farming and the promotion of ‘rewilding’ initiatives, never before has so much uncertainty and opportunity surrounded our landscape. How we shape our prospective environment can be informed by bygone practice, as well as through engagement with livestock and landscapes long since vanished. This study will examine aspects of pastoralism that occurred in part of medieval England. It will suggest how we learn from forgotten management regimes to inform, shape and develop our future countryside. The work concerns a region of southern England the pastoral identity of which has long been synonymous with the economy of sheep pasture and the medieval right of swine pannage. These aspects of medieval pastoralism, made famous by iconic images of the South Downs and the evidence presented by Domesday, mask a pastoral heritage in which a significant part was played by cattle. This aspect of medieval pastoralism is traceable in the region’s historic landscape, documentary evidence and excavated archaeological remains. Past scholars of the South-East have been so concerned with the importance of medieval sheep, and to a slightly lesser extent pigs, that no systematic examination of the cattle economy has ever been undertaken. This book represents a deep, multi-disciplinary study of the cattle economy over the longue durée of the Middle Ages, especially its importance within the evolution of medieval society, settlement and landscape. It explores the nature and presence of vaccaries, a high status form of specialised cattle ranch. They produced beef stock, milk and cheese and the draught oxen necessary for medieval agriculture. Whilst they are most often associated with wild northern uplands they also existed in lowland landscapes and areas of Forest and Chase. Nationally, medieval cattle have been one of the most important and neglected aspects of the agriculture of the medieval period. As part of both a mixed and specialised farming economy they have helped shaped the countryside we know today.

Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ABSTRACT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF FIGURES
LIST OF TABLES
ABBREVIATIONS
1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Introduction
1.2 The study area
1.3 Scope of the project and organisation of the thesis
2. RELATED MEDIEVAL LANDSCAPE RESEARCH
2.1 Introduction
2.2 The history of research into medieval landscape
2.3 Medieval agricultural history
2.4 Far from the madding crowd: medieval ‘marginal lands’
2.5 Specialised settlements
2.6 Cattle husbandry and vaccaries
2.7 Landscape research within the South-East
2.8 Conclusion
3. A HISTORICAL AND DOCUMENTARY PERSPECTIVE
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Methodology
3.3 Pasture
3.4 Cattle and arable
3.5 Dairying
3.6 Meat
3.7 Cattle housing
3.8 Losses, legality and conflict
3.9 Movement
3.10 Conclusion
4. PLACE-NAME INDICATORS
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Methodology
4.3 Place-name indicators
4.4 Cattle names
4.5 Establishment names
4.6 Wic
4.7 ‘Sheiling’ names
4.8 Denns, folds and snoads
4.9 Conclusion
5. ROADS, COMMONS, FOREST AND CHASE
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Methodology
5.3 Results
5.4 Conclusion
6. OVAL ENCLOSURES AND PARKS
6.1 Introduction
6.2 A historiography of oval enclosures and parks, and a methodology for their exploration
6.3 Results
6.4 Conclusion
7. DOWNLAND ENCLOSURES: ‘VALLEY ENTRENCHMENTS’
7.1 Introduction
7.2 A historiography of ‘valley entrenchments’ and a methodology for their exploration
7.3 Results
7.4 Discussion and conclusions
8. ANIMAL BONE ASSEMBLAGES
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Methodology
8.3 Results
8.4 Discussion and conclusions
9. WEALDEN CASE STUDIES: THE HAYWORTH AND WICKHURST
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Case Study 1: The Hayworth
9.3 Case Study 2: The Wickhurst
9.4 Conclusions
10. DISCUSSION
10.1 Introduction
10.2 Cattle’s significance in the South-East
10.3 A regionalised economy
10.4 The specialised economy− the presence and nature of vaccaries
11. CONCLUSION
11.1 Cattle and colonisation
11.2 Lessons for the Landscape: cattle’s place in the modern South-East
11.3 Final thoughts
APPENDICES
MAPS USED
HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS USED
WEBSITES AND DATA SOURCES USED
BIBLIOGRAPHY

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