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H 174 x W 245 mm

382 pages

130 figures, 7 tables (colour throughout)

Published Apr 2024

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803275352

Digital: 9781803275369

DOI 10.32028/9781803275352

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English Landscape; Wessex; Landscape Evolution; Economic History; Landscape Management; Environmental Conservation

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Wessex: A Landscape History

By Hadrian Cook

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Wessex is famous for its coasts, heaths, woodlands, chalk downland, limestone hills and gorges, settlements and farmed vales. This book provides an account of the physical form, development and operation of its landscape as it was shaped by our ancestors. Major themes include the development of agriculture, settlements, industry and transport.



Preface: Mesolithic, Malthus and mangelwurzels


Introduction: Where and what is Wessex?


Chapter 1: The region that is Wessex


Chapter 2: Utilisation of natural resources


Chapter 3: Environmental governance and change


Chapter 4: Floodplains, levels and marshes


Chapter 5: The Vales


Chapter 6: More than just calcium carbonate and grass?


Chapter 7: Heathland and upland moorland


Chapter 8: Woods and forests


Chapter 9: Between two seas


Chapter 10: Landscape, value and change



About the Author

Hadrian Cook started out as a geologist and soil scientist, and now teaches and writes on landscape-based subjects including environmental policy and history. He has served on the full-time academic staff of the University of London, at Wye and Imperial Colleges, and on the staff of Kingston University London, and has worked as an independent environmental consultant specialising in river catchment management. Hadrian currently works in adult and community education and is on the committee of the Society for Landscape Studies. As Trustee for the Harnham Water Meadows Trust, Salisbury, he works as the ‘drowner’ of these famous water meadows.


It is engagingly written, and well-illustrated throughout, making for a fascinating study of a region of diverse character.’ – Stephen Rippon (2024): Current Archaeology Issue 412