adapted from a design by George Bain based on the Book of Kells home Programme Bookings Shop The Wuffings .
Wuffing Education

Medieval Field-Systems: Tradition and Change in East Anglia


with Dr Susan Oosthuizen

in The Old Court, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday 3rd July 2010

The day will explore the main themes in medieval agricultural landscapes, with special reference to East Anglia, 400-1100.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 Continuity and change in the early medieval landscape - How old was the medieval landscape? Discriminating between traditional elements and practices in the early medieval landscape and those which were introduced in the middle Anglo-Saxon period and after is essential if we are to begin to work out the evolution of the agricultural systems so familiar from medieval archaeology and documentary sources.  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 ‘Anglo-Saxon’ field-systems - The evidence for the earliest post-Roman field systems is confusing and contradictory. This session investigates the range of archaeological and other evidence for agricultural production between about 400 and 1000 AD, and offers an initial framework for its interpretation.  
  12.45 Lunch break  
  14:00 Pastoralism in the Anglo-Saxon landscape -
This session explores the viability of the distinction between pastoral and arable landscapes, in an attempt to begin to understand how agricultural landscapes ‘worked’ on the ground. Commons and greens may have been more important in the emerging structure of arable field systems than has previously been recognised.
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 Explaining medieval landscapes - What was it about the ways in which society was organised which drove the evolution of the medieval open fields? This session looks beyond the fields to the peasants, freemen and manorial lords whose hard labour and estate management produced the medieval fields and commons which survive in our landscape today.  
  16:15 Close  

About Dr Susan Oosthuizen

Dr Susan Oosthuizen is University Senior Lecturer for Landscape and Garden History at the University of Cambridge Institute of Contininuing Education, a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Her research focuses on the origins of the medieval rural landscape, both pastoral and arable. Her most recent book was Landscapes Decoded (2006).

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Bailey, M., Medieval Suffolk (Woodbridge: Boydell 2007)
Bowden, M., G.Brown, & N.Smith, An Archaeology of Town
Commons in England (Swindon: English Heritage
Hall, D., Medieval Fields (Princes Risborough: Shire 1982)
Oosthuizen, S., Landscapes Decoded (Hatfield: University of
Hertfordshire Press 2006)
Rackham, O., History of the Countryside (London: Dent. 1986)
Rippon, S., Beyond the Medieval Village (Oxford: Oxford
University Press 2008)
Williamson, T., Shaping Medieval Landscapes (Macclesfield:
Windgather 2003).


Please phone or email to check the availability of places.  This Study Days are £38 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition.  Once you have reserved your place please send a cheque to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)

Email cliff AT
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)

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We have learnt of the fame of the Wuffing folk-lords of long ago, of how those wolf-kings held the ancestral land of East Anglia....
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