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Wuffing Education

Tradition and Innovation in the Making of Anglo-Saxon England

Barton, Cambs, 1818 (© Cambridge Antiquarian Society)

with Dr Sue Oosthuizen
(University of Cambridge)

in The Old Court, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday, 3rd March, 2012.

This day-school explores the consensus that collective governance of fields and pasture were an Anglo-Saxon introduction. Instead, it argues, the physical features of 'medieval' landscapes embody the negotiation between lords and peasants that combined long-term tradition with contemporary innovation.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 Common pasture and arable: an Anglo-Saxon introduction or an earlier tradition?
COMMON pastures and open fields, subject to collective rights of exploitation and governance, are familiar to most people today. This session identifies the characteristics of collective governance, and asks how far it can be identified in the management of prehistoric and Roman land management.
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 Innovation in organising the Anglo-Saxon landscape
IF collective management of husbandry was an ancient British tradition, what – then – were the innovations of the Anglo-Saxon period and what were the reasons behind them? This session explores the challenges of new forms of land ownership and exploitation for ancient farming traditions.
  12.45 Lunch break (bring picnic or eat in NT restaurant)  
  14:00 The persistent habits of tradition
WHAT were the reasons for the long-term persistence of collective traditions in the British landscape? This session discusses the the roles of kinship, oral tradition and social structure in perpetuating long-standing traditions for the exploitation of the land.
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 Making the medieval landscape: a joint endeavour?
WHY did two quite different forms of arable organisation emerge in medieval England: the centralised, organised landscapes of the Midlands and more diverse landscapes beyond. This session offers a new explanation for their origins.
  c.16:20 Close  

About Dr Sue Oosthuizen

Dr Susan Oosthuizen is University Senior Lecturer for Landscape and Garden History at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing 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)

Mark Bailey (2007) Medieval Suffolk. Woodbridge: Boydell.
Mark Bowden, Graham Brown and Nicky Smith (2009) An Archaeology of Town Commons in England. Swindon: English Heritage.
David Hall (1982) Medieval Fields. Princes Risborough: Shire
Susan Oosthuizen (2006) Landscapes Decoded. Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire Press.
Oliver Rackham (1986) History of the Countryside. London: Dent.
Stephen Rippon (2008) Beyond the Medieval Village. Oxford: OUP.
E. P. Thompson (2009) Customs in Common. London: Merlin.
Tom Williamson (2003). Shaping Medieval Landscapes. Macclesfield: Windgather.


Please phone or email to check the availability of places. 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 wuffingeducation.co.uk
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)
Website www.wuffingeducation.co.uk

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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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