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Wuffing Education

A Landscape History of ‘Greater East Anglia’

Hitcham Valley 1997 Edward Martin

with Edward Martin

at the Old Court, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday, 24 November 2012

Over 50 years ago that great landscape historian, W.G. Hoskins, observed that “The English landscape itself, to those who know how to read it aright, is the richest historical record we possess.” This course will examine ways of reading the landscape, combining the evidence of geology, archaeology and history to piece together how the land came to be formed in the aftermath of the ice ages and how humans have continued to shape the land over the thousands of years since they first settled on it, imprinting it with the shapes of their fields, greens, and settlements.
‘Greater East Anglia’ is a useful way of describing the territory that lies between the Thames estuary in the south and the Wash in the north, with a long North Sea coastline on the east and a land border on the west that once ran through wet fenland for much of its northern half. The addition of Essex to Suffolk and Norfolk (the two counties normally accepted as constituting East Anglia) not only makes a coherent geographic unit, but it also makes its human geography more understandable.

Provisional Programme
(There may be variations to the programme on the day – all these subjects will be covered, but not necessarily in the advertised order.)
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 Setting the Scene – the land, soils and early settlement.  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 Settlements – halls and churches, manors and moats.  
  12.45 Lunch break  
  14:00 Communal pastures and secondary settlements – greens, commons and tyes.  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 Field systems and the characterisation of the landscape.  
  16:20 Close  

About Edward Martin

Edward Martin has worked as an archaeologist with Suffolk County Council for many years, specialising in historic landscape studies. He co-edited An Historical Atlas of Suffolk (3rd edition 1999) and has written and lectured widely on the archaeology and history of gardens, buildings and the landscape. He is chairman of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History and a regular archaeology commentator on Radio Suffolk.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Bailey, M. 2007: Medieval Suffolk. An Economic and Social History, 1200-1500. Boydell: Woodbridge.
Dymond, D. and Martin, E. (eds) 1999: An Historical Atlas of Suffolk. Suffolk County Council: Ipswich (3rd ed.).
Hunter, J. 1999: The Essex Landscape. A Study of its Form and History, Essex Record Office: Chelmsford.
Martin, E. 2007 : ‘Wheare most Inclosures be: The Making of the East Anglian Landscape’ in M. Gardiner and S. Rippon (eds) Landscape History after Hoskins. Medieval Landscapes, Windgather Press: Macclesfield, 122-36.
Martin, E. 2011: ‘Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex: Medieval Rural Settlement in “Greater East Anglia”’ in N. Christie and P. Stamper (eds) Medieval Rural Settlement. Britain and Ireland, AD 800-1600, Windgather Press, Oxford, 225-48.
Martin, E. and Satchell, M. 2008: Wheare most Inclosures be. East Anglian Fields: History, Morphology and Management, East Anglian Archaeology 124.
Roberts, B.K. and Wrathmell, S. 2002: Region and Place. A study of English rural settlement, English Heritage: London.
Warner, P., 1996: The Origins of Suffolk, Manchester University Press: Manchester.
Williamson, T. 2003: Shaping Medieval Landscapes. Settlement, Society, Environment, Windgather Press: Macclesfield.
Williamson, T. 2006: England’s Landscape. East Anglia, English Heritage and Collins, London.


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....
Updated 13 December, 2012
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