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The causes of common-edge drift: a Norfolk study


Wegman, I, The causes of common-edge drift: a Norfolk study, Norfolk Archaeology, XLVII pp. 356-373. ISSN 0142-7962 (2016) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2016 Norfolk and Norwich Archaeology Society

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The phenomenon of settlements moving away from their churches, towards the edges of surrounding commons is known as ‘common-edge drift’. Despite common perceptions, the isolated church is not the only indication of common-edge drift – an embedded church will often have been constructed after drift, within the new settlement. Using an assortment of historic maps, documents, archaeological surveys and environmental datasets this paper discusses the causes of ‘common-edge drift’ in Norfolk, addressing an issue that has gone largely ignored for the past thirty years. By creating a set of categories and applying them to all churches marked on Faden’s 1797 map of Norfolk it is possible to apply new GIS techniques to the data. The findings show that six individual primary factors were in play across the county, with different combinations resulting in the isolated or embedded landscapes familiar to us today. The only factor affecting every category of settlement was access to common land, and regional differences in population and land-use dictated how a settlement would respond when faced with common-land shortages.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:medieval history, GIS, land-use, architecture, mapping
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:British history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Wegman, I (Dr Imogen Wegman)
ID Code:124189
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:History and Classics
Deposited On:2018-02-13
Last Modified:2018-04-09

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