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Anarchy: War and Status in 12th-Century Landscapes of Conflict$
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Oliver Creighton and Duncan Wright

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781781382424

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781382424.001.0001

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Town, Village and Country

Town, Village and Country

(p.219) Chapter 8 Town, Village and Country
Anarchy: War and Status in 12th-Century Landscapes of Conflict

Oliver H. Creighton

Duncan W. Wright

Michael Fradley

Steven Trick

Liverpool University Press

This chapter turns to consider the effects of the conflict on the urban and rural landscape. Despite the almost twenty-year duration of the civil war, its impacts on landscape and townscape had very significant geographical biases. There was a greater effect upon urban rather than rural life, as urban castles, fortified towns and their hinterlands were the foci of sieges and counter-sieges. Behind the image of a slowdown in urban growth, lords were investing in new town plantations, invariably alongside fortifications and often as components within more comprehensive schemes of aggrandisement. Tracing the impact of the Anarchy on the rural landscape archaeology of England is a more difficult proposition, although we have strong evidence for landscape planning and the creation of fortified settlements by newly emboldened lords. Documentary sources catalogue widespread landscape devastation by armies, although on the ground the effects of the war had a strong regional dimension, with some areas, most notably the West Country and Thames Valley, the focus of especially regular and damaging upheaval. Elsewhere, urban and rural populations are likely to have been affected little by the ebb and flow of the conflict, where the political and military fortunes of the social elite did not impinge on everyday life.

Keywords:   charter, devastation, Jew, London, market, new town, settlement, siege, village, Winchester

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