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Wetland Landscape Interpretation


Wetland Landscape Interpretation


Wetland Landscape Feature


Significance in Landscape Interpretation


Parish and township boundaries


Where these are attached to linear features, like cuts, ditches or banks, those features are likely to be old, especially where they serve continually as boundary-markers. Elongated parishes may well represent the extension of pre-existing parishes into a newly drained area, in the way that Romney Marsh parishes extended south-west into newly drained Walland Marsh territories.


Field Patterns


Blocks of fields with different orientations are likely to reveal different reclamation phases.


Field/wall/ditch relationships


Walls or ditches which dog-leg around fields are likely to be respecting pre-existing, sometimes ancient enclosures.


Banks and causeways


These may be seen to be arranged in lines, each successive line marking a stage in the reclamation process.


Lanes or droves


These may stand on old floodwalls that came to serve as causways. Broad droves often ran from the village to the fen, forming the spine of a parish/township, lengthening as the fen retreated. The droves could run to gates giving access to grazing where several villages intercommoned.


Fields and other features 1


Where a block of fields is cut by a dated feature, like a post-medieval channel, it must be older than that feature. When it conforms with it, it must be younger or of the same age.


Fields and other features 2


Small fields and field boundaries encircling or aligned along a lost feature of the landscape, like a former mere or coastal feature, must pre-date the disappearance of that feature.


Fields and other features 3


Some medieval features can be dated exactly from sources such as the records of abbeys and institutions responsible for drainage. Post-medieval features should be dated by successive maps, estate and parish records and specialist sources, such as the minute books of Drainage Commisions and records of the Board of Agriculture (1793 - 1822)


This table is taken from:
Muir, R., "The New Reading the Landscape", 2002, University of Exeter Press, Table 1.7 p. 35

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