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Transforming the Landscape: Gawthorpe, Harewood and the creation of the modern landscape 1500-1750

Rayner, Emily (2014) Transforming the Landscape: Gawthorpe, Harewood and the creation of the modern landscape 1500-1750. PhD thesis, University of York.

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This thesis focuses on landscape change at Harewood House, Yorkshire, during the period 1500 to 1750. The main themes explored throughout this research are: the establishment of the nature of landscape change during the stated period; the effects of these changes on the lives of the people living and working in the landscape; and finally understanding the developments at Harewood within the broader context of changing agrarian landscapes during a period which has been widely described as an ‘age of transition’. Landscape change is explored here using a combination of archival and archaeological material, viewed from a landscape archaeology perspective. This research begins by examining the influence of theoretical debates surrounding the use of different sources of data by Landscape Archaeology and Historical Archaeology to examine this post-medieval period. A key theoretical concern to this endeavour has been the scales of interpretation which are used to examine this period, and the creation of this localised example to add to our understanding of broader national trends. In doing so, this perspective has focused on people living and working within the landscape, rather than the individuals, such as the land owners, which have dominated previous interpretations. One of the main findings of this research is that although significant landowners such as the Gascoigne family, Thomas Wentworth and the Lascelles family undoubtedly impacted upon the Harewood landscape, people living and working within the estate retained a degree of control over their own daily lives. Significant features such as Harewood Castle, All Saints Church and Gawthorpe Hall were displays of power and control over the landscape, which to some degree shaped movement through and interaction with the landscape, but archaeological data have here been shown to suggest that power relations in the day-to-day lives of the community were more nuanced than these large-scale interpretations might suggest. An additional element of this research is an exploration of the potential of public engagement with relatively under-studied and under-represented perspectives on country houses. This research has made some initial attempts to challenge current understanding of the public history of Harewood estate and examines the potential for future developments within this setting.  

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Archaeology (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.634380
Depositing User: Miss Emily Rayner
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2015 12:52
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:32
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7860

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