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Recapturing early modern English urban defences: York and Kingston-upon-Hull, c.1550-1700

Webb, Simon Charles (2015) Recapturing early modern English urban defences: York and Kingston-upon-Hull, c.1550-1700. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis is an interdisciplinary study of York and Kingston-upon-Hull’s early modern defensive walls from c.1550-1700. It seeks to consider the scope and historical value of studying structures that have either been restored or completely demolished over time. Through the use of extensive archival material and archaeological, historical, architectural and historical archaeological methodology, the thesis hypothesises that a corporation’s urban defences were utilised in the administration of a town or city, the projection of civic authority, formed part of a recognisable and burgeoning civic bureaucracy and were tied up with notions of civic identity. In considering the utilisation of these structures removed from their ostensibly medieval military exigency it is possible to comprehend an urban phenomenon that was ubiquitous throughout England and Europe during the early modern period. To date their study has often been limited to the discussion within the medieval period when they were first constructed. When discussed during the early modern period they are predominantly examined within a European and military context. This considers English urban defences as stylistically and military retrograde examples of early modern structures whose use was only rediscovered during the English Civil War of the 1640’s. The thesis seeks to definitively prove that these structures were neither retrograde nor limited to historical and military flashpoints. They are an overlooked historical resource that is able to provide a conduit to better comprehend the physical and theoretical perimeters of urban centres that were harnessed in the negotiation of the periods urban, civic, social, political and moral contexts both nationally and locally.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Early modern, urban, defence, fortification, corporation, incorporation, civic, architecture, government, office
Academic Units: The University of York > Archaeology (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.665046
Depositing User: Dr Simon Charles Webb
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2015 10:41
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:33
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9617

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