The Foldcourse and East Anglian Agriculture and Landscape, 1100-1900
Title Details

213 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

4 colour, 8 line illus.

Series: Garden and Landscape History

Series Vol. Number: 8

Imprint: Boydell Press

The Foldcourse and East Anglian Agriculture and Landscape, 1100-1900

by John Belcher

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
First survey of one of the most important pre-modern farming systems, and its effects on society and landscape.

A landmark volume... essential reading for all those interested in social, agricultural and landscape history, as well as in East Anglia's past. Professor Tom Williamson, University of East Anglia.

England in the medieval and early modern periods was farmed under a wide range of agrarian regimes, each of which was both engendered by, and had in turn a determining influence upon, innumerable aspects of society and landscape. Reconstructing the complex history of these systems - how they actually worked on the ground, how and why they first developed and how they evolved over time - is thus crucial for our understanding of the lived experience of past generations and the physical environments which they inhabited. But studies of past agricultural regimes which are detailed enough to highlight their full social, economic and environmental character and implications, are surprisingly thin on the ground. This innovative book dissects the character of one key example - the foldcourse system of East Anglia - from its genesis in the early Middle Ages to its demise in the nineteenth century. It casts a mass of new light on an institution that structured rural life in one region of England, over many centuries. But it also provides important new insights into the nature of early farming systems more generally, and the intricate balance of human agency, and environmental structures, that shaped and sustained them.
Introduction
Chapter 1: The Contexts of the Foldcourse
Chapter 2: Manors, Rights and Customs of the Foldcourse
Chapter 3: The Medieval Foldcourse
Chapter 4: The Late-Medieval Evolution of Foldcourse Husbandry
Chapter 5: The Agricultural Practice of Foldcourse Husbandry
Chapter 6: The Foldcourse and Improvement
Conclusions
Glossary
Bibliography
"The chronological range and the geographical breadth of this book are impressive, requiring technical competence in a variety of different sources and familiarity with a broad academic literature. In this regard, Belcher exemplifies the very best qualities and attributes of the local historian. [...] The book is well-written, though the subject matter means it not an easy read: it is, however, a most rewarding one.[...] It represents a model of scholarship for any local historian, and an excellent addition to our knowledge of pre-modern farming systems." Local Historian
"this is an in-depth study into the subject of the foldcourse, drawing on a wealth of examples taken mainly from primary sources to provide a comprehensive understanding of its practice in East Anglia, thereby emphasizing the distinctiveness of East Anglian agricultural practices in the past." Agricultural History Review

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9781783275670

December 2020

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9781800101333

December 2020

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Title Details

213 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

4 colour, 8 line illus.

Series: Garden and Landscape History

Series Vol. Number: 8

Imprint: Boydell Press