A number of overarching comments came out of workshop discussions for the framework that should be taken into consideration for the late medieval period:
Expansion of dendrochronology. Establish a regional master sequence against which to compare samples.
Link these to Documentary research to establish patterns of land use and change. Look at population growth leading to encroachment on common land.
Link to documentary research where such resources exist. Link to growth of nucleated settlements. Test hypothesis of chronology and village development by excavation. Medieval sites need to be understood in the context of their location within the township and in relation to the manorial facilities.
Archaeological investigation of developments on the edge of smaller and rural settlements and DMVs. Link to documentary research where such resources exist. Is there a discernible difference in settlement/boundary patterns between royal forests/game areas and other landscapes?
Carry out wider landscape studies based upon individual estates, to investigate the impact of particular forms of landholding and lordship. (5.2:5.4) Landscape-based surveys should be undertaken at various levels of historic land holdings and divisions such as the honour, manor and township, to test the underlying hypothesis of both county based HLCs and Roberts and Wrathmell’s (2002a) national analysis of settlement patterns. (5.2:5.11) Link to documentary research where such resources exist. Use detailed aerial photo or LIDAR work on selected deer parks to determine the typology of subdivision and further documentary research to explore prevalence of deer leaps.
Cross border research initiative to understand cultural identity, medieval borders, particularly with Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. Still very little cross-border collaboration in the north. Need to expand – does cross-border include the Isle of Man and Irish Sea?
Application of scientific methodologies particularly to burial studies. Also identification of land/resettlement in upland areas in early part of late medieval period, then abandoned post Black Death and resettled as population expanded again. Settlement desertion – excavation linked to scientific dating.
Ensure a full range of appropriate archaeological techniques are applied, such as palaeoenvironmental analysis, landscape survey, place name and documentary evidence. Continue to apply new techniques to old and new animal bone assemblages to establish the range of animals that were managed and their movement across the region and country (isotope analysis). Look at East Midlands research on land ownership changes post Norman Conquest eg. larger estates including the royal hunting forests
There have been a number of large scale and detailed surveys of Medieval and Tudor halls in recent years. These should be synthesised to help understanding of the transition to modern housing.
Efforts should be focused on discovering more about the character and function of the region’s earliest medieval towns in the immediate post-conquest period. This is particularly relevant for Chester, Lancaster and Carlisle. (5.3:5.16) Continue to use the planning system to target excavations in known Medieval town centres, as has happened in Salford and Manchester.
Review coverage and condition of UADs, including Carlisle and Lancaster, and accessibility and updating of urban archaeological database. (5.3:5.17) Need to be made more accessible for front end users such as planners and able to update.
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Adapt and develop successful models from within and outside the region to survey early churches in the North-West. Look for opportunities to engage the help of volunteers from local heritage groups and elsewhere. Train local volunteers to spread coverage of the survey and harness local knowledge and enthusiasm. Links to Q16 and Q27
Undertake landscape and topographic surveys, environmental evidence, historic research, study defensive adaptation of vernacular buildings. Link to documentary research where such resources exist.
Artefacts studies contrasting well dated urban assemblages with those from nearby contemporary rural sites and contrasting high status site assemblages with those from ordinary sites. This should enable insights into different patterns of interaction and breadth of contacts between different social groups. (5.7:5.5.46)
Contrast urban and rural, high and low status sites.