Archaeology and Landscape: Industrial and Modern

Rural Worcestershire

The continued enclosure of farmland, open common and heath, including by Act of Parliament in the 18th and 19th centuries, is generally characterised by ruler-straight boundaries and thorn hedges.

The 19th century is also notable for a substantial increase in market gardening, orchards, allotments, and the production of hops, particularly in the Vale of Evesham and around Pershore, in the Wyre Forest and in the Teme Valley. The orchard and market gardening industry reached its peak in the early 20th century when a wide variety of fruit and vegetables were produced to meet the demands of growing urban populations in Birmingham and the Black Country.

The need to grow more food, both during, and following, the two World Wars, has led to widespread intensification of the rural landscape, driving changes such as field re-organisation and field amalgamation, and the grubbing up of many hedgerow boundaries and traditional orchards.

Research Questions

Forthcoming…