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This book examines recent views on the emerging settlement patterns of early medieval Britain and their relation to land use, drawing on both archaeological and documentary sources.
Simon Esmonde Cleary takes the study from the later Romano-British into the post-Roman period. Christopher Holdsworth examines the re-emergence of Christianity in sixth-century England, the location of minsters and their role in the economy. The problematic theme of continuity or dislocation recurs in a number of chapters and is closely investigated by Peter Rose and Ann Preston Jones in their chapter on Cornwall, a region marginal to the main thrust of Anglo-Saxon cultural influence. Ethnicity as a factor for change is challenged, and Colleen Batey, looking at Northern Britain, finds that archaeology fails to identify with any degree of certainty the specific Scandinavian house type in the uplands.
Della Hooke presents a more general summary of the period across England, noting the evidence for the emerging landscape regions which were characterized by particular settlement types and field systems and, in a case study of the Failand ridge in North Somerset, James Bond sets the evidence within a much broader time scale, revealing the gaps which still caracterize our knowledge of the early medieval period.