Aspects of medieval landscape change in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Gloucestershire
: evidence from the feet of fines.

  • Thomas Davies

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This dissertation is an examination of the validity and potential of a series of documents known as feet of fines. It represents the analysis of data gathered from over 5000 original, medieval fines at the Public Record Office in Kew. Computer technology, notably Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and databases, has been utilized in the analysis.

    This has led to the production of a series of tables, graphs and maps for the chosen study area: the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Gloucestershire. The research has enabled a comparative study of land use and settlement patterns and has revealed that fines are an excellent source for the study of certain themes, such as the period of the "crisis" of the early fourteenth century and the plotting of the course of the advance of pasture in the later medieval period.

    The origins of feet of fines are examined along with their development, their structure and content. Their value as a source for the historian and the historical-geographer has been assessed and the data has been used for the study of the three counties in question. A regional study of each county has been undertaken along with a general examination of land use and settlement patterns. This is followed by an assessment of how feet of fines can be used to enhance this pattern for the period 1196-1509. All three county studies include a series of tables and graphs produced from the database of fines and maps produced from Unking these databases to a GIS digital mapping system.

    The conclusion highlights the differences in land use and settlement patterns in the three counties and includes comparisons between the three studies.
    Date of AwardSep 2000
    Original languageEnglish


    • Feet of Fines
    • Cities and towns, Medieval
    • land use
    • settlement patterns
    • historical geography

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