Designs Upon the Land. Elite Landscapes of the Middle Ages.

Creighton, O.H.

Hardback. 272 pp. Boydell Press. 

The phrase `designed landscape' is generally associated with the great parks and gardens of the post-medieval period, with grand country houses surrounded by parkland, such as Chatsworth and Longleat. However, recent research has made it clear that its origins lie much further back than that, in the middle ages, and numerous examples have been identified. This book offers the first full-length survey of designed medieval landscapes, not just the settings for castles, but for palaces, manor houses and monastic institutions. Gardens and pleasure grounds gave their owners sensory enjoyment; lakes, ponds and walkways created routes of approach that displayed residences to best effect; deer parks were stunning backdrops and venues for aristocratic enjoyment; and peacocks, swans, rabbits and doves were some of the many species which lent these landscapes their elite appearance. Richly illustrated with plans, maps, and photographs of key sites showing what can still be seen today.
Dr OLIVER CREIGHTON is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Exeter.

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