Reading the Peak District Landscape

By John Barnatt

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The Peak District is a vital place with landscapes of great beauty from wild moorlands to walled fields around picturesque villages. There are few places in the world where such a rich history is visible in one relatively small but varied landscape.

This book introduces a wealth of archaeological sites and landscapes. It explores patterns of settlement, with contrasting zones where villages dominate and others where scattered farmsteads are the norm. These settlements are found in radically different farming landscapes, some with medieval origins, others coming later when extensive upland commons were enclosed.

Industrial sites and landscapes are examined, including those for quarrying for stone and mining for lead and coal. People have always travelled through the Peak, with many old routeways now abandoned but still visible. Water has been vital and it was carefully managed. The landscape has many surviving prehistoric sites. There are also Roman and medieval remains built by church and state. Similarly, there are polite landscapes created by the wealthy contrasting with conflict landscapes where men trained for war, while others defended their homeland.

The book concludes with a description of the ways individual communities have long cross-cut local differences in landscape character, each using a wide variety of different resources.

Additional Information

  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 272
  • ISBN: 9781848023796


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