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Landscapes of the Norman Conquest (Hardback)

Colour Books Military P&S History > Archaeology P&S History > By Century > 11th Century P&S History > By Century > 12th Century P&S History > Medieval World > Medieval History P&S History > Social History Photographic Books

By Trevor Rowley
Imprint: Pen & Sword Archaeology
Pages: 368
Illustrations: 100 colour & mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781526724281
Published: 30th September 2022

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For a long time, the Norman Conquest has been viewed as a turning point in English history; an event which transformed English identity, sovereignty, kingship, and culture. The years between 1066 and 1086 saw the largest transfer of property ever seen in English History, comparable in scale, if not greater, than the revolutions in France in 1789 and Russia in 1917. This transfer and the means to achieve it had a profound effect upon the English and Welsh landscape, an impact that is clearly visible almost 1,000 years afterwards.

Although there have been numerous books examining different aspects of the British landscape, this is the first to look specifically at the way in which the Normans shaped our towns and countryside. The castles, abbeys, churches and cathedrals built in the new Norman Romanesque style after 1066 represent the most obvious legacy of what was effectively a colonial take-over of England. Such phenomena furnished a broader landscape that was fashioned to intimidate and demonstrate the Norman dominance of towns and villages.

The devastation that followed the Conquest, characterised by the ‘Harrying of the North’, had a long-term impact in the form of new planned settlements and agriculture. The imposition of Forest Laws, restricting hunting to the Norman king and the establishment of a military landscape in areas such as the Welsh Marches, had a similar impact on the countryside.

I found this book to be a really good read and very informative, I will definitely be re-reading this one and can only recommend this book to everyone.

Read the Full Review Here

The History Fella

It goes without saying that one of the strengths of the book is its use of a wide range of primary sources, including contemporary chronicles and archaeology, to paint a detailed picture of the Normans' impact on the English landscape. Rowley also does an excellent job of situating the conquest within the broader context of medieval Europe, making connections to developments in other countries and regions. The book is also well-written and accessible to a general audience. Rowley's writing is clear and concise, making the complex subject matter easy to understand. He also includes helpful maps and illustrations throughout the book, which enhance the reader's understanding of the material.

Overall, "Landscapes of the Norman Conquest" is an excellent choice for anyone interested in the history of the Norman invasion and its lasting impact on England. Particular attention to this book should be given by those looking to study medieval history or landscape history at university as I foresee this becoming a staple in the secondary reading of many curricula. Nevertheless, it is a well-researched, well-written, and engaging book that provides a comprehensive understanding of the event and its effects. I would highly recommend it.

Luke Daly - Daly Medieval Podcast

As Featured on Dr Alexander Clarke Does Naval History Live Youtube (Bruships 89 - 1:54:32)

Dr Alexander Clarke

About Trevor Rowley

Trevor Rowley is a historian and archaeologist who has written many books on different aspects of the English landscape and of the Normans. He has spent a career lifetime working in extra-mural university education dedicated to making history accessible to as wide an audience as possible. He continues to travel and lecture in Europe and America to spread the word.

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