School of English

EPNS Lecture 2021

Online (Microsoft Teams)
Saturday 16th October 2021 (16:00-17:30)
Registration URL

The English Place-Names Society Lecture

Field-Names and Agrarian History: reflections from Cumbria

Dr Angus Winchester, Emeritus Professor of History, Lancaster University

Field-names, which are intimately bound up with agrarian history, allude to a wide range of characteristics (field shape; vegetation; land use; soil quality; land ownership, etc.) and, hence, can shed light on the evolution of the rural landscape from the medieval period to modern times. Using examples from the Lake District and surrounding areas, this lecture will explore the relationship between field-names and field systems, including open fields, seigniorial enclosures and areas of medieval colonisation, as well as discussing the lost minor names of the unenclosed fellsides, which formed an integral part of the upland farming system.

Angus Winchester is Emeritus Professor of History at Lancaster University.  He has long been fascinated by minor place-names as windows into the history of upland landscapes.  Among his publications using field-names and other minor place-names are The Harvest of the Hills: rural life in northern England and the Scottish Borders, 1400-1700 (Edinburgh University Press, 2000); Lake District Field-Names; a guide for local historians (Lancaster University Regional Heritage Centre, 2017); and The Language of the Landscape: a journey into Lake District history (Handstand Press, 2019).

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