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From medieval deer park to an enclosed agricultural and developing industrial landscape: the post-medieval evolution of Lilleshall Park, Shropshire

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date09/2013
JournalMidland History
Journal number2
Volume38
Number of pages19
Pages194-212
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Parks have long attracted historians and archaeologists’ attention as discrete features in the historic landscape. Traditionally, the role of parks in the economy of medieval England has been interpreted as being the preserve of deer for the hunting of the aristocracy. Hence literature emphasized their importance as status symbols in the landscape. Recently, their function has been reassessed recognising the wider economic activity of parks with regard to the pasturing of livestock and the valuable wood and timber which they offered. Focusing on a case study of Lilleshall Park, in north east Shropshire, this paper, based on the study of surviving cartographic and documentary evidence, provides an overview of developments in the post-medieval period, exploring the progress of enclosure and conversion of the park into farmland, the place of animal husbandry, the exploitation of deer, and the utilization of wood and timber resources for industrial purposes.