By the same authors

Making Modern England: the ‘New Domesday’ and Estate Landscapes during the Late-Nineteenth Century

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Publication details

Title of host publicationEstate Landscapes in Northern Europe
DateAccepted/In press - 2019
DatePublished (current) - 26 May 2019
PublisherAarhus University Press
Original languageEnglish


The landed estate was the pre-eminent cultural landscape across Britain until at least the 1880s. It was both ubiquitous and socially significant, but its form and character varied over time as did its relative importance within the wider landscape. However, despite numerous local or specific estate studies there has not been a systematic re-interpretation of the national data on estates and landholding. Instead, the data have most often been deployed as an index of social status amongst the elite, rather than a detailed examination of the impact of estates on the landscape. This paper offers the first landscape interpretation of the estate in its national context. At the heart of the estate was the country house or seat, which from the seventeenth century, looked out over gardens and parkland, and beyond the park pale lay the wider estate landscape. The house and grounds have long attracted the attention of scholars from various disciplines, as have the families who owned them since they held the reins of power and wealth into the twentieth century. However, the estate has not attracted the same degree of attention as a form of landscape with its own historical characteristics. One would have known instinctively if one was entering or crossing an estate since ownership was written on the landscape in various ways and through various forms of social performance. Estates had a distinct character created by the manipulation of the landscape on a micro level - such as the colour of the estate livery for carts, waggons and buildings - and on the marco level - such as the control and limitation of housing, the character of farmsteads and the provision of woodland.

    Research areas

  • estate landscapes, England, nineteenth century


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