School of History, Classics and Archaeology


Landscape and Local Character (2004-2007)

The historic character of rural Devon was explored in this project.

 From 2001-2007 Sam Turner undertook the Devon HLC project at Devon County Council (2001-4) and subsequently at Newcastle University (2004-7), with funding from English Heritage.

In 2007 the results were published as Ancient Country: the Historic Character of Rural Devon, alongside an interactive website. The book demonstrated that the physical features comprising the cultural landscape were created by historic processes in the medieval and early modern eras.

The project analysed how local landscape character emerged as a result of distinctive shared social and economic practices in the past. It helped develop a better understanding of the varying origins (and differing subsequent histories) of different parts of the Devon landscape and is a valuable tool for managing the region’s landscape (see e.g. Young and Turner 2007).