Books : reviews

Stephen Rippon.
Historic Landscape Analysis: deciphering the countryside.
Council for British Archaeology. 2004

The British landscape is remarkably varied in its character. To a considerable extent this results from the different ways that successive generations of human communities have created regionally distinctive patterns of agriculture and industry.

Our ‘historic landscape’ – the patterns of settlement, roads, fields, and other landuses that make up the physical fabric of our present countryside – was described by Hoskins as the ‘richest historical record we possess’.

This handbook introduces some of the techniques that archaeologists, historians, historical geographers and planners can use to unravel the complex history of the countryside. A series of case studies demonstrate practical applications of historic landscape analysis for a broad range of uses and at a variety of national and regional levels.

This well-illustrated and clear guide will be essential reading for anyone trying to understand the origins and development of regional variation in historic landscape character.