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This is a reprint of the first edition, published in 1998 by Edinburgh University Press. Now with an updated preface and colour illustrations throughout, this beautiful book tells the story of Swaledale, a well-loved part of the North Yorkshire Pennines. It shows how the perspectives of archaeology, history and ecology can be linked to transform our understanding of the landscape.
Starting from the contemporary framework of the landscape with its stone walls, field barns and hay meadows - characteristic features which seem to reflect a way of life which has been here since time immemorial - the author shows that this classic Pennine landscape holds clues to the very different character of the landscapes of the past. Behind the small family farm of recent centuries lies the more communal way of life of the medieval townships, the landscape of the Norse settlers, the Dark Age kingdom of Swar, and the fields and farms of the Iron Age and the Roman period.
Illustrated with line drawings and photographs, this illuminating and extremely readable book reveals Swaledale's history and archaeology, layer by layer. Earthworks, placename patterns, ancient walls and cairns on the moors, pollard trees, old maps, footpaths, humps and bumps in the fields; all emerge with a story to tell.