Estate Landscapes in Northern Europe

Posted on 23 May 2019

Dr Jonathan Finch has published the book 'Estate Landscapes in Northern Europe' which studies the role of the landed estate as an agent in the shaping of landscapes and societies over the past five centuries.

Estate – or manorial – landscapes were distinctive elements within the historic landscape and created their own character. Marked by larger scale fields associated with the home or demesne farm as well as a higher proportion of woodland and timber trees, these landscapes reflected the scale of the resources available to the landowner and the control they exerted over the local communities. But they also represented the performative aspects of life for the elite, such as their engagement with hunting.

While existing works have tended to emphasize the economic and agricultural aspect of estate landscapes, this volume draws out the social, cultural and political impact of manors and estates on landscapes throughout northern Europe.

The chapters provide insights into a broad range of histories, such as the social worlds of burghers and nobility in the Dutch Republic, or the relationship between the distribution of land and the agitation for electoral reform in nineteenth-century England. In Scandinavia the impact of the reformation and conquest in Norway is balanced against the continuity of ownership in Sweden, where developing the natural resources for industrial enterprise such as ironworks and sawmills brought in new owners.

Find out more information about the book.

Dr Jonathan Finch staff profile.