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date: 17 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article describes the two road groups of rural settlements — those which might be described as ‘high-status’, which in historical terms means those belonging to thegns and their social superiors, and those of the peasants, which would include the geneat and others whose servile work duties. It also addresses the impermanent settlements associated with animal herding. It starts by considering the burh or enclosure which surrounded many high-status settlements. It has proved very difficult to understand the plan and use of space in individual peasant farms and their relationship to the wider landscape. The difference between high-status and peasant settlements is not just one of scale or number of buildings, but runs through almost every aspect of the settlements. The relations of lords to their peasants may have been quite different in Cornwall where the communal control of resources seems to have been much stronger.

Keywords: rural settlements, high-status settlement, peasant settlement, impermanent settlements, animal herding, peasant farms, Cornwall

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