A Legal History of the English Landscape is an engaging account of how the law has played a pivotal role in shaping the English landscape through the ages. Adopting a broadly chronological approach, the book begins with prehistory and continues through Roman and Anglo-Saxon times. It examines the foundations of English land law as laid down by the Normans and developed throughout the Middle Ages. The author explores how landed property became seen as the focus of society by the seventeenth century and how ownership rights were protected to such an extent that they inhibited change. As society evolved, once important laws became obsolete and the author shows how later generations were able to adapt or circumvent them for their own needs. The book describes how Parliament intervened to rearrange the landscape in the Enclosure Movement, authorised the buildings of roads, canals and railways and encouraged the development of industry and towns. The account concludes with a view of the modern law in an era of public access to land, environmental protection and European legislation. By setting land law in the wider context of changes in society, A Legal History of the English Landscape will appeal not just to lawyers and historians, but to the general reader with an interest in the English landscape.
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