English Industrial Landscapes – Divergence, Convergence and Perceptions of Identity


This chapter examines the way in which industrial landscapes have been perceived throughout the post-medieval period, and explores the effect on current research and conservation of prevailing attitudes to ‘landscape archaeology’ and ‘industrial archaeology’. Using a variety of examples, it is argued that industrial landscapes should be seen as neither urban nor rural but as entirely separate entities incorporating elements of both. Existing ways of looking at rural or urban landscapes are therefore inadequate for the technological, social and cultural complexities represented by industrial landscapes. One key theme that can be drawn out from the study of industrial landscapes is that of identity, and particular emphasis is given to investigating the ways in which industrial landscapes have given rise to specifically English identities.

England is the birthplace of industrialisation. Almost all English landscapes can be said to be industrial landscapes, in that they have been shaped by the forces of industrialisation. Sometimes these forces have been very direct and are highly visible: as in the declining industrial conurbations of the West Midlands, or the former textile towns of West Yorkshire and Lancashire. Elsewhere, temporally more distant industrial activity has been softened by later land use: the gentle undulations of Derbyshire lead mining, the heavily wooded Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire, or the almost suburban former ironworking landscapes of Surrey. Even in the apparent rural idyll of the post-medieval country estate it is possible to find steam-powered corn-mills and pump houses and electrical power stations. Indeed, the quintessential English farming landscape, with its quilt-like pattern of small fields and woodland, is a resource that was harnessed in a systematic way to provide food and other materials for the growth of English industrialisation in the 18th and 19th centuries. Three main issues can be examined in relation to the industrial landscapes of England. Firstly, notwithstanding the fact that almost all industrial landscapes owe their underlying structure to topographical and geological factors, it is also the case that the flesh on these natural bones is the result of human agency. The extent and impact of this human agency is often overlooked, particularly, as Marilyn Palmer has recently reminded us, in rural and upland landscapes.1 Secondly, our understanding of what makes an industrial landscape, and how we value those landscapes, has changed remarkably over the five centuries or so



of large-scale industrialisation in this country. Again this has had an effect on how such landscapes have been (and continue to be) designed and managed. Finally, and emerging from both of the previous concerns, there is the question of our existing relationships with industrial landscapes.

The broad church of global historical archaeology has emerged from a number of different disciplines and endeavours over the years. These are adequately chronicled elsewhere in this volume (see especially the chapters by Charles Orser, Paul Courtney, David Cranstone and Shane Gould). Within this broad church sit a number of smaller congregations who have grappled with industrial landscapes. However, the two most appropriate sub-disciplines within which the archaeological study of such landscapes might come together – landscape archaeology and industrial archaeology – have found each other somewhat on the margins of their own spheres of interest. Consequently, industrial landscapes have rather fallen into the no-man’s land between the two. Industrial archaeology was formerly ‘constrained by its origins’, developing selective site-specific studies at the expense of broader settings.2 In fact this approach was criticised early in the discipline’s development by those who preferred to consider industrial sites ‘in the context of the landscape which they produced’.3 Nevertheless, a ‘landscape archaeology’ of industrialisation did not begin to emerge until the 1980s.4 This was arguably less the consequence of industrial archaeologists dealing with landscape, as with landscape archaeologists investigating industrial remains. Yet, as Mark Bowden has acknowledged, the use of analytical landscape survey in the investigation of industrial landscapes ‘is a relatively recent phenomenon’, and much of this work is confined to rural and upland situations.5 Landscape archaeology has been equally constrained by its early development. The powerful legacy of W.G. Hoskins is problematic for the study of industrial landscapes. Despite devoting almost one-third of the page count of The Making of the English Landscape to industrial, urban or modern landscapes, Hoskins’s disapproval makes itself felt on virtually every one of those pages. In the course of less than a hundred words on page 171 (for example), St Helens is described as ‘the most appalling town of all’, copper working had resulted in Anglesey ‘being poisoned, every green thing blighted, and every stream fouled’ and ‘in the Potteries and the Black Country especially, the landscape of Hell was foreshadowed’.6 Efforts have also been made by economic historians, social historians, environmental historians, historical geographers and buildings archaeologists to describe and understand the processes that shaped English industrial landscapes. Of these, few have tried to develop an overall archaeological synthesis of the multiplicity of changes to the English landscape that took place during the process of industrialisation. The earliest, and one of the most popularly successful, was Barrie Trinder’s The Making of the Industrial Landscape (1982). This, by the author’s own admission, was an ‘historical’ study rather than an archaeological one.7 The first distinctively archaeological approach was produced twelve years later by Marilyn Palmer and Peter Neaverson; their Industry in the Landscape 1700–1900 set out a ‘sixpoint plan’ for analysing industrial landscapes.8 Both of these studies explored the industrial



archaeology of Britain as a whole during the later post-medieval period. Significant studies with a more localised focus in England have included Clark and Alfrey’s analysis of the Ironbridge Gorge, and, more recently, Mike Nevell’s more explicitly theoretically informed study of ‘the archaeology of the industrial revolution in the north-west of England’.9 It is evident that we should not be looking at industrial landscapes solely through filters given to us by the schools of ‘landscape’ or ‘industrial’ archaeology. Rather, we should be seeking to explore the motivations of those who created those industrial landscapes and used them to express their identity. As David Gwyn has remarked, industrial landscapes are reflections of social and economic identities – they are a ‘discursive space … in which cultural and ideological priorities are expressed’.10

For most urban-dwelling English people since the industrial revolution11 the rural countryside has been a symbol of primitive freedom. The most seductive scenes are places where, in D.H. Lawrence’s memorable phrase, ‘the spirit of aboriginal England still lingers’.12 As a consequence, the word ‘landscape’ is usually taken to be synonymous with the word ‘countryside’. In this view, the countryside is a place that has evolved organically without reference to the people who live and work there. This rural other is contrasted with the more familiar urban – it is the English equivalent of the North American wilderness (an equally imagined construct) that provided, as Simon Schama has said, ‘the antidote for the poisons of industrial society’.13 Yet that industrial society was not exclusively urban. Indeed, urban places were often specifically non-industrial until the development of steam power. In contrast, analysis of post-medieval urban landscapes has developed along a very different trajectory.14 Perhaps because urban boundaries are more familiar and more clearly demarcated, labelled and numbered, it has been easier to describe and analyse what Amos Rapoport called ‘systems of settings’ within them.15 Industrial processes and activities have taken place in both rural and urban settings; moreover those settings have changed over time – places once rural are now urban and vice versa. For those of us trying to understand industrial landscapes in their various spatial and temporal contexts, this pervasive dichotomy between rural and urban is not helpful.

One of the most curious juxtapositions of rural setting and urban form occurs at Bliss Mill near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire (Fig. 14.1). Here a neo-classical textile mill, essentially a high-Victorian country house with a large chimney, lurks in bucolic rural surroundings. The mill was built in 1872–3 for William Bliss II for the manufacture of fine tweeds and fabrics, and was designed by George Woodhouse. Weaving sheds were added in c. 1910, and the mill remained in use until 1980.16 It would be difficult to find a location closer both physically and mentally to the ideal of the heart of rural England, yet the mill itself is redolent of the dark and satanic urban landscape of Bradford. Interestingly, Bliss Mill is less than 10km away from Steeple Barton, where W.G. Hoskins wrote The Making of the English Landscape. Hoskins described north Oxfordshire as ‘the most satisfying valley scenery in the whole of England’, but could not find room for this remarkable building,



LEFT Figure 14.1 Urban industry in an agricultural landscape? Bliss Mill, Oxfordshire: built in 1872–3 for the manufacture of woollen cloth.

instead only tangentially referring to ‘the tweed of Chipping Norton’ in connection with the decline of small market towns.17 Yet however much the mill might be an unwelcome ‘urban’ intrusion into a ‘rural’ landscape, its existence both now and in the past cannot be ignored. Nor can its impact on the people of Chipping Norton. The dramatic example provided by Bliss Mill is anomalous by the very nature of its intrusiveness, but the example serves to highlight the false dichotomy prevailing between perceptions of rural and urban. This tension of opposition is also present in the notion of a ‘designed landscape’. The term is most frequently adopted for large country estates, although it has also been used to refer to planned urban settlements.18 It is not usually applied to the broad spectrum of industrial landscapes. One end of this spectrum is represented by landscapes of early mining. Locations of the desired minerals were dictated by geology, and in such circumstances there would seem to be little scope for conscious design. However, the rights to mine were closely regulated and controlled, albeit by a bewildering variety of often archaic systems, and mining landscapes developed according to known rules of order, structure and form. These include the Moormaster system prevalent in County Durham, the Cornish Stannary system and the free miners of the Forest of Dean.19 As on the surface of the landscape, so below it – the ‘hidden’ subterranean landscape was also closely demarcated and regulated with what Martin Roe has termed ‘hidden boundaries’.20 As well as landscape modifications associated with mining itself, there were also settlements of the miners and their families. These often took the form of ‘squatter’ settlements, usually characterised as ‘amorphous … [with] little evidence of planning’.21 However, their location, character and extent resulted from deliberate design decisions made (or not made) by the free miners who built them and by the manorial landholders on



whose land they squatted. As William Court pointed out over seventy years ago, ‘Industrial capitalism did not grow … upon the ruins of feudalism, but in the interstices of the older society.’22 Some of the most remarkable of these landscapes developed on the edges of ordered space in the West Midlands. In north Staffordshire the population of a marginal agricultural landscape enjoyed relative economic freedom; ‘shielded by seigneurial negligence from the pressures of improving landlords’, they were free to develop the clay and coal beneath their feet in more profitable ways.23 As a result, different patterns of land ownership resulted in different landscape patterns emerging in the Potteries’ six towns.24

Meanwhile at other end of Staffordshire, and extending into Warwickshire and Worcestershire, the same geology created the Black Country. Here the so-called ‘Ten Yard Seam’ of the South Staffordshire Coalfield lay very close to the surface and frequently outcropped.25 Here again the combination of geology and land ownership enabled the post-medieval development of industrial landscapes. Existing medieval or earlier urban centres did not shape the patterns of later development. At Wednesbury, for example, fractured manorial and monastic control encouraged the development of coal and iron mining by the early 14th century, the establishment of a significant pottery industry during the 15th century,
Figure 14.2 Development in the interstices of the medieval landscape? Wednesbury Forge, Staffordshire. This view shows some of the 18th- and 19th-century features, including the base of a water-power sluices (left), the base of a windmill (centre), one of six wheelpits (bottom right) with later turbine, and part of a steam engine base (centre right) (photo: Graham Eyre-Morgan)



and the development of substantial ironworking enterprises from the 16th century.26 All of these activities took place away from the original nucleus of settlement. The most significant industrial complex was Wednesbury Forge. In use for from the 16th to the 21st century, this forge produced guns and tools for export around the world – it was also a significant locale in the mindset of local people through which shared identities were constructed.27 The site represents many of the complexities inherent in extra-urban industrial landscapes. An early post-medieval rural scene: a water-powered site, built with timbers hewn from the intersticial Cannock Chase; the wheelpits and tailraces cut through the coal seams that were being exploited in adjacent fields (Fig. 14.2). Yet over time the growth of the forge encouraged the development of a new urban landscape on the fringes of the old one. By the end of the 19th century there were rows of workers’ housing, streets, a church, a school and – that most important piece of infrastructure for urban identity – a football pitch. The development of Wednesbury was echoed in other parts of the Black Country, where, despite appearances of homogeneity to the outsider, each locale maintained its own industrial and cultural identities well into the 20th century.28 Comparable developments can be traced elsewhere. Mike Nevell and colleagues have shown how the transition from ‘farmer to factory owner’ in the Manchester region was a multi-layered process that took place over several generations.29 The process of industrialisation affected rural and urban places in different ways at different times; manufacture took place both in towns and farms, and the whole was interlinked by a complex system of networks of social and economic exchange.30 Such landscapes were only embryonic industrial communities from our own Whiggish perspective of progressive history. As Barrie Trinder has reminded us, at the time they were places where people – however they made their living – ‘lived lives closely shaped by the seasons and the elements’. 31 Coal miners in Gloucestershire, metal workers in Worcestershire and cloth weavers in Lancashire were also subsistence farmers. Such patterns of life continued well into the 20th century (see, for example, Eleanor Casella and Richard Newman, this volume). This ambiguity about place at the other end of the spectrum is clearly illustrated in the development of Sheffield. This was a town (by any measure an urban place) famous for its metalwork manufactures, although most of that manufacture took place in semi-rural locations, on the various water-powered sites on the streams that flowed into the Sheffield basin.32 As in the Black Country, villages in the Sheffield hinterland developed particular specialisms, which in turn fostered social and cultural identities. The subsequent urbanisation of Sheffield took place in locales that were defined by earlier rural experience. The earliest expansion occurred in the ‘Crofts’, to the west of the medieval town. Here, planned urban development took place with reference to an earlier rural landscape. The ‘Crofts’ themselves were the enclosed relics of former open strip fields, a liminal – indeed intersticial – place, outside the town boundary and outwith the control of manor, church and embryonic craft gild. The street layout preserved the memory of the former rural landscape both in its form and in the naming of locales within it. The ‘Crofts’ was the scene of much early industrial innovation; later grid-plan developments attempted to overcome the perceived moral and physical degeneracy that was regarded as pervading earlier ‘organic’ landscapes such as the ‘Crofts’, but ultimately failed to do so.33



LEFT Figure 14.3 An urban industrial landscape? The Grand Union Canal at Great Barr Street, Birmingham. This is a complex designed landscape of interlinked systems with global connections. In this view, among other features: Fyffes’ banana warehouse (1890); the Gun Barrel Proof House for official testing of guns prior to export (1813); and the former terminus of Curzon Street Railway Station (1839).


The process of industrialisation also created distinctively new landscapes that are simultaneously rural and urban. For linear networks such as canals, railways and roads it is ‘not always possible to determine where a site begins or ends’,34 and so a different archaeological approach needs to be taken.35 In England, the investigation of linear networks has always been one of the strengths of industrial archaeology. Such networks transcend the distinction between rural and urban landscapes; they also provide a physical and conceptual link between industrial production and consumption (Fig.14.3). A canal, for instance, had the power to turn somewhere like Paddington ‘from a quiet rural village … into the animated terminus of an efficient transport system’.36 More recent networks of electricity supply and mobile telephone communications have continued this trend, blurring the distinction between rural and urban. These systems connected places within and between such locales as the Black Country, Lancashire, South Yorkshire and elsewhere, themselves part-urban and part-rural landscapes that transcended older-established boundaries of land ownership and administration.

For much of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, the gently rolling snowball of industrialisation was generally perceived as a force of progress and enlightenment. The beginning of the postmedieval period saw the rise in Humanism and concomitant philosophical developments that led ultimately to the Enlightenment. The revival of Aristotelian thought during the later middle ages had encouraged the development of empirical observation and reasoned deduction. Nature should be observed, and the works of man should imitate nature.



Although the early empiricism of thinkers such as Francis Bacon owed much to the revival of Aristotle, later developments were strongly influenced by Platonic thought, and in particular Plato’s Theory of Forms – in which the myriad observable natural particular forms could be structured into a hierarchy of universal forms. The work of early thinkers such as Bacon, Galileo and Descartes paved the way for later development by scientific pioneers such as Boyle, Hooke and Newton. The work of these early scientists – what would now be called ‘pure science’ – informed improvements in real-world technologies, particularly metallurgy – in other words, ‘applied science’. This enabled what David Cranstone (this volume) has elegantly termed a ‘chemical industrial revolution’ during the 17th and 18th centuries. This changing understanding of the world took place amid the not unrelated social and cultural upheaval of the Reformation. In England, the most significant material expression of the Reformation was the dissolution of the monasteries. The Ironbridge Gorge provides a typical example of the positive effect which the process of dissolution had on the development of industrialisation. Here, part of the estates of the Priory of Much Wenlock – already containing coal mines and ironworks – were acquired by Sir Robert Brooke.37 The two succeeding generations (Sir John Brooke and Sir Basil Brooke) developed a substantial coal, iron and steelmaking enterprise from the 1570s through to the Civil War.38 The Brookes used their industrial wealth to develop the former monastic grange at nearby Madeley into a substantial Elizabethan country house, emphasising their legitimacy as creators and controllers of the surrounding landscape (Fig. 14.4). Their enthusiasm for the aesthetics of this landscape was demonstrated to their peers by the construction of the Lodge in c. 1600. Located above the confluence of Coalbrookdale with the Severn Gorge, the Lodge was the perfect spot to view coal mining, limestone quarrying, the smoke and noise of the furnaces, and the broad sweep of the River Severn carrying manufactured
LEFT Figure 14.4 Madeley Court, Shropshire. The late-16th-century gatehouse built by the Brooke family with profits from their mines and ironworks in Coalbrookdale.



goods away to profitable markets. At precisely this moment, the actual word and concept of ‘landscape’ (or ‘landskip’) was being introduced into the English language from the Dutch ‘landschap’.39 The marriage of art, science and technology was perpetuated through the 18th century. At Coalbrookdale, the Brooke ironworking complex was further developed by the Darby family, with the substantial involvement of their fellow Quaker capitalists, the Goldneys. The focus of their operations was iron founding. Abraham Darby I had developed a technique for coke smelting and sand casting through a combination of empirical observations and experimentation.40 The resulting Coalbrookdale Company specialised in lightweight precision castings, which in turn enabled the development of steam technology. Like their Catholic forebears the Brookes, various Quaker families that ran Coalbrookdale were to some extent outside the establishment. And, like the Brookes, they used the landscape as a mechanism for displaying the commercial and aesthetic productivity of their industrial enterprises. This landscape was illustrated in 1758 by the deeply fashionable landscape engraver Francois Vivares (Fig. 14.5). The Coalbrookdale engravings depict the furnaces and chimneys of the ironworks, the burning of coke, the smoke and fumes, and even the export of the finished products – yet they also show an ornamental tower on the hill above, dominating a landscape of substantial gentry houses, with associated polite landscape features such as a geometric walled garden and an avenue.
Figure 14.5 A picturesque landscape of industry. One of two engravings of Coalbrookdale made by Francois Vivares in 1758 (reproduced with the permission of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust).



This designed landscape tapped into the prevailing enthusiasm for an industrial picturesque, part of a broader movement that emphasised antiquity, wilderness and nature in counterpoint to the modern sensibilities of those who passed through such landscapes. Visitors were already coming to admire the sublimity of the scene, marvelling at the ‘awful and magnificent’ prospect of industry.41 Coalbrookdale was an essential stop on the late 18th-century ‘Grand Tour’ of the English landscape. Indeed, English industrial landscapes generally formed an important part of many itineraries. Astonishingly there was also, in the late 18th century, a fashion for mine tourism, in which curious and wealthy persons (including men of the church) were lowered in buckets, dragged in wagons and ferried in boats deep into the earth in order to marvel at the sublime subterranean scenery.42 Archaeological evidence suggests that some of elements of the Coalbrookdale water power system were modified to establish a picturesque effect akin to the cascades of large country houses.43 For Coalbrookdale the culmination of this puritan pursuit of the picturesque was an extraordinary project to oust Charon himself from this landscape with the products of Vulcan. The Iron Bridge across the river Severn was completed in 1779 and opened three years later; it became an instant tourist attraction. Yet the close interconnections between art and science were already beginning to unravel. The construction of the Iron Bridge marked a shift in perception of industrial landscape. The avant-garde lesbian poet Anna Seward was among the first to look critically at the environmental impact of industry on the landscape. Seward was a friend of the Darwin family and of the Wedgwoods, and so occupied the fringes of the social world occupied by Boulton, Watt and other Lunar Society luminaries.44 She was thus uniquely laced to offer an insightful analysis of the processes of industrialisation. In her poem of c. 1785 entitled Colebrookdale she equated the industrial development of the eponymous ironworks with sexual violation of the landscape: … thou venal Genius of these outraged groves, / And thy apostate head with thy soil’d wings / Veil! – who hast thus thy beauteous charge resign’d / To inhabitants ill-suited; hast allow’d / Their rattling forges, and their hammer’s din, / And hoarse, rude throats, to fright the gentle train, / Dryads, and fair hair’d Naiedes; – the song, / Once loud and sweet, of the wild woodland choir / To silence; – disenchant the poet’s spell, / And to a gloomy Erebus transform / The destined rival of Tempean vales.45 Seward is no Wordsworth, but her imagery is powerful. While few would necessarily go as far as Sharon Setzer has done in arguing for Seward’s ‘nascent ecofeminist consciousness’, she was certainly beginning to challenge masculine narratives of progressive history, and to question the rationale of industrialisation.46

The ways in which perceptions of industrial landscapes altered in the 19th century has profoundly affected the manner in which they are treated today. Current approaches to industrial landscapes remain ambivalent. Many of the traditions of landscape studies stem from the antipathy felt in the mid-20th century to the bewildering changes being wrought by the motor car, mass bombing and urban redevelopment. The effect of this thinking



was to develop the notion of conservation, both of the so-called natural environment and of what we would now call the historic environment. David Matless has argued that the development of a conservation ethos in the early 20th century was not, in fact, a backwardlooking expression of despair; rather it was part of a forward-looking approach that saw planning – both urban and rural – as the cornerstone for the development of a new English society.47 Such a society required demarcation between different attributes – this was not an egalitarian project but one in which everyone (and everything) knew its place. Industrial activity, therefore, was predominantly urban. However, as Matthew Johnson has more recently elaborated, such voices were as much a continuation of two centuries of Sewardlike Romantic angst as they were a product of mid-20th-century hand-wringing over ‘that old society falling into ruin’.48 This neo-Romantic perception still informs much conservation and management policy and strategy at national and local level. Influence is brought to bear on decisionmaking in these areas from powerful lobby groups such as the National Trust (founded in 1895) and the Council for the Protection of Rural England (founded in 1926). This thinking has subsequently been enshrined in legislation, from the Town and Country Planning Act (1947) onwards. Of course, the notion of a pre-industrial rural idyll as the natural state of English landscape is clearly nonsense – even the most remote upland has had vegetation controlled by grazing, and has usually been the scene of mining and other industrial activities. Yet industrial activities in the landscape are acknowledged only if well and truly relict. Here, the gradual decay of buildings, the smoothing over of spoil heaps and the silting up of pools, conspire to provide an ‘antiquarian aesthetic’49 that conforms to notions of the modern picturesque and obscures the original motivations behind human interactions with the landscape. Industrial landscapes are almost uniquely caught between the polarised forces of archaeology and conservation. This is largely related to the origins of the discipline of industrial archaeology, which had as its primary focus the repair and restoration of historic buildings and machinery. The pioneers of industrial archaeology in the 1950s and 1960s were not doing ‘archaeology’, rather they were engaged in machine- and site-specific conservation. Today – as the papers in this volume so eloquently make clear – the study of the industrial past is firmly part of mainstream archaeology. More work on sites and landscapes associated with industrialisation is being done every year in the real world of commercial archaeology, by people who will record Bronze Age enclosures one week with the same enthusiasm as they will record a 16th-century watermill or 20th-century domestic floor surfaces the following week. Nevertheless, conservation of industrial sites proceeds, and often, in this author’s experience, without due regard for archaeological findings. The development of Ironbridge is a case in point. Before the 1990s a great many buildings were demolished, and archaeology destroyed by the insertion of structures intended to protect certain parts of the historic environment. Today, the largely wooded landscape is valued without irony as a ‘natural resource’ by middle-class property owners who have gentrified the former industrial settlement and imposed their own romantic view on the scene. In short, industrial landscapes appear to be more highly valued when they are firmly post-industrial. They are no longer (to paraphrase Anna Seward) the thrusting playboys



of youth, despoiling the forest glades with their contaminated ejaculations; instead they become tired old men reminiscing about the good old days: sagging and wilting, and objects of affection. We put some of them in care and create heritage landscapes around them instead. The result of this rose-tinted approach to landscape has meant that the postmedieval historic environment has actually lost out – both to the heritage of earlier periods and to other aspects of the environment. In mitigating the impact of new development and other landscape changes today, the so-called natural environment (which does not actually exist and is infinitely renewable) is accorded a much higher priority than the historic environment (which clearly does exist, and is finite and non-renewable). Ironically, it is now easier to prevent destruction of the historic environment by using the natural environment as a shield than it is by arguing for any intrinsic historic environment value of such features.

English industrial landscapes appear to have been ill-served by the divergent forces that have attempted to create, study, conserve and develop them. Yet the process of post-medieval industrialisation is one of the most important elements in the make-up of modern English society. In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, industrialisation was at the heart of the great changes that took place as a result of the Reformation. Industrialisation provided the instruments by which the (Copernican) universe could be measured, it provided the means for transmitting the knowledge of those measurements throughout Europe, and it provided the opportunity for those outside the traditional spheres of advancement to create wealth and influence for themselves. And, at the same time as the new industrialists such as the Brookes of Coalbrookale were creating a new industrial ideal place, so Raleigh, Frobisher, Grenville, Drake, Somers and others were discovering an entirely different sort of new place somewhere else. The discovery and exploitation of the New World provided a counterpoint to the Old World, which enabled, for the first time, the creation of a conscious English identity. This was a curious, inquisitive and increasingly capitalist identity; an identity focused on industrial production and global exportation. Industrial landscapes, therefore, formed an important part of the iconography of this new English identity. By the end of the 18th century, these English industrial landscapes were famous throughout Europe and North America, and were emulated around the world. However, it would be wrong to pursue a jingoistic agenda of a united English identity. The creation of industrial landscapes did not result from a universally agreed agenda; moreover many of the individuals harnessed in the manufacture of and within these places were ‘not from round here’ – being imported from other parts of the country or indeed from overseas. Furthermore, the creation of many of these industrial landscapes would have been impossible without certain contributions from elsewhere – the supply of cotton to Lancashire, sugar to Bristol and tobacco to London, for example. Thus a complex series of industrial landscapes are present beneath the manicured lawns of industrial heritage. In post-industrial England we can choose which aspects of this multifaceted past we decide to display; but elsewhere in the world, 18th-century England is very much alive. The English experience of industrialisation is being replicated in present-day China – massive use of



natural resources, environmental degradation, poor working and living conditions, and the export of cheap consumer goods to the wider world. Unfortunately the English industrial landscape is often either pigeonholed or overlooked entirely. As the chapters in this volume by David Gwyn, David Cranstone, Richard Newman and Chris Dalglish demonstrate, industrial landscapes contain so much more than relic industrial remains. They also provide evidence for the complex processes of creating and displaying identities. Such landscapes are important for the future – however much of a certain type of English identity is to do with rejection of that industrial past. Clearly we have failed to argue a convincing case for the importance of industrial landscapes in helping to shape English identities. To ignore their significance in this regard is to deny the possibilities which a global historical archaeology can offer for changing the world around us. The issues so central to the study of English industrial landscapes – pollution, religious conflict, environmental degradation, population movement, territorial aggression, capitalism and globalisation – are most urgently relevant to the world today. Archaeologists of industrial landscapes – neither ‘industrial’ nor ‘landscape’ archaeologists but a hybrid with a foot in both camps – need to explicitly engage with ongoing theoretical debates in global historical archaeology, and move beyond that to a broader engagement with the modern world. Future approaches should develop what David Cranstone has called the archaeology of ‘psychology and mindset’,50 analysis of which can take place on many different social, temporal and spatial levels. In modern England we need to do much more than hark back to a non-existent pre-industrial state; rather we need to discover the stories of industrialisation, and celebrate the process that originated in England and ultimately changed the world.

The author is grateful to the conference organisers and editors for the opportunity to contribute to both the conference and the published volume. A particular debt is owed to Marilyn Palmer for her discussion of an early draft of this chapter and suggestions which have improved the final version. Many thanks are also due to various people for their input over many years to a number of projects, ideas and discussions that have, in one way or another, formed the corpus of thinking on which this chapter is based. These include: Mary Beaudry, Mark Bowden, Kate Clark, David Cranstone, David Crossley, Brian Dix, Emma Dwyer, Graham Eyre-Morgan, Jon Finch, Kate Giles, David Gwyn, Mark Horton, Edward Impey, William Mitchell, John Powell, Simon Roper, Paul Stamper, James Symonds, Barrie Trinder, Anna Wallis, Sophie Watson and Tom Williamson. Inaccuracies of fact, interpretation and language are of course entirely the fault of the author, for which indulgence from the reader is sought. Particular thanks must go to Kate Page-Smith, whose natural talent for landscape archaeology is inspirational, and whose love and support has been invaluable.



1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.


8. 9. 10. 11.

12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

Palmer 2007, 3. Palmer & Neaverson 1998, 16. Osborne 1976, 41; Palmer & Neaverson 1987, 459– 60. Palmer 1990, 277–9. Bowden 1999, 139. Hoskins 1955, 171. In the heat of the moment Hoskins appears to have overlooked the fact that Anglesey is in Wales and does not therefore constitute part of the English landscape. Trinder 1982, 3. Trinder’s title clearly pays homage to Hoskins, who is also the first person named in Trinder’s acknowledgements (Trinder 1982, 259). Palmer & Neaverson 1994, 15–17. Alfrey & Clark 1993; Nevell (ed.) 2003. Gwyn 2004, 50. The term ‘industrial revolution’ is deployed here in its traditional meaning, essentially: the period from about 1700 to about 1850 in which the entire economic and social landscape was transformed by the use of fossil fuels, resulting in rural depopulation, urban expansion and all the rest. For a sophisticated discussion of the meanings of this term, and ways forward for describing these processes of change in the period, see David Cranstone’s chapter in this volume. Lawrence 1925, 56–7. Schama 1995, 7. See, for example, Mayne & Murray 2001. Rapoport 1990, 16–19. Derrick, Wade & Waters 1985, 9; Binney et al. 1990, 105. Hoskins 1951, 42-43. Mayne & Murray 2001; Belford 2004, 172–3. Blackburn 1994, 71–4; Nicholls 1866, 74–5; Newman 2004, 28; Pennington 1973, 25–40.

20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.

Roe 2007, 12–14. Newman 2004, 29. Court 1938, 74. Baker 1991, 2–3. Baker 1991, 6–8. Greenslade & Jenkins 1967, 68–9. Ede 1962, 26–7,30; Dilworth 1976, 111; Hodder 1992, 96–8. Belford forthcoming. Hooke 2006, 177. Nevell (ed.) 2003. Nevell 2003, 29–42; Redhead 2003, 70–2. Trinder & Cox 1980, 114. Crossley 1989, vii–ix; Crossley 2004, 79–84. Belford 2006, 136. Clark 1987, 263–5. See, for example, Worth 2005, 135–54. Spencer 1961, 21. Baugh 1985, 35–46; Pevsner 1958, 193–4; Randell 1880, 59–60. Belford 2007, 134–7; Belford & Ross 2004, 215–25; Belford & Ross 2007, 105–21. Schama 1995, 10. Ashton 1924, 249–52; Belford & Ross 2007, 108–9; Raistrick 1953, 22–34; Smiles 1863, 82. Morgan 1992, 264. Moir 1964, 91–6. Belford 2007, 145–6. Coffey 2002, 141–64; Uglow 2002. Scott 1810, 319. Setzer 2007, 69. Matless 1998. Johnson 2007, 57. Cossons 2007, 17–18. Cranstone 2004, 317.

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