Chris Taylor

CtaylorVice President

My lifetime interest in settlement history of all periods was developed from the coming together of two separate academic strands. The first was the result of being taught old-fashioned geography as it existed in the 1950s and 1960s with its emphasis on spatial awareness of all aspects of the landscape. I learnt it first from my father whose work took him (and me) all over the agricultural landscapes of the English Midlands in the 1940s and early 1950s and then from a superb geography teacher in the VIth form of a Grammar School in the 1950s. They showed me how settlements and much else were related to each other in terms of location, siting, links, fields, parishes etc.

The second strand was working for RCHME, an organization that at least in the 1960s and 1970s was obsessed with individual monuments that had to be recorded in minute detail.

These strands were gradually combined to create a proper study of landscape in which settlements and their inhabitants were the key. Initially I used the methodology for settlements of all periods, but developed it focussing on medieval settlements because of the interesting combination of the documentation and the clear evidence of change and abandonment. I’ve just gone on since in the same way.