Streets and Market Places in Towns of Southwest England: Encroachments and Improvements

Author: Scrase, Anthony
Examines the various forces affecting the streets of the towns in Somerset and Gloucestershire. It explains how the system has been either diminished or increased over a thousand year span, criticising the public space/private space dichotomy as a flawed tool which does not accord with reality as represented by the English Common Law. The processes and their interplay are examined chronologically. There are detailed case studies of Bath and Wells. The whole is copiously illustrated by a mixture of old maps or views and modern plans.


“”This is an unusual topic on which few people have offered the results of serious research and the book provides a broad survey of one English region which should be of interest to urban historians, historical geographers, and the general public in the region interested in local history. It is clearly and interestingly written, reasonably well structured, and its is well illustrated with maps, plans and engravings.” – Terry R. Slate

“. . . a useful and engaging study of the way that townscapes were changed by local authorities across a long time span. It does well to draw together documentary and cartographic material for a number of towns in the west of England, and blends this with an interpretation of the changing forms of the towns from the Middle Ages to the present day. This is actually quite an ambitious task, but because the study is focused the material is covered in reasonable depth, especially in the case studies section. . . . a book that will appeal to academics, especially planning historians dealing with the matter of civic improvement.” – Keith Lilley

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
1. Purpose and Scope: Introduction; Purpose and Methods; Concepts
2. Findings: General Picture; The Middle Ages; The Early Modern Period; The 19th and 20th Centuries
3. Case Studies – Bath and Wells
4. Conclusions
Appendices: Towns about 1500; Anglo-Saxon Burhs; Abortive medieval Foundations; towns of Post-medieval origins
Abbreviations, Bibliography, Index