Tuesday, 26 January 2016

PhD research paper #3. Further landscape perspectives: experience and perception

From time to time I will post 'bite size' chunks of the material I am preparing for my PhD thesis: works in progress, but content which I feel may be of interest to a wider audience. All will be very much draft versions, not necessarily - probably not - reflecting the final wording that will eventually appear in the Thesis. In-text references are included but a full bibliography is not. This paper is based on a section of the initial literature review and follows on from my research paper #1 and research paper #2

Further landscape perspectives: experience and perception

Literary and artistic representations

‘A humble chapel of David the Archbishop (St David) formerly stood decorated only with moss and ivy … a situation truly calculated for religion and more adapted to canonical discipline than all the monasteries in Britain.’
(Gerald of Wales in Thorpe 1978, 96-7).

In the above description of the location of Llanthony Priory in Monmouthshire Gerald of Wales is not simply reporting the topographical features that he observed, his words are heavy with symbolism. Allegorical descriptions of the landscape and setting of monasteries were common in contemporary writing during the monastic period. For instance, Clarke (2006, 68) has shown how the fenland houses of Glastonbury (Somerset), Ely (Norfolk) and Ramsey (Kent) exploited the symbolic potential of their local watery landscapes (and the practical transformations through drainage and cultivation which they were enacting) in twelfth and thirteenth century texts and pastoral conventions which ‘transform the realities of topography and monastic land management into allegories of spiritual cultivation and triumph’. Later representations of medieval monastic life and landscape in art and literature that go beyond using monasticism as a suitably archaic and esoteric setting for mystery and Gothic intrigue[1] are relatively sparse. One writer who spent much time in monasteries across Europe during the middle twentieth century was Patrick Leigh Fermor. In his vivid and empathetic prose can be found descriptions which evoke the imagined monastic landscape of the Middle Ages. This account of his arrival at Abbeye de la Trappe in Normandy is worth quoting at length as illustration:
‘It (the abbey) dwindled off into farm buildings, and came to an end in the fields where thousands of turnips led their secret lives … Among the furrows an image mouldered on its pedestal; and under a sky of clouded steel, the rooks cawed and wheeled and settled. Across the December landscape, flat and waterlogged with its clumps of drizzling coppice and barren-looking pasture-land, ran a rutted path which disappeared beneath an avenue of elm-trees … Isolated monks, all of them hooded and clogged, at work in the fields, ploughing or chopping wood, dotted this sodden panorama and the report of their falling axes reached the ear long seconds after the visual impact. Others were driving long herds of cattle to graze. Two of them would converse for a few seconds in their extraordinary semaphore, and then ‘Viens, la blanche!’ or, ‘á droite, grosse bête!’ would break the silence as a cow or a laggard cart-horse was urged through a gap in a hedge. Then the stillness fell once again’ (Fermor 1988, 67). 

More generally, the combination of landscape, nature and sense of place with language, music and imagery is one of the most potent and enduring alliances within artistic and literary practice. As Grigson (1984, xiii) has noted, it is artists, folklorists, poets, musicians and writers who are often able to most memorably articulate ‘an immediate record … of observations, of something seen, something sensed, something or other felt and enjoyed, in the country around them’. Here we can see another largely untapped potential confluence with landscape archaeology practice.[2]

Academic analysis of art and literature has tended to view the landscape as inferior and subordinate to the main subject of the work (human activity, buildings, animals and so on). Landscape, as background, organises or frames the subject to give context or definition, but interpretation of its intrinsic significance is often overlooked (Andrews 1999, 5-7); an echo of the aforementioned peripheral position of landscape in the study of monastic sites and their history until relatively recently. In an art history context, for instance, the traditional position presupposes a straightforward relationship between landscape, or a good view, and art, with the painterly image as the prime expression of this.[3] The artistic representation elicits an instinctive human response, which may be culturally influenced but essentially comes from within. A more sophisticated constructionist view has since become dominant, emphasising how we select, edit and interpret what we see. In Andrews (1999, 1-3, 15) formulation, the process of producing an artistic representation of a particular scene is twofold: ‘Land into landscape; landscape into art’, achieving a combining of the actual terrain in view and the pictorial image; in effect ‘the dissolving of the two together’.

A particularly fruitful exemplar of the symbiosis between art and landscape is Romanticism, a new way of looking at the world aesthetically (the gaze or view) and the relationship between nature and humanity which developed in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth century, influenced by, but also reacting against, the scientific rationality of the Enlightenment period (Johnson 2007b, 18-33). A transformation in envisioning that still resonates: as Austin (2013, 4) points out: ‘The monastic ruin is a key graphic, literary and architectural component of that change still strongly influencing our management and visiting of monuments in the contemporary landscape’. A number of notable figures associated with the Romantic Movement produced work in and about places and landscapes in the study area (as explored in Knight 1999; Moore 2007). William Gilpin is often credited with energising the popularity of notions of the picturesque and sublime through the publication of his Observations on the River Wye and Several Parts of South Wales in 1782, after which the Wye valley was firmly established on the domestic Grand Tour circuit for those who were both fashionable and wealthy. Gilpin (2005, 40) describes the landscape setting of Tintern Abbey in classic romantic terms thus: ‘The woods, and glades intermixed; the winding of the river; the variety of the ground; the splendid ruin, contrasted with the objects of nature; and the elegant line formed by the summits of the hills, which include the whole; make altogether a very inchanting (sic) piece of scenery’.

It was on a walking tour in 1793 that William Wordsworth passed through the Wye valley and was inspired to write Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, the final poem in his ground-breaking Lyrical Ballads collection with Coleridge (Daiches and Flower 1979, 119). Wordsworth focus was less on the narrow aesthetic vision of Gilpin and was guided by a more physical and emotional immersion in the landscape, to him the ruined abbey resonated with ‘the still sad music of humanity’ (Hardyment 2012, 76). The ruins of monastic houses featured regularly in the prodigious output of JMW Turner and he painted Llanthony Priory, Tintern Abbey and other topographical sites in the area. Of course, Turner and other landscape painters of the time were not seeking to develop an accurate documentary record of what they saw. Nevertheless, their work provides not only much topographical evidence (see Figure 1) but is also of value to the historian as a nuanced commentary on the tensions between the emerging new world of agri-industrial process and infrastructure and the buildings and land-use of earlier ages (Hamilton 2003, 11).

Figure 1: Llanthony Abbey, Cwmyoy, Monmouthshire by JMW Turner, 1794. The painting shows the surrounding hills higher and more precipitous than in reality, with a similarly romanticised river scene in the foreground. However, also clearly represented is the still now extant curvilinear enclosure on Loxey Tump above the ruins, which may originate as a medieval sheep corral operated by the Priory.
Both Llanthony and Tintern have continued to be the subject of much artistic work, inspired by the combination of romantic monastic ruins, a legacy of spirituality and dramatic landscape setting.[4] The study area as a whole also has a rich heritage of poetry, prose and folklore with a strong sense of place, a repository recording encounters and experiences captured whilst moving through the landscape which can help to bridge the gap between landscape archaeology and cultural theories of identity, memory and perception embodied in the landscape (Dunham 2007, 183).[5] There is also, as Macfarlane (2014, xxviii-xxix) highlights, a more esoteric legacy: ‘Perhaps because of its combination of wildness (high ground) and habitability (rich valleys), the southern English-Welsh borderland is a region that has bred a peculiar number of seers, savants and mystics’.[6] For instance, Alfred Watkins fieldwork in pursuit of his fanciful and discredited ley-lines theory during the 1920s can be seen as, in Matless’ words, ‘… an eccentric mirror-image of field archaeology’ as it was being developed and codified by Crawford and others at the time (1998, 82). An additional relevance is that most of the topographical descriptions and illustrations that appeared in Watkins’ book, The Old Straight Track (1925) are of the south-eastern Welsh Marches. The symbolism and referencing of temporal heritage within the landscape in artistic and literary representation, specifically in relation to the monastic legacy of the study area, would seem a fruitful evidence-base for further investigation. 

An example of an evolving literary conceptualisation of landscape that can also be drawn into this discussion is found in the flowering of what has been, somewhat misleadingly, called the New Nature Writing of the last decade or so (Procter 2014, 78). Perhaps in contradistinction to the long tradition of British natural history and topographical writing which has provided a balm of rural idyll for an increasingly urbanised population, contemporary writing on nature, landscape and place is in many ways coaxial to the cultural geographical responses to landscape discussed later in this section. Iain Sinclair has described natural historian Richard Mabey as ‘the unacknowledged pivot’ between an earlier tradition of environmental and nature writing and both the more experiential ‘new nature’ genre and those described as psycho-geographers (Hardyment 2012, 183; Mabey 2010, 11).[7] All share a rejection of the narrow confines of subject-specific discourse and a recognition of the interplay between human culture and the natural environment,[8] reviving the cadence of earlier generations of British writers such as John Clare, Richard Jefferies, Thomas Hardy and Edward Thomas (Procter 2014, 78).[9]

As this brief and partial synopsis has shown, sense of place is a vital component in a remarkably wide range of artistic and literary work. Topographical knowledge of the places and landscapes that form the subject matter can certainly assist in our understanding of art, music and writing (Daiches and Flower 1979, 7). However, the relationship is reciprocal: an analysis of art and literature inspired by or interpreting place can help our understanding of how these landscapes, and perceptions of them, have evolved over time.

Cultural geography and landscape

A return now to Johnson’s (2007) assertion that well-established empirical techniques and post-modern experiential approaches need not be mutually exclusive when studying historic landscapes. Both, in fact, embody the ancient Greek notion of theoria: to look, to contemplate, to speculate; or, in Walter’s (1988, 19-20) words, ‘a complex but active mode of observation’. The rich potential, largely untapped,[10] to blend cultural geographical discourse on how places are perceived, experienced and remembered with a more conventional landscape archaeology approach, as advocated by Fairclough and Johnson and outlined in my research paper #1 will now be examined (with due regard to the sage warnings from Fleming and others on the need for a bedrock of empirical context and substance when considering landscape perception).

A central concern of the New Geography that developed during the late 1960s and through to the early 1980s was to reframe notions of space, place and landscape through the prism of experiential perspectives, as articulated, for instance, through the concept of phenomenology. This approach viewed the environment as more than just a passive backdrop or external object of the spectator’s gaze; providing a challenge to more traditional ideas of landscape as simply a way of seeing the world or a repository of empirical material data (Creswell 2004, 12-13; Tilley 1994, 10; Wylie 2007, 144). Such a paradigm drew on European philosophy concerned with the nature of existence, in particular the concepts of dwelling, being in the world and embodiment, the intertwining of self and landscape as the basis of experience as espoused by philosophical theorists Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty (Tilley 1994, 13-14; Wylie 2007, 140-151).

More recently Tim Ingold has revived this questioning of the notion of landscape as a way of seeing the world and the Cartesian duality between culture:nature and observer:observed that has traditionally informed cultural geography, anthropology, archaeology and Western philosophical thought as a whole (Ingold 2000, 189; Wylie 2007, 145). His challenge to this order is to build on Heidegger’s ‘dwelling perspective’, binding nature and culture together whilst also recognising the dynamism inherent within landscape processes: ‘It is through being inhabited that the world becomes a meaningful environment’ (Ingold 2000, 173).[11] Thus a ‘human ecodynamic’ approach is constructed, requiring an integrated research methodology (McGlade 1999, 465).

That raw spatial entity becomes landscape through perception and memory has been a central concern of anthropology and cultural geography in recent times (Wylie 2007, 191). Landscapes are increasingly seen as ‘a form of codification of history itself’ and, as such, embody remembrance and invoke the past (Stewart and Stratham 2003, 1); or rather, the physical and perceptual remains of multiple pasts, including those more distant and open to different interpretations (Holtorf and Williams 2006, 237; Shama 1996, 10; Tilley 1994, 11). However, as Holtorf and Williams (2006, 236-7) have identified, landscape archaeology ‘rarely considers how memories (including mythologies, genealogies as well as cultural, community, and personal histories) were inherited, inhabited, invented and imagined through the landscape’. In reality, physical experience of the landscape and local social customs, relations and memory are indivisible. Furthermore, topographical reminders have often been fundamental as a way of spatial remembering and interpreting in times of social and economic change (Walsham 2011, 7; Whyte 2009, 2, 9)There is, therefore, considerable scope to more effectively connect and cross-reference the recording of material traces through archaeological fieldwork with evidence of how landscapes have been remembered and reappropriated by successive generations, through the interpretative layers provided by oral folk memories, antiquarian investigation, Romantic artistic representation, the modern heritage industry and so on (Holtorf and Williams 2006, 238-242) (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: The Stony Way, Tintern, Monmouthshire: A major routeway connecting Tintern Abbey with its outlying granges and manors during the monastic period, now a backwater recreational path but with the remnants of its engineered medieval surface still clearly visible and echoed in the name of the path; its past also remembered through inclusion in the Cistercian Way long distance walking route (Author).

A phenomenological approach to landscape, based on experience, memory and perception has manifested itself widely across the humanities and artistic practice, demonstrating its practical utilisation as a distinctive form of landscape study that can supplement other approaches (Wylie 2013, 57, 61).[12] In an archaeological context, phenomenology has been particularly pioneered in prehistoric studies (see, for instance, Bradley 2000; Tilley 1994, 2004, 2010), where a coalescing of anthropology, archaeology and performance practice has emerged (Wylie 2007, 169).[13] This can be seen as part of a broader exploration of the social and political dimension of landscape now firmly established in the archaeology of prehistory and its management as a heritage resource (McGlade 1999, 459). For instance, as illustrated by Darvill’s (1999, 116) advocacy of a ‘space-time-action model’ in which the analysis of the physical distribution of sites and features is a starting point for investigating social action and experience across the landscape rather than an end in itself.

As most comprehensively practiced and explained by Christopher Tilley (2004, 219), the phenomenology of prehistoric landscapes is characterised by a tactile and field-oriented approach, foregrounded by direct in situ encounters that go beyond the standard interactions with artefacts, sites and landscapes of drawing plans, photography, mapping and excavation: activities that disembody the evidence from its landscape context through conversion into text and imagery, producing what Thrift has described as ‘dead geographies’ (Wylie 2007, 171). The aim is to reclaim landscape as a holistic term embracing body, place, perception and the relationship between people and place, to identify an ‘intelligent landscape’ in which the topography and physiography of land and thought are distinct but linked (Tilley 1994, 14; 2004, 25). An approach Ingold (2005, 122) has described as ‘a manifesto for a genuinely outdoor archaeology’, a response to the paradox that much of the writing up, analysis and theorising of archaeological fieldwork takes place indoors i.e. away from the experience of being in and inhabiting the landscape under scrutiny, through sight, sound and other senses and feelings.

Criticisms of the phenomenological approach to landscape

Such approaches have not been without their critics and sceptics, indeed phenomenology in particular has been viewed with suspicion by many in the academic disciplines in which it has been practiced (Wylie 2007, 180). There has been a perception that it amounts to little more than an ambiguous abstract theory, removed from practical experience, lacking a clear and valid methodology[14] and dislocated from environmental, socio-economic, historical, and indeed wider landscape, contexts (McGlade 1999, 461; Wylie 2007, 139-140, 180-1). Such claims are strongly refuted by its advocates who counter that everyday experience and field-based practice are central tenants of the approach. In Tilley’s (1994, 11) words it requires ‘a continuous dialectic between ideas and empirical data’. In relation to its archaeological application, Fleming (2007, 89) has questioned how well the fieldwork methodology of the phenomenological approach has been established, in contrast to the more clearly formulated and tested techniques of modern landscape archaeology. More specifically, the veracity of claims made about the siting of, for example, certain Neolithic monuments following phenomenological research has been queried (Barrett and Ko 2009, 275).

More fundamentally, the charge has been levelled that there is an underpinning romanticising of rural, pre-modern and non-Western ways of experiencing landscape, with a simplistic and nostalgic view of the ‘more authentic’ engagement of the past in comparison to modern, detached, objective interaction (Wylie 2007, 181-2). In reference to the medieval period in particular, Bull (2005) has outlined the many pitfalls of applying a modern value system or even a mock medieval interpretation to how people thought and acted during the Middle Ages, an unconscious trap that it would be easy for a phenomenological viewpoint to fall into.

The tensions between landscape archaeology and post-modernism in the form of phenomenology and other post-processual theory were recorded in the series of exchanges between Fleming and Johnson previously alluded to in research paper #1. This is a debate which could perhaps run and run, but to the outside eye Fleming’s (2008, 76) even-handed conclusion that, as with other disciplines across the humanities and social sciences, post-modernism can bring refreshing innovation to existing landscape archaeology praxis rather than replacing it seems to be a judgement that most could agree with.[15] Such a view seems to fit well with Wylie’s (2007, 186) assertion that the phenomenological approach has ‘identified new topical grounds and new forms of research practice, at once enriching and diversifying the ambit of landscape studies’.

Psycho-geography and deep topography

A further layer of cultural geographical thought will now be brought into the discussion: an approach to landscape and place, psycho-geography, that has to date had limited convergence with phenomenological ideas and practice, let alone those of landscape archaeology. In its archaeological and anthropologist incarnations, phenomenology has generally concerned itself with a rural context. In contrast, with its loose origins both in the English literary tradition of radical commentary on the underbelly of the city, largely centred on London,[16] and the dérive (unplanned journey) of the Dadist and Situationist art and intellectual movements of mid-twentieth century Paris, psycho-geography has largely remained resolutely urban in focus (Coverley 2006, 12). The common ground between the two is the focus on direct experiential engagement with spatial surroundings, generally through the agency of walking.

Perhaps because it is quite nebulous and resistant to definition, psycho-geography has become something of a catch-all term, a meeting point for a number of ideas and traditions with interwoven histories relating to the convergence of psychology and geography: the impact of the geographical environment on the human mind, emotions and behaviours (Coverley 2006, 10-11). In essence, psycho-geography provides a fresh way to read and interpret geographical space and bring together normally disparate subject-matter.[17] The work of Iain Sinclair in political perambulations through contested spaces in and around London has proved particularly influential (see, for example, Sinclair 2003, 2011), but perhaps the magnus opus of a contemporary emerging landscape philosophising that can be loosely aligned with the psycho-geographic tradition is W.G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn (1995). Sebald recounts a ground-breaking narrative of a long East Anglian walk that becomes a portal for evocations of and meditations on an array of times, places and people.[18] Young (2010, 24) has commented that: ‘Both these authors are adept at springing out the hermetic and esoteric histories lying latent in the landscape’.

Nick Papadimitriou is another writer who has been labelled as a psycho-geographer. In Scarp: In Search of London’s Outer Limits (2012), he defines his approach more specifically as Deep Topography. This terminology could also be used to describe the work of writers and researchers, largely operating outside of the academic arena, such as Keiller (2013), Robinson (1990) and Self (2007). Exponents of a more nuanced counterpart to psycho-geography, less shackled to its conceptual and urban prescriptions though also an even less theoretically sharpened approach.[19] Self (2007, 11-12) has described deep topography as ‘minutely detailed, multi-level examinations of select locales that impact upon the writer’s own microscopic inner-eye’, combining ecology, history, poetry and sociology. As Papadimitriou’s ventures into deep topography throughout the Middlesex-Hertfordshire boundary lands and Sebald’s long existential walk along the East Anglian coast have demonstrated, any landscape can in principle be opened up to what Sinclair has described as: ‘psycho-geography lite. It was a long way from the Situationists but it suited the English sentiment about walking, deep-topography, historical scavenging’ (Kobek 2014, 7).[20]

Although psycho-geographical texts and practice have attracted academic interest in recent years, this has tended to be within the confines of cultural geography and literary studies and focused on the urban experience.[21] There has been little interaction with other disciplines traditionally concerned with landscape: ecology, history, archaeology and so forth. It is perhaps worth speculating that the critique of and suspicions around phenomenology outlined above would be equally manifest in relation to psycho-geography and deep topography, particularly as it is generally practised outside an academic or professional setting. The underpinning philosophy and praxis here is perhaps though closer to more established approaches to landscape and place than one might initially think as archaeology, ecology and local history are all disciplines partially dependent on a dedicated cadre of amateur enthusiasts. Self (2007, 12) has proclaimed that practitioners of psycho-geography are ‘really only local historians with an attitude problem’, though often viewed with suspicion, if noted at all, by those in professional landscape study fraternities.  

Experience and perception in the study of historic landscapes

The adoption of the types of approaches that explicitly examine experience and perception considered here has been somewhat under-developed in the study of historic landscapes, despite the fact that there would appear to be considerable scope for greater application in considering how people moved through and engaged with their surroundings (Gardiner and Rippon 2007, 6; Gilchrist 2009, 391; Holtorf and Williams 2006, 237). Examples would include Altenberg’s (2003) comparative consideration of space and identity in case studies drawn from perceived marginal areas of medieval Britain and Scandinavia, and Johnson’s (2002) adoption of a phenomenological approach to underscore his study of the role of castles as elite stage settings, reflective of a focus on symbolism when considering designed medieval landscapes. Nicola Whyte’s Inhabiting the Landscape: Place, Custom and Memory, 1500-1800 (2009) can also be cited as a novel example of landscape archaeology research that foregrounds understanding and integrating people’s perception, memory, interpretation and experience of landscape, rather than focussing more narrowly on economic and environmental factors to explain landscape evolution, rooted in evidence from detailed local case studies. As Whyte (2009, 5) contends: ‘Understanding the landscape, as it was ‘inhabited’, should not be confined to prehistory’.

As Walsham (2011, 5) observes, people in the early modern period did not have a polarised view of nature and culture, they were indivisible in the landscape: ‘A supplementary source of revelation’, imbued with meaning and memory. A recurring and on-going phenomena that Tuan (2013) has characterised as ‘topophilia’, the connection and interrelation between people and place. This intertwinedness can also be given a voice through the combining of some of the perspectives drawn from cultural geography identified here with landscape archaeology practice; providing a freshness to the analysis of landscape and place, through the enriched understanding of environment, culture and meaning that interdisciplinarity can encourage (Cosgrove 2008, 3). The rich and varied afterlife of the monastic estates in the study area for this project, coupled with the artistic and literary output and folk memories that they generated, has particular potential for the application of this more expansive landscape perspective.

[1] For instance, The Monk: A Romance (1796) by M.G. Lewis, generally viewed as one of the first Gothic novels; M. R. James’ ghost story, The Treasure of Abbot Thomas (1904); Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose (1983); the Cadfael (1977-1994) historical murder mysteries of Edith Pargeter; and Casper David Friedrich’s painting, The Abbey in the Oakwood (1810).

[2] For instance, landscape archaeology, is not represented amongst the contributors to the multi-disciplinary discourse on landscape and art context in DeLue, and Elkins edited volume, Landscape Theory: The Art Seminar (2008).

[3] As articulated, for instance, in Clark’s Landscape into Art (1966).

[4] As detailed in the hand list brochures for the Sites of Inspiration: Tintern Abbey and Llanthony Priory exhibitions at Abergavenny and Chepstow Museums in 2014. The Llanthony valley has been a particular foci for artists, notably during the period in which sculptor and typographer Eric Gill established a bohemian artistic-religious community at Capel-y-ffin in the 1920s.

[5] Evidence for which would include a rich corpus of Anglo-Welsh folklore tales (Palmer 1998; Simpson 1976); the late nineteenth century country diaries of the Reverend Francis Kilvert; the fiction and non-fiction of Raymond Williams: see, for instance, People of the Black Mountains I: The Beginning, and II: the Eggs of the Eagle (1990a,1990b) and The Country and the City (2011); and Bruce Chatwin’s On the Black Hill (1998), Owen Sheers Resistance (2007) and Iain Sinclair’s Landor’s Tower (2002): all novels underwritten by their Welsh Marches and Black Mountains locations.

[6] As illustration, Macfarlane name-checks William Langland, Thomas Traherne, Henry Vaughan, John Dee, Arthur Machan and Alfred Watkins. Macfarlane has written of a contemporary convergence of psycho-geography, ecology, archaeology, mythology and hauntology more generally in British culture in his article, This Spectred Isle (2015).

[7] Mabey’s prolific output includes a 1986 biography of Gilbert White (eighteenth century parson-naturalist and author of the Ur-text of British natural history writing, Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, 1798), The Unofficial Countryside (1973), a seminal exploration of the nature in urban edgelands, and Nature Cure (2005), a treatise on the positive impact of the natural world and sense of place on the human condition.

[8] For example, see Deakin (2007), Macfarlane (2007, 2012, 2015): evidence of a synergy with the deep topography and psycho-geography of Papademitrou, Sebald, Sinclair and others discussed further on in this section.

[9] Books such as Jefferies’ Wild Life in a Southern County (2011) and Thomas’ The South Country (2009), chronicled not only flora and fauna but also the human life of communities whose everyday lives were immersed in the landscape, based on intimate knowledge and capacious walking.

[10] For instance, the overview of methodological approaches and practical guide to investigating medieval rural settlements in Christie, and Stamper’s edited volume, Medieval Rural Settlement: Britain and Ireland AD800-1600 (2011), contain no mention of phenomenological or other cultural geographical approaches (Jones and Hooke 2011; Lewis 2011).

[11] Somewhat puzzlingly, Ingold used a painting of a medieval scene, The Harvester by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1565), rather than direct experience to demonstrate being in the landscape (Gilchrist 2009, 391-392).

[12] Examples would include: Ingold’s (2000) already mentioned application in anthropology; Land Art based on bodily contact and experience of landscape as practised by, for example, Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Long and Robert Smithson; Richard Skelton’s experimental musical and literary projects in specific locations using sound, art, photography and archive research to reflect on the landscape and its inhabitants (Hudson 2015, 65-6; Skelton 2010); practice and performance studies involving direct participation of walking, driving, climbing, gardening etc.; and movement and mobility studies, connecting eye, body and land (Lund 2012; Pearson and Shanks 1997; Wylie 2005; 2007, 166, 177; 2013, 61).

[13] The experimental encounters with sites, materials and landscapes in Shanks and Pearson’s Theatre/ Archaeology (2001) being a prime example.

[14] Tilley’s field methods have been criticised for being overly dependent on the perception and interpretation of the individual researcher, an over-representation of visual perception at the expense of other forms of experience and an over-emphasis on experiencing specific monuments rather than the wider landscape (Altenberg 2003, 27-28).

[15] It is also interesting to note that one of the few examples of an experiential approach to historic landscape fieldwork is provided by Fleming himself in a novel article on medieval long-distance roads that uses a modern journey on horse-back along such a track as part of its evidence base, though the use of this methodology is not elaborated upon (Fleming 2010b).

[16] Notably the writings of those whom Ackroyd (2004, 308-14) has termed ‘Cockney Visionaries’, from Chaucer and Bunyan to Defoe, Blake and Dickens. A tradition taken forward into the modern age through the contrasting work and style of Ackroyd himself, Ballard, Sinclair and Keiller (Coverley 2006, 25-9).

[17] For instance, Solnit’s (2001) writings on the history, philosophy and psychology of walking and Farley and Symmons Roberts (2011) exploration of the minutia of England’s urban edgelands.

[18] Which can be compared with film-maker Werner Herzog’s record of his walk from Munich to Paris, Of Walking in Ice (1991), and also has echoes of Hilaire Belloc’s (1945, 1958) accounts of his proto-psycho-geographical neo-pilgrimages from Canterbury to Winchester and from the Upper Mosselle valley in France to Rome at the turn of the twentieth century.

[19] A Google Scholar search for deep topography yields plentiful references to oceanographic research but none for cultural geography or landscape study.

[20] A further example would be Worpole and Orton's (2005, 2013) exploration of the marginal countryside of the estuary indented, marsh rich and semi-industrial Essex coastline: a liminal landscape in close proximity to, but also estranged from, the urban expanse of London.

[21] For example, Richardson’s Walking Inside Out: Contemporary British Psychogeography (2015) and Garrett’s examination of the practice of urban exploration (urbex) or place-hacking, Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City (2013).

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