with Edward Martin (Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service)
at Sutton Hoo, Saturday, 22nd March 2014.


The quotation in the course title comes from East Anglia’s greatest landscape artist, John Constable. This course will use the evidence of geology, archaeology and history to piece together an understanding of the formation of the East Anglian landscape and the ways that its inhabitants have shaped it over the thousands of years since they first settled on it, imprinting it with the shapes of their fields, greens, and settlements.

Cultural contrasts within the region will also be explored, particularly the ‘Gipping Divide’ in Suffolk, which has only recently been recognised as a stronger cultural boundary than the county boundaries to its north and south.

To fully understand the landscape is nigh impossible, but hopefully this course will open eyes to the complexity and richness of this archetypical lowland English landscape that inspired Constable and a host of other artists.

 Provisional Programme

09.50 – 10.15: Coffee on arrival

10.15 – 11.15: Structure, soils and early settlement

11.15 – 11.45: Coffee break

11.45 – 12.45: ‘Primary’ settlements – halls and churches, manors and moats

12.45 – 14.00: Lunch break

14.00 – 15.00: ‘Secondary’ settlements – greens, commons and tyes

15.00 – 15.20: Tea break

15.20 – 16.20: Fields and the characterisation of the landscape

c.16.20: Thanks and Close

Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading

Bailey, M. 2007: Medieval Suffolk. An Economic and Social History, 1200-1500. Boydell: Woodbridge.

Dymond, D. and Martin, E. (eds) 1999: An Historical Atlas of Suffolk. Suffolk County Council: Ipswich (3rd ed.).

Hunter, J. 1999: The Essex Landscape. A Study of its Form and History, Essex Record Office: Chelmsford.

Martin, E. 2007 : ‘Wheare most Inclosures be: The Making of the East Anglian Landscape’ in M. Gardiner and S. Rippon (eds) Landscape History after Hoskins. Medieval Landscapes, Windgather Press: Macclesfield, 122-36.

Martin, E. 2011: ‘Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex: Medieval Rural Settlement in “Greater East Anglia”’ in N. Christie and P. Stamper (eds) Medieval Rural Settlement. Britain and Ireland, AD 800-1600, Windgather Press, Oxford, 225-48.

Martin, E. and Satchell, M. 2008: Wheare most Inclosures be. East Anglian Fields: History, Morphology and Management, East Anglian Archaeology 124.

Roberts, B.K. and Wrathmell, S.  2002: Region and Place. A study of English rural settlement, English Heritage: London.

Warner, P., 1996:  The Origins of Suffolk, Manchester University Press: Manchester.

Williamson, T. 2003: Shaping Medieval Landscapes. Settlement, Society, Environment, Windgather Press: Macclesfield.

Williamson, T. 2006: England’s Landscape. East Anglia, English Heritage and Collins, London.

About Edward MartinEdward Martin

Edward Martin worked for many years as an archaeologist with Suffolk County Council, specialising in historic landscape studies. He co-edited An Historical Atlas of Suffolk (3rd edition 1999) and has written and lectured widely on the archaeology and history of the landscape. He is a past chairman of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History and has been a regular commentator on archaeology for Radio Suffolk.


Please phone or email to check the availability of places. Study Days are £36 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition. Once you have reserved your place please send payment to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
tel : 01394 386498

Email cliff AT wuffingeducation.co.uk
(replace ‘AT’ by ‘@’ in order to send email – we used ‘AT‘ to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)

Return to list of current Study Days