public SPASE

exploring village origins

Welcome to public SPASE

Money is always tight, we know, so we have looked for ways in which this work can be carried out to the highest academic standards without breaking the bank. In the end, it is your time, energy, and local knowledge that will make all the difference. Depending on the area, some techniques will inevitably work better than others, so the advantages and disadvantages of certain approaches in particular regions has also been addressed. None of the methods suggested need preclude working in other modes. public SPASE is not a dictatorship! But the methods we suggest will always work well as an initial survey. Thereafter you may wish to do things differently.

This contribution outlines current work being carried out for the Wharram Research Project. It focuses on the place-names associated with about thirty communities (including Wharram Percy) occupying an area of the north-western Yorkshire Wolds and the adjacent southern part of the Vale of Pickering. The presentation will explain the methodology used to relate the place-name evidence to the patterns of medieval vills, and to the archaeological evidence for Middle Saxon settlements in this area. This paper offers a critique of the ways in which non-urban settlements in England have been studied over the last 50 years. It considers how early Anglo-Saxon settlements have been explored almost in isolation from later medieval settlements, while the archaeology of both periods has developed in very different intellectual traditions.

You might also like to take a look at the 'Settlement Families' section of this website, where we have started to put together resources and pointers to the latest thinking about places which share particular names. If you are living in a 'thorp' or a 'wick' or a 'bury' for instance, you will be able to compare your findings with others working in similarly named places. What is the common denominator these places share that meant their namers used the same way of describing them? There are some ideas out there, often based on flimsy evidence, so your research will help to prove or disprove the scholarly debate.