University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Economic and Social History Seminars > ‘Estate Reconstitution’ and the Separation of Town and Countryside: the case of Kent’s rural-urban fringe, 1577-1914

‘Estate Reconstitution’ and the Separation of Town and Countryside: the case of Kent’s rural-urban fringe, 1577-1914

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‘Estate reconstitution’ involves a new methodology for distinguishing ‘pure’ agricultural ground rent from urban and other non-agricultural rents which formed an increasing proportion of landlords’ income during the period of industrialisation. Applied initially to estates in London and the South East from 1577-1914, it utilises a web-based research platform, which provides a means of relating quantitative data to spatial and visual information, such as estate surveys, plans and historic maps, alongside textual material, including leases (see www.cityandregion.org). The methodology will enable economic historians to locate serial data in an authentic environmental and regional context, sometimes neglected in the analysis of large datasets. Some preliminary results will be discussed arising from this ESRC -funded project, relating to the emergence of Kent’s rural-urban fringe, a shifting, semi-peripheral zone composed initially of low-rented agricultural land which provided sites for new industries, warehousing, distribution services, and residential development. Within the wider metropolitan region, comparative rent movements suggest a greater degree of continuity between town and countryside than has traditionally been assumed.

This talk is part of the Economic and Social History Seminars series.

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