The aim of this day is to give a broad overview of the changing relationship between the Sussex landscape and the people who lived here from the earliest times through to the 20th century. Where possible, speakers will choose key themes for which there is still some evidence in our landscape. The emphasis will be on how new ideas resulted in significant changes in the use of our landscape.
Roman and Saxon governance, settlement and land use were very different from each other, but it was not until the medieval period that the rural landscape of Sussex took on an appearance we would recognise today, with the development of larger farms enabling their owners or tenants to play a significant role in the life of parishes. The dissolution of the monasteries and the rise of large country estates and market towns during the 16th & 17th centuries had a significant impact on the landscape, while the wars and revolutions of the late 18th & early 19th centuries kept people from travelling abroad and so encouraged the development of our coastal resorts. The late 19th century saw increased movement from towns into the countryside, aided by trains, cars, buses and bikes, and this had a great impact on rural society.
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