Little Flanders Beyond Wales (2016-2020)

Little Flanders Beyond Wales. A landscape archaeological contribution to the discussion of Flemish influence on settlement landscapes in the British Isles, PhD research Gerben Verbrugghe.

  During the invasion of England by William the Conqueror in 1066, Flemings fought as mercenaries in the Norman armies. Little is known about the Flemings who, following the Norman-Conquest, settled in the British Isles. The only relatively well-documented community was in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, where King Henry I between 1107 and 1111 would have sent all Flemings living in England to suppress a revolt among the Welsh. After establishing the new colony, members of the Flemish lay elite immigrated directly from Flanders to plant new settlements which have striking similarities with settlements in their homeland. What impact these Flemings had on the British settlement landscapes and which social and cultural processes where involved, is unknown. Scarce previous research approached these ‘Flemish’ villages mainly from a historical and limited morphological point of view, while landscape archaeological input has been lacking for many years. The use of multi-proxy historic, archaeological and geographical data combined with innovative archaeological, remote-sensing and geophysical methods will permit to create a reference model for Flemish planted rural settlement morphology and a Historic Landscape Characteristation for the ‘Flemish’ settlements in Wales.

Little Flanders Beyond Wales is a joint research between the Historical Archaeology Research Group of NW Europe (HARG) at Ghent University and Stephen Rippon, Professor of Landscape Archaeology at the University of Exeter. His research focuses on the Roman and medieval periods in Britain and mainland North West Europe, with special interest in wetland reclamations. This collaboration will enhance the international and interdisciplinary approach of this research.

Special Research Fund (BOF) Ghent University Little Flanders Beyond Wales. A landscape archaeological contribution to the discussion of Flemish influence on settlement landscape in the British Isles (main supervisor Wim De Clercq (archaeology), co-supervisors Veerle Van Eetvelde (geography), Steven Vanderputten (history).

Contact

Gerben Verbrugghe

Prof Dr Wim De Clercq

Prof Dr Veerle Van Eetvelde

Prof Dr Steven Vanderputten

Prof Dr Erik Thoen

Prof Dr Stephen Rippon