London's North-West Kent hinterland? Ruxley hundred, 1200-1350

PhD Thesis


Clayton, J. 2023. London's North-West Kent hinterland? Ruxley hundred, 1200-1350. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Humanities and Education Studies
AuthorsClayton, J.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Philosophy
Abstract

This thesis explores the development of the former hundred of Ruxley in north-west Kent between 1200 and 1350, focusing on its relationship with the city of London. By the end of the thirteenth century London was a major urban centre which drew in resources from a wide surrounding area to meet its needs. The thesis considers whether Ruxley hundred was part of London’s ‘hinterland’: whether it provided resources for the city, and whether commodities manufactured or imported into the city reached people living in the hundred. For a rural, dispersed hundred such as Ruxley, the impact of the city might have been significant, but it is also possible that local or traditional connections were of greater significance than access to the city itself.

Conventional manorial documentation is scarce for north-west Kent. The thesis therefore tests whether alternative sources, in particular information from lay subsidy returns, can be used to throw light on the experience of lay estates and peasants which is otherwise invisible. It links information from the returns with other documentary and archaeological information, using a micro-historical approach.

The conclusions are that lay subsidy returns can be a valuable resource when combined with other data. The analysis shows that Ruxley hundred was in a position to provide resources to the city and had a network of markets to service its own needs. London merchants operated in the hundred but some interactions may have been mediated through neighbouring Dartford, where wharves were used to move goods to the city along the Thames. The analysis opens up further avenues for research in surrounding hundreds, particularly in the use of the Thames riverside wharves. The new information presented on Ruxley hundred’s woodland, husbandry and material culture provides useful context for the presentation of significant local heritage sites to the public.

KeywordsRuxley hundred, 1200-1350; North-West Kent; Relationship with the city of London
Year2023
Supplemental file
File Access Level
Restricted
Publication process dates
Deposited14 May 2024
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/97y34/london-s-north-west-kent-hinterland-ruxley-hundred-1200-1350

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