What is Landscape Archaeology?

Book cover of Martin Greaney's

Liverpool: a landscape history

In archaeology this is a way of thinking, a way of looking at archaeological and historical sites which views

them in the wider context of the landscape in which they sit.

This view allows the researcher to bring together a number of sites into a coherent model of what was going on at any one time across the city. Going further, it also allows us to see the changing nature of a particular landscape, for example the changing character of the rural areas surrounding Liverpool, from scattered farmsteads in the early Medieval period, through enclosure hedgerows and walls, to the encroachment of the urban areas in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

So that’s what this site is all about.

Based as it is around the various maps and thematic pages, Historic Liverpool allows us to take a wider look at the city and its surrounding region, while recognising the different parts which come together as the “historic landscape of Liverpool”, and the monuments, buildings and roads which in turn make up these smaller areas.

What must always be remembered is that – despite the lines on the map – the individual areas can not strictly be defined in this way, and nor should they. The ‘docklands’ area of course extends out onto the river, and what might be classed as the ‘Inner Suburbs’ overlap all over the city with the ‘Outer Suburbs’.

Even the areas vary within their own ‘boundaries’, both in age and appearance. Within the Inner Suburbs, for example, are the small Victorian terraces originally built for the factory workers streaming into Liverpool from all parts of Britain and beyond, right next to large modern car dealerships, clubs, and other buildings less than twenty years old. These are all part of the story of the developing landscape.

Finally, don’t forget that buildings built and used over 150 years ago are still there, being re-used for flats, shops and other very different purposes. This is all part of that same story, all part of the landscape.

My hope is that this site conveys some of the nature of the changing landscape, and the way I myself like to look at the changing history of this city. You can see this in greater detail in my book, Liverpool: a landscape history.

One response to “What is Landscape Archaeology?”

  1. radio Merseyside are looking for info re the first world war, I am an old man now, but I remember being told (when I was a nipper) by an old ww1 soldier that the site of Walton Hall park was used as a ammunition storage depot, and as the park did not open till 1934 this seems possible can any one verify this please.

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