WHAT’S NEW WITH PIERS DIXON
Hello and welcome to my website. I’m an archaeologist with an interest in the history and archaeology of the landscape, and with that of Scotland in particular. I have excavated at medieval rural sites on both sides of the Border and also at urban sites in the Scottish Borders, including Jedburgh Friary. My most recent work is highlighted here and I want to foster a connection with a wider audience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Formerly of the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
I am a graduate of Cardiff University with a doctorate on the Deserted Villages of North Northumberland, awarded in 1985. I joined Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland in 1989 as an Investigator, after 11 years as a freelance archaeologist working mainly on medieval sites in the Scottish Borders. I published a book on medieval rural settlement in lowland Scotland with Birlinn in 2002, called Puir Labourers and Busy Husbandmen, and in 2018 was co-author of A History of Scotland’s Landscapes, published by Historic Environment Scotland.
DESERTED MEDIEVAL VILLAGE OF NORTH NORTHUMBERLAND
A Settlement History from the 12th to the 19th Century
The landscape of north Northumberland between c.1150 and
c.1550 was dominated by the nucleated village, but by c.1850 it
had been transformed. The nucleated village had disappeared and
had been replaced by the dispersed farm and a few larger
settlements. So great was the extent of the change in the
pattern of settlement that this study involved a complete
settlement history of north Northumberland from the twelfth to
the nineteenth centuries. The discussion divides itself into two
parts, first an analysis of the nature of medieval settlement and
second an account of the dissolution of the medieval settlement
pattern in the post medieval period.
PUIR LABOURERS AND BUSY HUSBANDMEN
The countryside of lowland Scotland in the Middle Ages was transformed in the 12th and 13th centuries by the spread of a new urban life, Benedictine monasticism, feudalism and agricultural expansion with the heavy, mould-board plough which have all left an indelible mark on the landscape. This is the story of the day-to-day activities of farming and husbandry, peat extraction and woodland management as well as simple economic activities such as milling, malting, corn-drying, baking and brewing, salt-making and mining.
A HISTORY OF SCOTLAND'S LANDSCAPES
March 7, 2018
The shapes of the fields reveal the brief the presence of the Romans and the labours of medieval peasants, while great heaps of spoil or the gargantuan holes in the ground mark the rapid decline in mining and heavy industry. These evocative places provide unique evidence for the way this land and its resources have been lived in, worked, ruined and abandoned from early prehistory to the very recent past.