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Designs and designers of medieval ‘new towns’ in Wales

  • Keith D. Lilley (a1), Christopher D. Lloyd (a1) and Steven Trick (a1)

Extract

Medieval ‘new towns’ seem to echo Roman towns in having a grid of streets associated with a fortress, and have often been credited with a standard plan applied by the hand of authority. Here the authors analyse the new towns founded by Edward I in Wales and find some highly significant variations. Rediscovering the original layouts by high precision survey and GIS mapping, they show that some towns, founded at the same time and on similar topography, had quite different layouts, while others, founded at long intervals, had plans that were almost identical. Documentation hints at the explanation: it was the architects, masons and ditch-diggers, not the king and aristocracy, who established and developed these blueprints of urban life.

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