Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The Lincolnshire marsh : landscape evolution, settlement development and the salt industry.

Fenwick, Helen, 1972


Profile Image

Dr Helen Fenwick
Associate Dean for Education, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology


S. (Stephen) Ellis

Malcolm Lillie


The coastal wetland, known as the Lincolnshire Marsh, is investigated in order to understand the ways in which people in the past exploited coastal zones. This research into a previously neglected area has tested the validity of' Rippon's (2000) three-part model ofcoastal strategies - exploitation, modification and transformation. The Lincolnshire Marsh, as considered in this thesis, covers a region from Cleethorpes in the north to Wainfleet in the south. The study area also encompasses areas of the adjacent dry land, of the Middle Marsh and the Wolds, to the west.

A wide range of data are studied to help build a picture of the methods people have used to settle this region, from earlier prehistory through to the sixteenth century. It has been shown that the strategies adopted have varied over space and time, and that the region cannot be viewed as a single developmental unit. Four separate development zones have been postulated. showing differences in the visible Bronze Age reactions to rising sea-levels; in the concentration of salt production to specific regions, in certain periods; in the place-name evidence; in the Domesday landholdings; and in the settlement pattern.

Following Rippon's (2000) three-part model it has been shown that for the majority of its history, people have been happy to exploit the natural resources on offer along the Marsh, whether they be salt or the natural havens or pasture. Although salt was important in this development, it is limited in specific periods, to specific areas. On occasion the occupants of the Lincolnshire Marsh have modified the coast to aid with settlement and exploitation; however, there were no large-scale attempts at reclamation, or transformation until the sixteenth century. In this respect the region is significantly different from many other coastal wetlands in north-west Europe which see large-scale attempts at transformation by the thirteenth century at the latest. A subdivision has also been apparent at the modification stage - in some cases this strategy was intentionally adopted, in other areas the modification was accidental, a by-product of the salt industry.


Fenwick, H. 1. (2007). The Lincolnshire marsh : landscape evolution, settlement development and the salt industry. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jul 10, 2012
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Geography; History
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Geography, The University of Hull
Award Date Feb 1, 2007


Thesis (80.2 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2007 Fenwick, Helen, 1972-. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations