Approaching bodiam and scotney: A comparison

Matthew Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper offers some thoughts on the routes and approaches that connected Bodiam and Scotney with the surrounding landscape in the later Middle Ages. These two sites in the Weald of southeastern England were studied as part of a recent project whose team members David Hinton has generously encouraged and supported over many years. My paper builds on fieldwork on the immediate landscape context of these sites, in particular the reassessment of routes of access to Bodiam from the northwest rather than the extensively discussed hypothetical route from the south. It argues that approaches to these two places share more similarities than previously recognized - moving from points above the site looking down, running alongside water features, and incorporating elements of the working landscape in the setting. Of course, recognition of ‘designed landscapes’ in the Middle Ages is nothing new, but the formal similarities between Bodiam and Scotney in particular have not been explored before, and offer new insight into what makes these places so distinctive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Middle Ages Revisited
Subtitle of host publicationStudies in the Archaeology and History of Medieval Southern England Presented to Professor David A. Hinton
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781789690361
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Bodiam
  • Designed landscape
  • Ightham
  • Medieval
  • Scotney

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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