By Richard Dennis
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Extra info for A Social Geography of England and Wales
Langton's analysis and discussion is intricate and his original paper is well worth studying for the light that it sheds on the importance of social and institutional structures in the modelling of towns and cities in times past. He shows clearly how burgage plots were occupied intensively by the households of traders and craftsmen, with penthouses overhanging narrow streets, and also horizontally, as outhouses and sheds were inserted behind the street lines. Many town houses were microcosms of much greater forms of social diversity, with ground floors accom- 34 A Social Geography of England and Wales modating retail and manufacturing activities, first and second floors housing masters and their families, and upper floors and attics accommodating apprentices and servants and also providing room for storage.
What is of particular importance to the social geographer is the distinctive legal status of Pre-industrial England 31 towns and the existence of social institutions, such as gilds, which helped to distinguish towns from rural settlements. Urban charters defined the rights, freedoms and privileges of townsfolk, making them and the communities to which they belonged quite different from rural groups. Pre-industrial towns were normally bigger than villages, though not necessarily so. Many were walled and most contained market places, market crosses, shops and shambles.
Biddle, M. ( 1 9 7 3 ) The Future of London's Past, Rescue, Worcester. Glass, D . V. ( 1 9 6 6 ) London's inhabitants within the walls, London Record Society Publications, 2, xxxv-xxxvii. Smailes, A. E. ( 1 9 6 4 ) The site, growth and changing face of L o n d o n , in R. ), The Geography of Greater London, George Philip, L o n d o n , pp. 1 - 5 2 . Wrigley, E. A. ( 1 9 6 7 ) A simple model of London's importance in changing English society and e c o n o m y 1 6 5 0 - 1 7 5 0 , Past and Present, 3 7 , 4 4 - 7 0 .
A Social Geography of England and Wales by Richard Dennis