A Push into The Margins? The Development of a Coastal Landscape in North-West Somerset during The Late 1St Millennium A.D.
The colonization of coastal marshlands at this time was an important process in that being created from an entirely natural environment — saltmarshes — a cultural landscape emerged that was free from the influence of earlier periods. In the east and south, the landscape was dominated by Midland-style villages and open fields, in the west there was a largely dispersed settlement pattern typical of South-West England, whereas in the north was a more varied landscape with areas of both nucleation and dispersion. Coastal wetlands are by their very nature not ideally suited for settled arable-based agriculture, and as such would be regarded as a classic ‘marginal’ landscape. Such a landscape was still subject to winter flooding and so could not have been permanently settled there is no evidence for continental-style raised settlement mounds. The landscape of Puxton is typical of the coastal marshes of the North Somerset Levels, in that it was clearly created in a gradual and piecemeal fashion.