The Common Fields of the Coastlands of Gwent

The Common Fields of the Coastlands of Gwent

Sylvester, Dorothy

Agricultural History Review, Volume 6 part 1 (1958)


The development of agriculture in the coastlands of Gwent, between the mouths of the Usk and the Wye, is of interest on account of its striking response to two controls–those of geography and history. On the one hand are the distinctive and limiting factors of a physical environment which consists of a belt of reclaimed coastal fen flanked on one side by the saltings of the Severn estuary and on the other by the rolling country of the old shoreland known locally as ‘the upland’ or the ‘dry ground’. Against the constant control of this geographical background, the course of history has played a varied r61e, but as the many scenes have been enacted and the series of invading peoples have entered this corner of what is now Monmouthshire, two constant factors have been operative: its location on the routeway into south Wales, and the proximity to a boundary of major significance.

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