“they would come and make a city here” – tracing the origins of Puttenham village

This piece should be appearing in a future edition of the Surrey Archaeological Society Bulletin (maybe even the August issue which is due to be published any day now). I have made only the most minor of amendments to the text I submitted so, save for a severe editorial haircut, what you find below should look and read more or less the same as the version which gets printed sooner or later. (Apologies for the lack of page numbers, I had to resort to using a German-language version of Open Office to complete the document and convert it to pdf, and my vocabulary doesn’t cover things like “page numbering”…)

A Decade of Research into the Origins of Puttenham Village July 2013

As the opening paragraph makes clear, the article was written as a tribute to Dennis Turner and his unsurpassable contribution to landscape archaeology, settlement studies and all-round understanding of the medieval period in Surrey. His death has robbed the county and the subject(s) of a true master of his trade. Beyond this motive, however, the piece provided me with the opportunity to seek a platform by which to begin disseminating the results of the labour of love that has been my years of in-depth research into the “pre-history” of Puttenham parish (i.e. the period before historical sources really kick in in sufficient numbers as to have permitted historians before me to construct a reasonably coherent and dare I say accurate picture of the parish and its surroundings). Because of the various self-imposed constraints referred to in the text, I urge that it be read in conjunction with Ten Years Gone, an attempted distillation of the whole scope of my “Puttenham project” (it does have a certain ring to it, no?). Between the two you should get a pretty good handle on where I am up to with my investigations, which, as both works make clear, I hope are going to take on a proper (not desk-based!) archaeological dimension in the coming months. As and when this happens, or when I get my act together and write some short pieces on other Puttenham-related matters, I shall upload them under this tab, so keep your eyes peeled.

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