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Andrea Richardson

<p>Andrea Richardson</p>

Andrea Richardson


2010. BA (Hons) 1st class, in Archaeology Queen’s University, Belfast. Thesis: 19th century Irish arable farming with particular reference to Ballykilbeg.
2007. Diploma (Distinction). Art & Design. BIFHE.




School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology (GAP)
Queen’s University Belfast
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland, UK


+44 (0)28 9097 5287

Current Research: Past Cultural Change

The Transformation of the Ulster Landscape c.1750-1850.

The agricultural landscape in Britain underwent substantial changes between the 16th and 18th centuries. It was during this time that large, regular fields were planned out and many of the hedgerows enclosing them, now so familiar, were first planted. Prior to this, the layout of the land was altogether less uniform and organized. Fields were of irregular size and shape and boundaries between them were of variable quality. Peasant farmers did not normally work on farms where all the land was grouped together in a compact block; rather, they cultivated a number of plots scattered around a large ‘open field’. Dozens of individuals may have held plots in such a field, all intermixed and with few boundaries save for a furrow between one plot and the next. This system eventually gave way to one of enclosure; holdings were consolidated and permanent boundaries erected by way of fence or hedge. The purpose of this research project is to analyse the various factors at play which influenced the transition from a pre-enclosure landscape to an enclosed agricultural system in Ulster. Why did a farming type which had operated for centuries change when and where it did? Technological, social and economic elements must all be considered. It is intended that this research will shed light on potential patterns regarding the progress of enclosure: for example, are there certain kinds of places where enclosure occurred earlier or more readily – was there a difference between farms close to urban centres and those more remote? How did the landscape and topography affect the change? What socio-economic factors are important?

We are surrounded by countryside in Ulster, yet rarely take time to question how the landscape we see today came to be that way. This research aims to answer some of the questions associated with this important part of Ulster’s cultural heritage and history.

Additional Information:

Research Interests

My primary research interest is in the farming history of Ireland, particularly Ulster. Having undertaken study in subjects outside of archaeology (including art and anthropology) has given me a strong sense of the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach when attempting to unweave aspects of the past.


Queen's Graduate's Association Scholarship 2010-2011