The Study Towns

Edward I was involved in founding new towns as well as expanding ones that already existed. The project is concerned only with his new towns, those founded in England and Wales between 1277 and 1303. Not all of these towns survive to the present day. Newton in Dorset, for example, is now just rough pasture and woodland, the town having ‘failed’. Others are still thriving, however, such as Aberystwyth and Caernarfon in north Wales. Indeed, two of Edward’s new towns are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The towns selected for this study were those where Edward had a role in their foundation, rather than towns he authorised through his seigneurial lords to build (such as Denbigh and Ruthin). This distinction in reality is a little hard to define in some cases.

Click on the towns in the map to the left to show a more detailed plan of the town morphology. The following plans show the layouts of each of the study towns and a brief historical account reveals a little of their origins during Edward’s reign.

<< Click on a town

For more historical information on these individual towns read:

M W Beresford (1967), New Towns of the Middle Ages (Lutterworth, London)

R A Griffiths (Ed.) (1978), The Boroughs of Medieval Wales (University of Wales, Swansea)

I Soulsby (1983), The Towns of Medieval Wales (Phillimore, Chichester)