As Europe moved from a ‘preindustrial’ and predominantly rural stage towards an urban-industrial society, improvements in agricultural productivity and more intensive patterns of land use produced upward pressures on rent. However the slow emergence of market relations and the persistence of ancient tenures underlay wide regional and local variations. In fact surprisingly little is known about rent movements over long periods of time, and even less about the growing divergence between rural and urban rents in the centuries before 1914.
City and Region assembles new data for just one part of England, the metropolitan region, for Kent, Essex, and the City of London. We intend to add further material, and hope that other researchers will join with us in providing a more complete picture of this and other regions in Britain.
City and Region aims to reconstitute estate histories using an approach common to Digital Humanities – the combination of text and image (principally estate maps and building plans) – to which we have added processed statistical data. Researchers are also able to import raw data, and it is planned to include a full GIS facility which will allow users to generate their own large and small-scale property maps.