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date: 21 October 2019

Towns 

Source:
The Oxford Companion to Local and Family History
Author(s):
David M. PalliserDavid M. Palliser

The British experience of towns has been unusual in a west European context, and its distinctive nature has coloured national attitudes down to the present day, as well as complicating the researches of local and family historians. Town life was an exotic importation from the Continent, both in Roman and in medieval times. Until the 18th century most British towns were small by Continental standards, and until the 19th century the majority of Britons still lived in rural settlements. Yet Britain then became the first country in the world to urbanize, rapidly outpacing its neighbours, and acting as a pioneer in developing new types of urban design such as ... ...

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