The Open Fields of England

Hardcover | July 19, 2014

byDavid Hall

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The Open Fields of England describes the open-field system of agriculture that operated in Medieval England before the establishment of present-day farms surrounded by hedges or walls. The volume encompasses a wide range of primary data not previously assembled, to which are added the resultsof new research based upon a fifty-year study of open-field remains and their related documents. The whole of England is examined, describing eight different kinds of field-system that have been identified, and relating them to their associated land-use and settlement. Details of field structure areexplained, such as the demesne, the lord's land, and the tenants' holdings, as well as tenurial arrangements and farming methods.Previous explanations of open-field origins and possible antecedents to medieval fields are discussed. Various types of archaeological and historical evidence relating to Saxon-period settlements and fields are presented, followed by the development of a new theory to explain the lay-out and plannednature of many field systems found in the central belt of England. Of particular interest is the Gazetteer, which is organized by historic counties. Each county has a summary of its fields, including tabulated data and sources for future research, touching on the demesne, yardland size, work-service, assarts, and physical remains of ridge and furrow. The Gazetteeracts as a national hand-list of field systems, opening the subject up to further research and essential to scholars of medieval agriculture.

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The Open Fields of England describes the open-field system of agriculture that operated in Medieval England before the establishment of present-day farms surrounded by hedges or walls. The volume encompasses a wide range of primary data not previously assembled, to which are added the resultsof new research based upon a fifty-year stud...

David Hall studied chemistry at St Peter's College, Oxford, but has worked in the field of archaeology for over fifty years. He has published extensively on British archeology and the history of field-systems.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:416 pagesPublished:July 19, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198702957

ISBN - 13:9780198702955

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Table of Contents

Preface and acknowledgementsIntroduction: medieval fields and the landscape1. Townships and land-use2. Field system types; the extensive fields of the Central Region3. Field system types in the Eastern and Western Regions4. Open-field structure and management5. Early evidence for settlement and fields6. Open field beginningsAppendix: County GazetteerBibliographyGlossaryIndex