Factoid of the day

But Laxton, with its 14 working farms, is a historical anomaly, the only village in Britain still to practise the medieval open-field system.

Yer what?

Seems to be true though.

The strips within the fields have also changed significantly, with changes in technology. Originally, a single strip would have represented approximately a single day of ploughing; such a strip today would be far too small to be really practical for a tractor-drawn plough. Instead, over time, strips have been consolidated to provide workable parcels of land; the result today is that the average strip size has increased significantly over mediaeval times. However, the practical aspects of open field farming are still very much what they would have been 500 years ago.

Marx being both right and wrong: technology of production doesn\’t necessarily determine forms of ownership or tenure. Although it does influence aspects of the organisation of them.

3 thoughts on “Factoid of the day”

  1. It’s quite well known, Tim: you must have missed the lecture where it was discussed. (Or, perhaps, class: I think I heard about it at school.)

  2. “over time, strips have been consolidated to provide workable parcels of land”: that was often done in the past as an alternative to Parliamentary Enclosure. It saved the delay and expense of the Commissioners examining the case, surveying the land, holding votes, and so on. But it doesn’t, of itself, sort out the use of the Commons for grazing, wood-collecting, and so on. Does anyone here know whether Laxton still has Common Pasture? The entry doesn’t quite say that it does, but alludes to “sykes”.

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