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FIELD WALKING

ANALYSIS OF RESULTS

TUDOR-STUART BINGHAM

Skip to each of these headings in the text below:
Fabric types
Village nucleation
The 1586 map
Pasture
Common pasture
Demesne lands
Arable open fields
Freehold
Civil War
Conclusions

FABRIC TYPES

There are four fabric types that can be helpful in understanding the changes that took place in Bingham in the period late 15th into the 17th centuries. These are Cistercian Ware, Sandy Coarse Earthenware, Purple-bodied Sandy Coarse Earthenware and Yellow Ware. Spavold and Brown (pers comm.) argue that Cistercian Ware ceased production in c1550 at Ticknall. Sandy Coarse Earthenware bears comparison with the late Midland Purple Ware made in Ticknall (Derbyshire) and has a likely date range of 16th- early17th centuries. Purple-bodied Sandy Coarse Earthenware probably has the same, but less reliable date range, while Yellow Ware (Midland Yellow Ware), also made in Ticknall has a range of mid 16th-17th centuries. Yellow Ware probably remained the main coarse ware fabric through the 17th century until Pink-bodied Black Glazed Coarse Earthenware wares came into production at Ticknall near the end of the 17th century. Other fabric types that can be assigned to the17th century are less well dated. The black-glazed wares – Midland Black Ware, Coarse Black Ware and Light-bodied Black Ware – are not sufficiently well documented to be certain of their date ranges, though they all seem to extend into the 18th century. The most reliable tool for dating in the 17th century is the clay pipe, which appeared in Bingham early in the 17th century and evolved sufficiently for bowl types to be dated to within periods of as little as 20 years, in some cases.

VILLAGE NUCLEATION

It was concluded in the Medieval section that village nucleation may not have been completed until the second half of the 15th century and that the management of the Bingham estate as a single, centralised entity did not happen until then. The plots for the distribution of Gritty Ware (Figure 3.30) and Midland Purple Ware (Figure 3.31) show the progressive disappearance of the farms around the margin of the parish. Finds maps for later fabric types such as Cistercian Ware (Figure 3.33) and the later Yellow Ware (Figure 3.34) not only display distribution patterns completely unlike those from earlier times, they support the agricultural regime implied in the 1586 conjectural map of the parish. It can be assumed, therefore, that throughout the Tudor-Stuart period Bingham village was the only population centre in the parish and that no outlying farms survived. Certainly, the manorial survey of 1586 did not list any habitations (cottages, houses, tenements or messuages) outside the village area except possibly that of the Porter family with a house in Crow Close just beyond the eastern fringes of the village.

THE 1586 MAP

The conjectural map of the parish developed from a text-based manorial survey carried out in 1586 shows a single village at the centre of the parish, four arable fields to the south and the west, demesne lands, pasture and common meadow and “moor”. The main characteristics of the 16th century pottery scatters in relation to this map (Figures 3.33, 3.34 and 3.35) are:

Figure 3.33. Distribution of Cistercian Ware finds on a background of the 1586 map. Note that there are hardly any on Ox Pasture.

Figure 3.34. The distribution of Midland Yellow Ware shows several areas in the open fields with no finds. These are interpreted as having been converted from arable

Figure 3.35. Distribution of Sandy Coarse Earthenware showing a closer similarity to Cistercian Ware than to Yellow Ware.

  • Ox Pasture is almost free of pottery scatters
  • Much of the common grazing has low density scatters or no pottery
  • Pottery is widely scattered over all the areas designated as arable fields.
  • South Field, following a trend observed since the 12th century, has a greater overall density of pottery than the East and West arable fields.
  • For the first time, the southern part of North Field does not have the highest density of finds. Its average for Cistercian Ware (Table 3.2) is little different from West Field and East Field.
  • The demesne lands are largely free of pottery scatters, having only localised, small and sparse scatters.
  • All of the areas that showed localised, persistently high-density pottery scatters in the preceding periods that were interpreted as farmstead sites have now lost their identity.
  • Areas designated on the 1586 map as common meadow and “moor” are not free of pottery scatters. Three of them; East Meadow, West Moor and West Ings have unusually high-density concentrations of pottery sherds.
  • A sinuous east-south east-trending boundary in East Field appears to divide it into two parts prior to the time of deposition of Yellow Ware (16th-17thC) (Figure 3.34)

Pasture
In East Field strips in 13 of the 34 furlongs are divided between arable and pasture or between arable and meadow in 1586. Four furlongs are entirely pasture (Brocka Leaze*, Parsons Leaze, Sternhill Leaze and Flashwonge) and one (Brocka** Furlonge) has 80% pasture. None of these five has any 16th century sherds and Brocka Leaze has practically no finds in it of any age. In the south west of the parish Ox Pasture in West Field is also largely free of 16th century sherds. The part that is not is mostly a strip along the south of Cropwell Gate. This could indicate either that there is an error in the positioning of the northern boundary of Ox Pasture or that part of it was arable at some time in the 16th or 17th centuries. Indeed, one of the areas with pottery scatters corresponds with part of a known area of former ridge and furrow.
*Leaze is a word used for pasture, meadow or grassland
** Throughout this section the spellings used in the manorial survey are retained even when they are inconsistent; e.g. Brocka, Brockay

Common pasture
Common land occurs over the lake deposit and Parson’s Hill in the north of the parish and along the watercourses on the southern parish boundary. In the south, Starnhill Meadow (south of East Field) and the western part of Well Leaze (south of South Field) are free of pottery scatters, but Short Leaze and the eastern part of Well Leaze are not. There are only a few references to these in the manorial survey, but they point strongly to the location attributed to them on the conjectural map. If they are correctly placed the Cistercian Ware pottery scatters indicate that they may have been treated as arable land at some time in the 16th century, but the Yellow Ware is only sparsely scattered and may indicate a use mainly for grazing in the late 16th and 17th centuries.

In the north, Parson’s Hill, which in 1586 seems to have been divided between Lez Holmes and Flatholme Leaze, is common pasture and largely free of 16th century pottery. Quakefenne, an area of common pasture to the north of the hill, is completely free of 16th century pottery. All the other parts of the common land, however, are not. These are:

  • East Meadow
  • East Moor
  • West Moor
  • West Ings (or Chappell Meadow)

East Meadow
Western boundary
There is a marked difference in the density of the scatters of the16th and 17th century fabric types between East Meadow and East Moor. The presumed boundary between them is shown on the 1883 OS map and on the tithe map of 1841 to be sinuous (shown in green on Figure 3.38). It is recognisable as a boundary by the contrast in finds density across it from the 12th century onwards. Whereas in the 12th – 13th centuries there is a low-density scatter of pottery in East Meadow there is only one find in the whole of East Moor. It is suggested that this is an ancient boundary with origins at least in the 12th century when it may have been used to keep stock grazing on East Moor from the arable land that later came to be called East Meadow. The part of this western boundary north of the railway line is no longer present, but the part south of the railway line coincides with the western side of modern field 1999. This hedge remains. It is in poor condition, but has a low species count with no unusual species of shrub.

Figure 3.38. All types of pottery from the Tudor/Stuart period shows the marked contrast across the sinuous boundary that marks the western limit of East Meadow.

Eastern boundary
The eastern boundary of East Meadow in 1586 is with the tenanted Brockay Close. The hedge survives and is a mixed hedge with an average species count of 5-5.3 per 30 metres and contains dogwood, purging buckthorn, field maple and crab apple. A hedge with a species average of 5 or more could date from the15th century. The northern portion of this hedge extending into the area of Brocka Leaze furlong is much more recent and has a species average of 3

Internal divisions of East Meadow
Within East Meadow, there is a contrast between the distribution of Cistercian Ware (Figure 3.36) and Yellow Ware (Figure 3.37). The Cistercian Ware is mostly limited to the western half of East Meadow, including a small area of demesne land in the north western corner (New Close); the Yellow Ware is spread all over it, though the high points are in the west (Table 3.3). The implication is that prior to the mid/late 16th century, when Cistercian Ware went out of production, the land use for the western part of East Meadow was different from both the eastern part of East Meadow and from East Moor. The scatters of Yellow Ware suggests that some time after the late 16th century the whole of East Meadow was receiving domestic waste in higher than background amounts. What is interesting about this is that these fairly high levels are on ground that in 1586 was designated meadow.

Figure 3.36. Cistercian Ware pottery in East Moor and East Meadow. The eastern boundary of East Moor is a sinuous line that may be traceable southwards to the sinuous boundary near the bottom of themap.

Figure 3.37. Yellow Ware pottery in East Meadow show the highest concentrations anywhere in the parish.

Table 3.3 Comparison between East Moor and East Meadow

 
Cistercian Ware Finds per hectare
Yellow Ware
Finds per hectare

East Moor

0.10
0.07
Western East Meadow
1.55
3.61
Eastern East Meadow
0.36
1.36

On the map of 1776 and tithe map East Meadow is divided into several small fields, which in modern times have been amalgamated by stripping out hedges to make two large fields (2198 and 2398) and two small fields to their west (1997 and 1999). Parts of the old internal hedges remain as boundaries to the modern fields 1999, 2198 and 2398 (see Figures 3.36 and 3.37). Although the hedge between 2198 and 2398 has been improved in recent decades sections of it are mixed, with an average species count of 5. For the eastern hedge, which bounds field 1999, it is 4.7 species per 30 metres. In c1590/91 Sir Thomas Stanhope, who already owned the Shelford Estate, purchased the Bingham Estate. In the 1570s he had enclosed 200 acres of moorland at Shelford, dividing them into three pieces for sheep (and a further 200 acres for arable). There is a possibility that when he acquired Bingham he did something similar to East Meadow and that the boundary hedges on both sides of modern field 2198 are the remains of the internal enclosure of the meadow done to increase the intensity of grazing by dividing it into smaller parts at some time in the 17th century. The central and eastern parts are more or less equal; the western third, however, is divided into two parts the dating of which is not certain.

The soil here is an organic, heavy, clay soil on the lake deposit. Ridge and furrow preserved in Crow Close, which lies a short distance to the west, supported by the low-density scatter of 12th-13th century pottery shows that this soil was cultivated in the Middle Ages and was not always used for meadow. However, the fact that it was designated a meadow in 1586 makes it difficult to postulate that it was being cultivated at that time. There is no reason, however, that it should not have been cultivated earlier in the 16th century; in fact the distribution of Midland Purple Ware sherds (Figure 3.31) suggests that the western part possibly was cultivated.

Of the four fabric types plotted here the earlier Cistercian Ware, which is confined to the western segment, sandy Coarse Earthenware and Purple-bodied Sandy Coarse Earthenware are very sparsely distributed. Most of the pottery of this period is Yellow Ware, with a date range that extends through the 17th century. Indeed, East Meadow has the highest spot density (density in a single 100 metre square) of Yellow Ware in the whole parish. It also has the second highest spot density of 17th century clay pipes and one of the highest for 17th-18th century glass. A Queen Elizabeth I silver sixpence minted in 1562 was found in this area.

There are three possible explanations:

  • One is that there was only a short period around 1586 when East Meadow was wholly used as meadow. Prior to that the western part was periodically under arable cultivation; afterwards the whole of East Meadow was divided into smaller parts each of which was used as arable and grazing in rotation.
  • Secondly, there are records elsewhere in the Vale of Belvoir in the late 18th century (Lowe. 1798) of crushed skerry being used to improve grassland. It is possible that in the case of East Meadow broken pottery was used to improve drainage in the same way.
  • This could be the location of a village dump in the 16th and 17th centuries, which has been spread about by later ploughing.

In conclusion, it appears that there has been a boundary between East Meadow and East Moor at least since the 12th century and along the eastern side of East Meadow probably since the 15th century. The western part of East Meadow, on the other hand, might have been used as arable in the early 16th century and all of it was divided into smaller parts after 1586 either to intensify grazing, in which case the pottery scatters might indicate that it was used to improve the soil, or to introduce a rotation of arable and grazing.

East Moor
The eastern boundary of East Moor is against East Meadow (Figures 3.36 and 3.37). The western boundary is against demesne land. Most of the northern boundary coincides with the edge of the lake deposit against Parson’s Hill and is currently marked by a ditch. The north-eastern boundary is the parish boundary. The southern boundary is the edge of the 16th century Bingham and a parcel of freehold, which contains the deserted medieval village in Crow Close. Short stretches of hedge in the north and west are hawthorn dominant and not well kept. They give no firm evidence of age.

Figure 3.36. Cistercian Ware pottery in East Moor and East Meadow. The eastern boundary of East Moor is a sinuous line that may be traceable southwards to the sinuous boundary near the bottom of themap.

Figure 3.37. Yellow Ware pottery in East Meadow show the highest concentrations anywhere in the parish.

Up to the 13th century East Moor is free of pottery scatters. After that, although most of it is free of any pottery, there are areas that at times were receiving a low density of domestic waste. There is no Gritty Ware and very little Midland Purple Ware. The 16th century fabric types, where present, make up less than 2 finds per hectare except for one 100-metre square with a density of 5 finds per hectare. It is difficult to interpret this pattern. Medieval Bingham and Crow Close lie immediately to the south of the part of East Moor with pottery sherds. Along the northern edge of Crow Close the southern ends of north-trending ridge and furrow are preserved. It would have extended under what is now modern housing, but the 1586 map does not show them extending any further north than the modern railway line. The implication from this is that East Moor may not itself have been cultivated at this time, but used for most of its history either as meadow or common grazing. The isolated high-density spots could be the result of localised dumping of domestic waste on the common land.

Parson’s Hill
In 1586 Parson’s Hill was made up of Lez Holmes, Flatholme Leaze and, at the western end, demesne land. (The position of Flatholme Leaze is our interpretation of the name. In the survey it is included as a part of East Moor) The demesne land is more or less free of any pottery until the 16th century and even then levels are very low. The rest of Parson’s Hill shows evidence of activity from the 10th-11th century with high concentrations for the period 12th to 14th centuries, which suggest cultivation. Arguments are presented in the Medieval section that this was one of the sites settled from the Iron Age to the Black Death. Fabric types that characterise the late 14th century onwards are either absent or present in very low concentrations, which suggest that from then onwards it was probably used only for grazing. This suggests that the ditched boundary between Parson’s Hill and East Moor would have been necessary only until the mid 14th century to keep stock grazing on East Moor off the arable land on Parson’s Hill. Like the western boundary of Eastern Meadow it may have been 12th century in origin.

Quakenfen (or Quakefenne)
This small area wedged between demesne land, Lez Holmes and the parish boundary (see Figure 3.36) is practically devoid of pottery of any age prior to the late 17th to 18th century. This is a wet, potentially boggy area and would have been most suitable for meadow.

West Moor (including Goose Moor)
This was an area of common pasture in 1586 and most of it continued as shared grazing at least until 1776. Its western boundary is Chapel Lane, but on all except its northern boundary it is surrounded by demesne land. On the north is an outlying area of the arable North Field called Bowmer Lands, which in 1586 was 80% arable. Nowadays a farm track runs northwards through the middle of West Moor. This is a continuation of Moor Lane, which leads northwards off the western end of the Market Place and is likely to have been the access road to West Moor in 1586. Few hedges are preserved in this area, but one alongside this track through the middle of West Moor, though it has a species average of between 3.1 and 3.6, contains wild privet, a species commonly used in Tudor hedges. The hedge shows signs of recent improvement and may be older than the 17th century that the species average implies. Apart from a narrow, northern strip West Moor is all on lake deposit and has dark, organic, clay soil. The northern part is clay within the Mercia Mudstone.

The 16th /17th century pottery scatters are spread widely over the moor, but the highest concentrations are east of the farm track. The overall density of the four 16th and 17th century fabric types used here is 5.63 finds per hectare, which is less than the western side of East Meadow (see Table 3.3). On the eastern side (1776 field number 227) the density is 6.71 finds per hectare. However, the 100m grid plots (Figures 3.39 and 3.40) show two high spots of 5-7 finds per hectare for the Cistercian Ware and a different one of 7-11 finds per hectare for Yellow Ware on the eastern side.

Figure 3.39. The grid map for Cistercian Ware in West Moor shows high concentrations to the east of Moor Lane. It is interpreted that this area was where the village dump was established in the late 15th century.

Figure 3.40. The grid map for Yellow Ware shows that the high concentrations, like with the Cistercian Ware, are still on the eastern side of Moor Lane, but in a different place.

As with East Meadow it is unlikely that an area designated as common grazing in 1586 would have been used for arable cultivation. Prior to that there is evidence of possible arable activity in these fields during the Roman period and again from the 10th century onwards. The finds distribution from the 10th to 15th centuries is consistent, showing a relatively higher density near the Margidunum roundabout than at the southern limit of the scatters. This has been interpreted as indicating that the land was farmed from a settlement or farm at or near Margidunum. From the late 15th century the pottery scatter is quite different. The focus of the high density points for Cistercian Ware has shifted about 800 metres to the south onto the common land, while on Bowmer Lands to the north, even though the land is designated as 80% arable in 1596, there is very little 16th – 17th century pottery in it. This could mean that this area, which is over a mile from Bingham town centre, like the adjacent demesne lands, was manured mainly by folding animals on it rather than by using farmyard manure.

On the common land, the fields on the east of the track have the highest spot densities for Cistercian Ware in the parish and the densities of Yellow Ware are the highest outside East Meadow. The 17th century clay pipes are the densest concentrations outside East Meadow with 34 bowls dated between 1620 and 1700 (Figure 3.41). On the west side of the track there are no dated 17th century clay pipe fragments at all. With these unusually high densities it is likely that from either the late 15th or early in the 16th century this area was used as the village dump. The coincidence of this date with the proposed date for the establishment of Bingham as a fully nucleated village and the date of the acquisition of Bingham manor by John Stapleton could imply that the reorganisation of the estate around a central village brought with it other changes in the way the village was run including the organisation of waste disposal.

Figure 3.41. Early clay pipes continue to show high concentrations east of Moor Lane.

West Ings
West Ings (ings is a word used for meadow) is the area of common grazing west of Chapel Lane (Figure 3.41). The northern part is an area with a high density pottery scatter in which the values of 16th century fabric types and 17th century clay pipes are not high compared to East Meadow and West Moor, but higher than the mean for the arable fields in the south of the parish. It is possible that this site also is a 16th and 17th century dump. At the far western corner of West Ings is Short Meadow, an area with a higher density scatter than most of the rest of the common land. There is no Cistercian Ware in Short Meadow, but mostly Yellow Ware and Purple-bodied Coarse Earthenware. These are probably indicative of activity in the 17th century, rather than earlier, though there are no 17th century clay pipe fragments. Short Meadow is enclosed on three sides by arable furlongs in Chapel Field and it is possible that it too was cultivated at some time in the late 16th or 17th centuries.

There are several surviving hedges bordering West Ings (Fig 3.39). Those along the northern and north eastern boundaries with the demesne lands are mixed hedges with hawthorn probably added during improvements in the 19th or 20th centuries. These hedges are unusual in the parish in having such species as hazel, dogwood, guelder rose and oak. The species range is 3.8 to 4.7 per 30 metres, which could make them at least 16th century in origin. The south-eastern boundary of West Ings is now part of the industrial estate and nothing remains of the original hedges.

Figure 3.39. The grid map for Cistercian Ware in West Moor shows high concentrations to the east of Moor Lane. It is interpreted that this area was where the village dump was established in the late 15th century.

Demesne lands
All the demesne lands shown on the 1586 conjectural map is in the northern part of the parish and from the late14th century they have either no pottery or very low-density pottery scatters. Much of the demesne land is marginal to the lake deposit and may have been used as arable, but the pottery scatters give no clue to usage. At Whittlewood, Jones (2004) found that demesne land always contained low densities of domestic waste compared with the adjoining common arable land and inferred from this that it was preferentially manured by folding animals on it. However, if it were maintained as permanent pasture the levels of domestic waste would also be low.

The only exceptions here are part of modern field 0007 on Chapel Lane and New Close. There is no indication on the 1586 conjectural map that any part of 0007 was enclosed. However, the northern part is richer in 16th and 17th century material than the rest and this part retains its distinctive character right into the late 19th century. This could be explained by it being the route from Chapel Lane to the postulated village dump in West Ings. A close in East Meadow, called New Close (Figure 3.36), and so quite possibly a recent enclosure in 1586, has the same characteristics as the rest of East Meadow.

Figure 3.36. Cistercian Ware pottery in East Moor and East Meadow. The eastern boundary of East Moor is a sinuous line that may be traceable southwards to the sinuous boundary near the bottom of themap.

Several hedges bordering demesne lands still survive (Figure 3.39). The most interesting is along the western side of Chapel Lane. The stretch that borders modern field 0007 has a species average of 6.4 and contains spindle, hazel, crab apple and field maple. This is the only hedge in Bingham to contain spindle. The hedge may have been improved during road improvements in 1968, but still has the appearance of a genuinely old mixed hedge, possibly 14th century in origin. The extension of this hedge along field 9809 is also mixed and has an average of 5. It contains dogwood, oak, crab apple and field maple. The hedge along the Fosse Way is not well kept for much of its length, but the part that borders field 9809 has the same species as the Chapel Lane hedge and an average of 4.5. The character of all these hedges has been influenced by 19th or 20th century improvements, which makes it difficult to date them. Orwin and Orwin (1967) say that it was incumbent on the farmers who worked arable strips to make sure that there was a hedge bordering their strips along tracks that were used by stock. However, there is no evidence that the demesne land was used for arable rather than pasture at any time in its history. If there was ever any ridge and furrow in these fields it has long since been ploughed out. This means that the hedges might have been necessary to keep stock in demesne pastures rather than out. The possible 14thC date for the 0007 hedge is reasonable for any of these hedges. Interestingly, there are two mixed hedges flanking field 9608, which are within demesne land and not present as boundaries in 1586. They have averages of 4.3 and 4.8 and contain dogwood and hazel. This could suggest a 16th century origin and reflect a division of the demesne pasture carried out by Thomas Stanhope for the same reasons as for East Meadow.

Arable open fields
The distribution of pottery over the four arable open fields is fairly even with respect to Cistercian Ware, but shows interesting variations with respect to Yellow Ware and Sandy Coarse Earthenware. The Yellow Ware distribution (Figure 3.34) shows no finds at all in the large part of East Field south of the sinuous boundary. There are also no finds north of what is currently the A52 around the modern Brocker Farm. Several furlongs in West Field have either no finds or only one or two and there are seven small furlongs in South Field that are free of finds. Well Leazes at the southern boundary of South Field have only a small number of finds mostly along the northern boundary, which may reflect imprecision in boundary definition. These could all indicate a large conversion of arable land to grazing in the 17th century.

Figure 3.33. Distribution of Cistercian Ware finds on a background of the 1586 map. Note that there are hardly any on Ox Pasture.

Figure 3.34. The distribution of Midland Yellow Ware shows several areas in the open fields with no finds. These are interpreted as having been converted from arable to pasture.

Figure 3.35. Distribution of Sandy Coarse Earthenware showing a closer similarity to Cistercian Ware than to Yellow Ware.

The distribution of Sandy Coarse Earthenware (Figure 3.35), though more sparse than Cistercian Ware (Figure 3.33), is similar to it, except in that it is more widely spread in East Meadow. This might suggest that it is contemporaneous with Cistercian ware, but manufacture extended to later than it. As a fabric type is has a strong resemblance to the late Midland Purple that was made in Ticknall at the same time as the Cistercian Ware and this distribution seems to bear this out. It contrasts sharply with the distribution of Yellow Ware.

The distribution of pre-1750 clay pipe fragments shows an interesting pattern (Figure 3.42). The densities are low in East Field, where they are absent in most of the part that is free of Yellow Ware south of the sinuous boundary that. They are low in most of West Field, but high in South Field, the northern part of West Field and the southern part of North Field. These are all areas that are relatively close to Bingham and reflect a pattern that has been evident in pottery scatters since the 12th century and continues beyond the17th century (see Open Fields in Medieval section and Table 3.2). The 1586 conjectural map shows two main roads through South Field, which means that access to the furlongs being treated with farmyard manure was relatively easier for this field than those to the east and west.

Figure 3.42. The highest concentrations of clay pipes for the pre-1750 period are West Moor, East Meadow, southern North Field and in the western half of South Field. There are practically none in the southern half of East Field, which was converted to pasture in the late 16th century and remained as such on this showing into the 18th century.

Freehold
There are many freehold strips in the arable fields, but apart from their location there is no further information about most of them. On the 1776 estate map two large areas of freehold are shown, one on each side of the A52 to the east of Bingham. They may represent areas that were equivalent to amalgamations of the widely separated strips farmed by the freeholders before general enclosure. This gives an idea of the total area that was farmed by freeholders. However, as most of the 16th and 17th century strips were integrated in the open fields, field walking cannot distinguish between them and other strips.

CIVIL WAR

There is documentary evidence that Prince Rupert spent part of the night 20/21st March 1644 in Bingham on his way to relieve the Parliamentarian siege of Newark. His army consisted of 3000 infantry and 3000 cavalry. He is said to have occupied a close overlooking Bingham that night. Mobile seventeenth century armies did not camp in tents and 6000 men and horses would have spread over the parish where there was water. Only the officers are likely to have been billeted in homes.

Direct evidence of the Civil War is available from cannon balls and potentially from mid 17th century clay pipes. Two cannon balls have been found. One was for a minion cannon, from near the Moot House pit on the Fosse Way. This was a small mobile cannon with a 3-inch bore widely used in the Civil War. The other was for a 4-inch bore demi-culverin cannon found in a garden in Langar Road, which is close to Tithby Road, an access into Bingham that existed in the 17th century. The demi-culverin was a heavy cannon used as a siege weapon.

It was hoped that a plot of dated mid 17th century clay pipes would reveal some information about where troops may have camped. However, the plot is not revealing (Figure 3.43). Most occur in East Meadow, West Moor and West Ings among the pottery thought to mark the site of the rubbish dumps. The remainder are scattered in the south and south-western parts of the parish. There are no places with a high concentration, but it may be significant that most are close to the contemporary roads Wiverton Gate, Cropwell Gate, Toot Hill Gate and the Fosse Way, all of which could have been used by an army moving into Bingham from the south.

Figure 3.43. The main concentrations of clay pipes whose date straddles the 1640s are in the areas of the village dumps in West Moor, West Ings and East Meadow. The scattering in the south west possibly shows where Prince Rupert’s army spent the night of 20th /21st March 1644.

CONCLUSIONS

  • Village nucleation was probably completed in the late 15th century and from then through the 16th and 17th centuries Bingham was managed as a single estate from a central village.
  • The eastern side of the track through West Moor became a site for the village dump late in the 15th century and was still in use as such at least until the end of this period.
  • The western side of East Meadow shows relatively high concentrations of pottery and clay pipes, which indicate that it may also have been used as a dump. However, this part of East Meadow shows pottery scatters from the 12th century through the Medieval period, which suggests that it might have been used for arable farming. The densities of finds are not high before the 16th century, so it is possible that there was a change of usage at this time.
  • East Meadow as a whole may have been divided into smaller parts during the late 16th or early 17th century to facilitate more economical grazing or to introduce a rotation of grazing and arable.
  • West Ings may also have served as a village dump in the same period as West Moor.
  • With the exception of New Close and West Ings, the demesne land is comparably free of pottery scatters for the whole of this period. This could indicate either that it was manured only by folding animals on it, or, more likely, that it was used for pasture. The remains of old, mixed hedgerows around and within the demesne lands west of Chapel Lane would support the hypothesis that this area of demesne land was enclosed by the 14th century and then part of it divided into three after 1586 in the same way as East Meadow either to improve grazing or to enable rotation between grazing and arable.
  • The distribution of Yellow Ware shows that large parts of the East and West arable open fields were used for grazing in the 17th century. As there are no sherds of Yellow Ware at all in the converted parts of East Field it suggests that the conversion took place before that ware type was first made late in the 16th century.
  • There is little evidence from field walking to show where Prince Rupert’s army may have camped during the Civil War. Slender evidence from clay pipes suggests that it is most likely that they were concentrated in the south-western part of the parish mainly in fields adjacent to the roads that led to Bingham from the south.


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