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A MAP OF BINGHAM FOR 1586 (9)

Mapping the furlongs in North Field

North Field

Click here for map of North Field

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North Field was split into two parts separated by the West Meadow (West Ings, by 1776 Chapel Meadow). The reason for this is not apparent in the survey but may be a result of ancient continued post Roman occupation of the Margidunum area evidenced by field walking finds and discussed elsewhere (link to medieval chapter). Curiously, it also contains a narrow sequence of furlongs along the Fosse Way near Moot House Pit which are bounded by a series of West Field Furlongs. Again, the origins may lie in ancient settlements before the nucleation of Bingham village and the clearance of the woodland here after the Norman Conquest. Thus the evidence points to West (Brackendale) Field being a later development than the other three open fields, although the pattern of four fields had clearly been well established by 1586. About 6% was meadowland.

There are two irresolvable anomalies in the spatial relationships between furlongs as decsribed in the survey. Furlong 8 cannot readily be associated both with Nottingham Gate at its south and (one of) the Bryestings furlongs 9 and 10 to its north. It also seems impossible to place furlongs 26, 29, 30 and 31 and honour the requirement for 29 to butt onto Toothill Gate and be west of 26 whilst placing furlong 31 to also be west of 26.

“Furlong 0” (Rectory Strips) is mentioned only as being “two strips next to Whinhill Close belonging to the Rectory“ west of Bowmer Leaze (Fosse Road was described as north). It was not formerly part of West Field.

Furlong 1 - Millne Hollme Leaze - Buttin East upon Millnehollme Bancke, west upon Bowlmer Furlong
Expected area: 5.92a GIS area: 5.7a

Despite the name (Leaze = meadow) this was entirely arable. There was a mill, possibly water powered, in this area but maybe over the border in Carr Colston parish. Two entries in the list of holdings are suspect. Holding 14 was entered as being of nine roods, but four roods equals one acre, and we have no other examples of the clerk writing more than three roods in the appropriate place in the list, so one must assume the entry was incorrect - but we do not know what it should have been - inspection of the sheets and comparison with other holdings in the furlong suggest the entry for Holding 14 of 0-9-1-½ should have been 0-0-9-1½. This would reduce the expected area to about 0.23 acres not 2.28 acres and the expected area of the furlong to 3.9 acres. A redrawn map would remove the triangular part of the furlong to the south.

Furlong 2 - Bowlmer Lands
Expected area: 34.16a GIS area: 34.3a

The name is a forerunner of ‘Bull Moor’, but at this time it was not all pasture. The finds from field walking indicate this general area had a history of arable farming from Saxon times that continued during the process of village nucleation as Bingham grew and developed, described in the medieval section (link to medieval chapter)
The position of the furlong is dictated by its relationship to furlongs 1 and 3. The resulting shape is difficult to imagine as holdings without these being divided into blocks as happened with large irregular furlongs at East Bridgford. Later field boundaries as revealed by the tithe maps might be indicators of the blocks.
Between 10% and 30% of each holding was meadow, the remainder arable. There was a three acre block of demesne land.

Furlong 3 - Butteth west upon the Fosse, East upn Oldwarke Cloase and joyneth south to the last fur’
Expected area: 1.28a GIS area: 1.2a

There were five tenanted holdings, amounting to nine holdings in this furlong, all of which were meadow.

The first three furlongs were isolated from the remaining furlongs of North Field. Around them were:

North and East of Furlong 2, the small Close next to Oldwarke Close and Oldwarke Close itself were meadow. The close we have inset into Furlong 2 was described as being in Newton. We have located it to match an area shown on the tithe map as belonging to Newton Parish. It too was pasture, as was Bowmer Leaz.

Furlong 4 - Whynnell Leaze, butting north upon Whyhell Close, So’ upon Short Meadow
Expected area: 3.96a GIS area: 5.1a

This area of the parish still carries the name ‘Whinhill’. Holdings 1-16 were pasture, 19-21 and 24 – 25 were arable and 26-28 were meadow. Intervening holdings were freehold and therefore no land use was shown. The demesne close to the north-west was pasture and the areas to the south east and north east were meadow. With so few arable holdings the furlong looks well on its way to becoming entirely grassland. There were no demesne holdings – possibly the western close had been demesne holdings for an enlarged furlong.

Furlong 5 – Whynhill - butt’ north upon Short Med’
Expected area: 14.04a GIS area: 17.4a

Holdings 11 – 24 were arable, the rest meadow; there were no demesne holdings.

Furlong 6 - Butteth North upon the South end of Bryestings Fur’, South upon Fosse Furlong, and joining West to the Fosse Way
Expected area: 6.54a GIS area: 9.7a

The number could imply this furlong should be near Whynhill, and the location information for a number of its contiguous furlongs places it here but with a higher GIS area than expected. Contiguous furlong areas are about an acre under expected, which compensates a little; if we honoured the expected area, furlong 7 would cross Nottingham Gate (Road), which is of course a possibility. All 19 holdings were arable with no demesne.

Furlong 7 – Short Tongs
Expected area: 4.56a GIS area: 4.4a
Furlong 13 – Long Tonges
Expected area: 7.02a GIS area: 6.4a

The location information for furlong 8 places these on either side of it – we do not know which way round.
‘Tong’ meant enclosure. Both were entirely arable. Furlong 7 was a single demesne holding and it is quite possible it was already enclosed. About half of furlong 13 was a block of demesne land. We have used a sinuous line as the eastern boundary with Nottingham gate furlong. This could have been an old stream or an S-shaped plough line.

Furlong 8Lyeth betwixt Long Tongs and Short Tongs, Butting So’ upon Notting’ Gate, No’ upon Bryestings
Expected area: 1.08a GIS area: 1.2a

The placing on our map of this furlong is a little problematical with respect to one of the location indicators – neither of the Bryestings furlongs is placed nearby. If all directions for furlong 8 are correct (and not all furlong notes have been correct) Nottingham Gate has to be further south than we have shown it. However, we chose this position for Nottingham Gate because there was not space for Toothill furlong (West 12), Hill Furlong (North 33) and Nottingham Gate furlong (North 23) all to be south of the present Nottingham Road without overlapping Some West Field furlongs! There were four arable strips in just two holdings. It is impossible to know why such a small furlong existed independently especially as it was not demesne.

Furlong 9 – Long Bryestings
Expected area: 11.11a GIS area: 13.0a
Furlong 10 – Short Bryestings
Expected area: 3.33a GIS area: 2.3a

These are the Bryestings furlongs, one (or both) of which was north of Furlong 8. At East Bridgford furlongs with a common name are always adjacent, thus we have shown them here. Both were entirely arable with no demesne lands.

Furlong 11 – Kirckhill Furlong
Expected area: 39.2a GIS area: 39.6a

Kirkhill is the (current) name of the street; it the southern uphill portion of Chapel Lane. St Helen’s chapel was adjacent; the ruins were mentioned in the description of Chapel Close to the east. Holdings 99-116 were about 50% meadow, all the rest arable. The field being walked from the west the areas of meadow would probably have been at the north ends and be contiguous with East Meadow. There was one block of ten demesne holdings. A couple of lands were divided about their centre into northern and southern portions, as was often the case in East Field. These could have been either side of the footpath shown across the middle in 1841, the shape of which is echoed in the northern boundary we have used.

Furlong 12 Butteth North upon Kirck Headland
Expected area: 29.59a GIS area: 24.6a

The justification for placing this furlong lies in it butting onto ‘Kircke headlands’, which we assume refers to Kirkhill Furlong. On the GIS it is about 5 acres short, but honouring the expected area would have taken it across the assumed line of Nottingham Gate (Stanhope Way at this point) which on this line meets The Banks, commonly thought to have been a kind of by-pass for the town. It was entirely arable with a block of ten demesne holdings.

Furlong 13 (see Furlong No. 7)

Furlong 14 - Butteth East uon Hill Fur’, joyneth North to Nottingham Gate and So’ to the No’ end of nether Claypitt
Expected area: 6.05a GIS area: 7.6a

We chose the orientation to fit with the rest of the ‘jigsaw’, particularly the need for furlong 33 to be between 23 and 26 and to butt on (both) Nether Claypits. E-w Holdings across the walking direction would be 4½ yards wide. There was no demesne land and it was entirely arable.

Furlong 15 - Middle Lyfe - Butting east upon the west end of the last fur’ and joining nort to Nottingam gate
Expected area: 5.7a GIS area: 5.3a

We have not established the origin of the name, presumably ‘middle life’ or even ‘middle plain’. On our map it is in the middle between 14 and 16 but the name is not repeated. It was entirely arable with no demesne land.

Furlong 16 - Middle Lyfe - Butteth west upon Fosse Fur’, east upon Middle Lyfe
Expected area: 7.58a GIS area: 8.7a

The geometry on or map is perhaps unlikely, but two blocks of n-s holdings of 6 yards x 300 could have been accommodated. Holdings across the direction of walking would have been very short (80 yards). Part of holding 14 (about half way) was meadow, the remainder arable.

Furlong 17 - Fosse Furlong - butting west upon the Fosse and joyneth So’ to WARLANDS Furlong
Expected area: 16.23a GIS area: 16.1a

There were 46 arable holdings with no demesne. The geometry for the GIS representation was chosen to fill the area between Saxondale and Moot House Pit furlong but allows for e-w holdings of about 160 yards length. Furlong 16 was constrained by this and the requirement for furlongs 14, 15, 16 and 17 to be contiguous.

Furlong 18 - Warlands Furlong
Expected area: 8.59a GIS area: 7.8a

A web site for The Field Names of Lighthorne Parish (near Warwick) gives the following derivation:
The meaning is either from Waste-lands or Ware-lands, meaning dwellers lands. These dwellers would have been Bordars, squatters who had the right to domicile in the parish if they could build a dwelling in a day and have smoke up the chimney by dawn.
The geometry of this field was chosen to match an enclosure on the tithe/1883 maps.
Holding 4 was pasture and parts of 26-19 were meadow, almost all in the case of the demesne block of 1700 square yards.

Furlong 19 - Moothouse Pit Furlong - Butting west upon Mootehouse Pitt
Expected area: 17.63a GIS area: 17.9a

We have placed this opposite the site of the Moot House Pit, which is on the western side of the Fosse Way, in accordance with the name. The Pit is thought to have been the site of the meeting place of the Bingham Hundred in the Middle Ages. The first 18 holdings had modest amounts of meadow, which could tie in with last few of furlong 18 also having meadow. Could this indicate the head of the Brackendale stream? There was no demesne land.

Furlong 20 - Butteth west upon the Lo’ of Cropwell and joyneth North to the South end of Mootehouse Fur’
Expected area: 9.95a GIS area: 9.3a

The location information places this firmly in this south western corner of the parish, adjacent to its boundary with Cropwell Butler and confirms the location of furlong 19. The geometry of these two furlongs was partly constrained by the choices made for furlongs on West Field. At least 25 % was meadow with only one very small holding having no meadow. As with furlongs 18 and 19, this is pointing towards there being a stream or spring with wet land around here. The 1831 map shows a pond at the southern end of furlongs 19 and 20.

Furlong 21 – Buske Furlong
Expected area: 13.29a GIS area: 21.38a
There are Buske - meaning bushy - Furlongs on each of the other open fields; we have placed this corner to corner with the one in West Field. Holdings 21 and 22 (5 holdings in total) had the note: “parcel called a gore”. The Orwins define a Gore as “triangular piece of plough land arising in corners where the ploughed area is not rectangular” (p28). These are the only instances in the survey of the use of the term although there are many places where we have been unable to generate rectangular areas. It is not clear from our geometry where the gores might be. Over a third of the furlong was meadow, but distributed unevenly between the holdings. There was a large block of demesne land, over 40% of which was meadow, in the middle area of the furlong. We have used a presumed old sinuous boundary as the southern boundary here although the resultant area is a bit high. The resulting shape exactly fits the 1776 boundary

Furlong 22 – Nether Claypitt Furlong - Butt’ So’ upon Upper Claypitt Furlong, No’ upon Lyffe Furlong
Expected area: 22.09a GIS area: 21.2a

The strange shape of this furlong resulted from its being the last piece of the jigsaw! However, it would be entirely practical. Hegnall Pitt Furlong at East Bridgford is even more irregular. The three ‘Claypitt’ furlongs (22, 30 & 31) have location information linking one with another and the underlying geology of this area of the parish supports the possibility of clay having being worked here.
There were 65 holdings, including a block of 12 demesne holdings. In the central block of about 40 holdings, most are split between two, three or even four occupiers. Most single occupations amount to around 1500 – 2000 square yards. Each of the split holdings is under 1000 square yards, with each group totalling between 1500 and 3500 square yards, mirroring the totals for undivided holdings. For all but one of the split holdings, the next holdings are described as ‘north of…’, supporting the assumption that these would be n-s holdings across the walking direction of w-e. One holding, number 31, is described as ‘west of…’. It is 760 square yards and could perhaps be a short holding occupying a ‘gore’ type non rectangular piece at an irregular boundary. The complexity of holdings arrangements might suggest a complex and irregular shape to the furlong.
The very first holding was pasture, the rest arable.

Furlong 23 – Nottingham Gate Fur’ - butteth No’ upon Nottingham Gate
Expected area: 44.81a GIS area: 44.9a

If the direction ‘butting north upon Nottingham Gate’ is correct, then Nottingham Gate would have been well north of the modern Nottingham Road (the 17thC turnpike. This would imply a strange line for Nottingham Gate in order for the requirements of the furlongs to the west (6, 7, 8, 13, 9 and 10) to be met. This furlong cannot be accommodated south of Nottingham Road along with furlongs 33, 26 and Brackendale furlong 12, there just is not room. We are driven to conclude the clerk probably made an error transcribing from the surveyor’s notebook – we have identified one or two such errors elsewhere.
The walking direction from the north would imply very long holdings of over 700 yards, or two or three blocks of e-w holdings or a different shape for furlongs 23, 11 and 12, making 11 and 12 butt west upon 23. However, there are a number of holdings divided into north and south portions, implying perhaps the field was not walked from the north! The furlong was entirely arable with three groups of demesne holdings.

Furlong 24Butteth East upon Milln Leaze, west upon Hollowgate Fur’
Expected area: 0.68a GIS area: 0.7a

This is the only mention in the survey of Milln Leaze, which we have taken to be pasture or meadow land downhill from the Mill atop Tithby Road. About half the furlong was freehold and the rest split between three tenants. It was entirely arable (assuming the freehold land was).

Furlong 25 – Hollowgate Furlong, Butting East upon Millne Pitt
Expected area: 7.51a GIS area: 7.6a

Millne Pitt is assumed to be some feature (a clay or marl pit perhaps) below the Mill. It is not mentioned elsewhere in the survey. Many holdings were split into eastern and western portions and so ran e-w in line with a walking direction of n-s. Our geometry may not produce practical holding lengths, as a full holding would be only 100 yards. The southern third was demesne land and the whole furlong was arable. The name implies there was a pathway (a hollow way?) through the furlong, which may have split the holdings into their segments. Intriguingly, and probably coincidentally, the 1883 map but not the tithe map shows a north-south footpath either side of the furlong. All the holdings were less than 1000 square yards and were arable.

Furlong 26 – Tootehill Furlong - Joyning west to Upper Claypitt Fur
Expected area: 22.64a GIS area: 22.8a

This is placed in the area still marked on the map as Toothill and north of the similarly named furlong in West Field (No 12). Walking direction suggests n-s holdings, which is confirmed by the text showing two holdings at ‘At S end of preceding 2 strips’. The entire furlong was arable with three large blocks of demesne land.

Furlong 27Butteth East upon Hollowgate Fur’, west upon part of the laste
Expected area: 1.01a GIS area: 1.2a

The clear location information places this small furlong. All eight holdings were arable with no demesne land.

Furlong 28Joyneth Northe to parte of the South end of the last fur’
Expected area: 1.53a GIS area: 1.5a

The location information is clear. All three holdings were arable.

Furlong 29Butteth South upon Toothill Gate, North upon Short Lands of Tootehill Furlong and lyeth betwixt ------Long Lands of said Fur’ ---- and west sides
Expected area: 3.67a GIS area: 3.9a

We have interpreted this to mean Toothill furlong had an area of shorter furlongs at its western end (short lands), south of which we have placed furlong 29 so that the full n-s length holdings are at the east end. The interpretation is not made any clearer because of the missing text. All 21 holdings were arable and there was no demesne land. The walking direction would produce n-s holdings of about 200 – 230 yards, with shortland holdings of about 100 yards in the western section. However the smallest holdings are numbers 1-8, which might imply the field was walked from the west.
Toothill Gate is mentioned for a number of furlongs. We have assumed it was an occupation track leading eastwards from the Mill. There was such a track on the 1883 map (but south of West Field’s Toothill Furlong No 12) which also shows in the sketch plans for 1776 but it was not shown on the tithe map. If we had used this there would have been insufficient space for all the furlongs – in similar fashion to the problem described for Nottingham Gate Furlong.

Furlong 30 – Nether Claypitte Furlong- Butteth South upon Tootehill Gate and upper Claypitt Furlonge and joyneth east to the last Furlonge
Expected area: 7.99a GIS area: 7.6a

Two ‘Nether Claypitt Furlongs’ were listed in the survey, both butting south onto Upper Claypitt. We have assumed they were contiguous. This one clearly has to be west of furlong 29. All holdings were arable with no demesne lands. N-s holdings would have been 260 yards long.

Furlong 31 – Upper Claypitt Furlong
Expected area: 16.23a GIS area: 21.5a

The furlong is correctly placed with respect to its adjacent furlongs and fits within enclosure boundaries which may reflect furlongs. Furlong 1 is a single demesne holding which was meadow; the rest was arable with no more demesne land. As with similar instances on other furlongs, this may have doubled as an accommodation track way. We have used a presumed old sinuous boundary as the southern boundary here although the resultant area is a bit high.

Furlong 32Joyneth North to the South end of Upper Claypitt Furlonge
Expected area: 1.03a GIS area: 1.2a

These two holdings were arable.

Furlong 33 – Hill Furlong -Butting No’ upon Nottingham Gate Fur’, South upon Tootehill Furlong and Joyneth West to Nether Claypitt Furlong

Expected area: 12.77a GIS area: 12.1a
The position of this furlong relative to the others around it is well defined and its position half way up the hill is consistent with the name. The whole furlong was arable with no demesne land.


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