Three of the censuses – 1851, 1871 and 1881 – asked the question of how much land farmers farmed. Quite a lot of ‘part-time’ farmers also answered this. The results can be used to see the size of the farms and who was farming which – also the change over the thirty years.
Firstly we present the results for the larger farms only as a table – that is farms that were 20 acres or more in at least one census. In the table they are ordered by their sizes in 1851.
None of these larger farmers owned their land, all of them rented (which was very common at this time – about 90% across the country). The Constable Maxwell family of Everingham owned about 80% of the land in Seaton Ross parish with smaller landowners owning the rest. Less than 2% was farmed by its owners. For more detail on farm rental see here.
Note: Alberries farm was not farmed by a farmer but was managed by a ‘farm manager’ in 1851 and a ‘bailiff’ in 1871 – therefore no acreage was given. However, in 1881 Alberries was farmed by a farmer and an acreage of 330 acres was given – this has therefore been used for Alberries in earlier censuses as well.
Also, Fosses farm (the building) is occupied by an agricultural labourer in 1851, and so a nominal 100 acres has been allocated to Fosses in 1851.
The best way to view the table and all the graphs is to click on them to enlarge them and then scroll right (& left).
In 1881, the total farm acreage reported was 3,057 acres – 80.6% of the total acreage of the parish. The remainder may be accounted for by woodland, roads and small plots. The data is expressed as pie charts so that the proportions of the whole are easily seen – captioned with the farmers’ surname. These are ordered by size for each year.
Note the land attributed to the farm manager/bailiff of Alberries in the first two censuses above. Regardless of the farm managed, a Watson (not William Watson – brothers Charles or John and nephew William) was farming the largest.
Finally the farm sizes but this time named by farm and only including those over 20 acres.:
These clearly show which farms were the largest in the mid 19th century. Alberries, Park Farm, Marsh Villa (Breckstreet), Lincoln Flats and Mains Farm were consistently the largest five. The next size group included Old Hall, New Hall, Rose Farm, Green Farm, Fosses Farm, Cross Farm, Dial Farm and Rytham Gate,
Please remember that the best way to view the table and all the graphs is to click on them to enlarge them and then scroll right (& left).