~1817 Snapshot

One of William Watson’s several parish maps shows all the farms with named farmers. Unfortunately we cannot reproduce the original map as we have not yet been given permission. Although it is difficult to read, with the help of his 1828 ‘Book of Roads’ and his 1811 map of the village, all of the plots have been identified.

A second problem was dating the map as no date is provided. However, comparing the names of the occupiers with other lists shows that the date lies between 1811 and 1828. Further, the number of differences from each date allow a tentative date of 1817 to be given – but it could be a few years earlier or later.

To allow for analysis, the farms have been redrawn over an Ordnance Survey map (1851 6 inch) and coloured according to the farmer. The areas have then been calculated with software to find the farm sizes – woodland being excluded from farm areas. Note that around 98% of farm land in the parish was rented – not directly owned.

The following maps pick out a few individual farms each to contrast those that were consolidated together and those which were very spread about. The farmhouses for each farm are also indicated where known.

The first map shows all the larger area farms (for the detailed area see below). The farms of the Watson family are shown next – three grouped together and William Watson’s farm, mainly on newly-enclosed land. You can also see two separated fields which is a good indication of why farmed acreages rise and fall between censuses as farmers rent and then hand back fields.

Thomas Harper and Matthew Harrison (last map) have no identified farmhouse.

The two tables below show in turn the farms and their acreages by size left) and then listed north to south through the parish (right). The farms in the village are also identified by their unique code (see here for an explanation and key). Farms outside the village are highlighted in light orange; farmers who were identified by William Watson in 1811, in green. The total acreages of 3,351 compare very well with published acreages (3,380 usable) – please remember that woodland is not included in the farm acreages.

The column on the far left of each table gives the date the farmhouse was built. Hence those that are NOT emboldened and on a light orange background, were different buildings from those currently standing. Blanks indicate that we don’t know when the farmhouse was built.

Now moving on to a more detailed view of the land immediately round the village as seen in the four maps below:

The village is the home, mainly, of smallholders and small farmers. Most, but by no means all, of the village houses have land – a ‘garth’ – attached. There were plenty of other buildings in the village by the road, but not associated with the land they sat on/or next to.

Regarding map (2), some garths do not have a building, but may have had at an earlier date. Those buildings filled in with white are still standing, those that have no fill have since been demolished.

The patterns of fields leading back from the road are clear. Also clear is that at that time, the north side of West End was a single field with no houses, as was the west side of Church Lane.

Finally, the farm sizes for the whole parish – by Farm and by owner – are shown in the two pie charts below.

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