Select Page

The term “field” was first used to distinguish areas cleared of trees from the tracts of forest found by the earliest settlers in Britain.The great fields often received names as North Field, Near Field or were related to some adjacent feature and called Mill Field or Brook Field.

The great fields were divided into smaller areas, known as furlongs or shots

and these were subdivided into strips or plots held by individual tenants.

Each furlong had its own name.

Field Names

These usually consist of two recognisable separate words. e.g. North Field, Mill Close

Some times the two words are combined e.g. Millfield.

Field names have never been constant they have changed or evolved throughout history. The Field Milloppers was at the time of the enclosure act called Mill Hoppers

The reason for a name was to provide a common identification for the villagers or landowner.

The names are more frequently used in speech than in writing and compared with records containing major place-names, there are fewer documents to provide sources for the field -names. Field names being less permanent than major place-names.

Many boundary changes and rearrangements by the enclosure of open-fields and by random and sometimes inexplicable renaming of individual pieces of land.

Field-names received little attention until about 40 years ago.

Field names grew out of use of the land, name of ownership, position, shape, size or distance of field. The following are examples taken from the LMPG Map, including there reference number:-

Use of land: The Seeds (28), Horsefield (61), The Milking Meadow (100)

Name of ownership: Old Tom’s Meadow (140), Whitwell Field (29)

Position: Gubblecote Field (211), Home Field (48)

Shape: Narrows (33), Long Lea (64, 65,66)

Size: Great Ground (134), Great Tiscott Pasture (2), Little Tiscott (5, and 7)

Distance: Far Hill (37), Near Hill (38)

Local Feature: Windmill (26), Moat Close (218)

Other Meanings
Brade (141 & 145) – the field is large and wide

Close – fenced or hedged piece of land

Covert (135) – land overgrown with shrubs and bushes

Home – it describes a field which is in the immediate neighbourhood of the farmhouse such as: Home Close (146), Home Field (48), Home Ground (89)

Goodspeeds (182) (God Speed) – a return to good fortune is declared, or hoped for

Allotment – small vegetable gardens rented by residents otherwise without land of their own. In enclosure documents the term is usually combined with the name of the person to whom the land was allocated.

The Butts (124) – generally the irregularly shaped end pieces of the common piece, though may have been land used for archery

Common – either land held by the community or land enclosed from common land

Glebe – land assigned to a clergyman as part of his benefice

Gravel Pit – land from which gravel was dug, very often to repair road

Ground (3,134) – large piece of grassland, especially lying at a distance from the farm or village

Ham (51) – a riverside meadow

Hassocky (6) – the name comes from the type of grass called tussocky grass which grows there and is typical of boggy areas

The Hook (34) – a spur of land, a spit of land in a river bend or a hook-spaded field

Hop (41) – land on which hops were grown (this plant was introduced in the 16th century)

Horsefield (61) – land on which horses were kept or pastured

Klondyke (208) – name alluding to distant land. Gold was discovered on the Klondyke in 1896

The Knoll – land with hillocks

Lea (64, 65,66) – tract of open ground

Leys (150) – land temporarily under grass

Mead (90) – grassland, kept for mowing

Moor (92, 93) – marshy land

Pightle (197) – small enclosure

Wick (178) – land used for special purpose

Some alternative Field Names to those shown on LMPG Map
Little Tiscott (7) – Ram Close Meadow

Barn Field (15) – Bushy Close 1809

The Seeds (28) – Next to Taylors

Middle Piece (35) – The Hill near the Hook 1809

Wingrave Mead (36) – The Hill 1809

Hop Gardens (41) – Browns’ Burwell 1839

Middle Piece (43) – Keens Burwell 1839

Naddocks (46) – The Hufsocks 1839

Front Field (49) – Ploughed Piece 1839

The Parks (50) – Welch Mead 1839

Langdale (53) – The Park 1839

Lango (55) – Pull Goose Meadow 1809

Pole Barn Field (57) – The Plowed Piece 1809

Long Lea (66) – Coppice Meadow 1809

Wells Mead (71) – The Fen 1809

Orchard Field (88) – Red House Field – Outer Mead or Moor

Hobbling Furlong (95) – Roadside Field

Ground North, Great Close (119) – The Field

Long Fen (125) – Bucks Meadow 1911

The Seeds (128) – Puttenham Leys 1911

Drayton Mead Furlong (129) – Pond Field 1911, Fen Field

The Second Field (130) – Puttenham Barn Field 1911, Fen Field

14 Acre Mead (131) – Allot in Meadow 1816

Devrils Pegsmore (137) – Marsworth Pegsmoor

New Piece (138) – Hospital Field, Leonards Corner 1799

Horseplatt (144) – Chapel Homestead

13 Acre Mead (153) – Parsonage Field 1911

The Duffus (181) – Dove House Close

Blind Lane Close (183) – Breaches & Blackstone Close

Milloppers (184) – Mill Hoppers

Mill Field Close (196) – Marston Field, Middle Field

Marlins Hill (206) – Hill Close

Klondyke (208) – Lolly Meadow Close

Long Marston Field (209) – Northward Ground by Road

Gubblecote Field (211) – Southward Ground by Road

Field Features
Ridge and Furrow (Strip farming)
‘Ridge and furrow’ is a characteristic feature of medieval agriculture and was created by consistently turning the soil into the centre of each ridge. The majority of the ridge and furrow occurs only as slight earthworks, less than 0.3m high, but in some place the ridge and furrow is much more substantial and stands up to 1m high.

Example of ‘ridge and furrow’ Upper Brade (145), Recreation Ground (116) and many other fields that have not been ploughed since that time.

Black Poplar
The trees are a visual feature in our landscape; most of the poplars have been pollarded and were planted from cuttings or stakes many years ago.

Alternative leaves are longer than they are broad, with translucent

margins and small regular teeth. The stalk is flattened. Leaves turn banana yellow in autumn. Crimson male and green female catkins ripen on separate trees in March. Female catkins release fluffy seeds in June.

bark is grey-brown, fissured and very often burred. The spreading crown forms a large dome. It reaches 100ft (30m).

The tree grows alongside brooks, ditches and areas of flood plain.

Hedges were mainly introduced as the cheapest method to confine animals and define boundaries. They started to be used extensively after the black death that caused a labour shortage to look after animals. A large number of hedges were as a result of the parliamentary enclosure acts and awards that mainly took place between 1760 and 1820 and did away with the common field system (the LMPG Map shows original enclosure hedges in green and where now removed, green dotted). Hedges, once introduced, provided shelter against the elements, a food source of berries and nuts and a habitat for wildlife and plants.

Hedging plants
Hawthorn is the most frequently used hedging plant. Other species depend on the area, but are typically, blackthorn, plum, cherry, crab-apple, wild pear, hazel, wild rose, field maple, ash, elm, oak and holly.