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.
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)
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
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.
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.
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.