The open field system was the prevalent agricultural system in much of Europe from the Middle Ages to as recently as the 20th century in places. Under this system, each manor or village had several very large unfenced fields, farmed in strips by individual families. This article is about the medieval system "Manors" redirects here From the 12th century onwards it was gradually replaced by private fields through various reforms in agricultural technology and local government.
Open fields appear to have developed in the medieval period, and were particularly well suited to the very heavy ploughs that were used to cut through the heavy clay soils common in north-western Europe. The plough ( American spelling plow; both plaʊ is a Tool used in Farming for initial cultivation of soil in preparation for sowing seed Because the ploughs were so heavy, they had large ox teams, and it made more sense to have as long a way as possible to pull them before trying to turn them around. Oxen (singular ox) are Cattle trained as draft animals. Often they are adult castrated males The ox teams which pulled the ploughs were also very expensive, and thus tended to be shared among the families of a village. This form of settlement is sometimes referred to as "champion land".
Each village would be surrounded by several large open fields, usually not physically divided from each other, with each field containing a different crop as part of a three-field crop rotation. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 20th century the three-year rotation or three-field rotation was practiced by farmers in Europe with a rotation of rye or winter wheat followed The fields would be split into a number of sections a furlong (220 yards, about 200 metres) wide, each of which would be subdivided into strips covering an area of half an acre (about 0. A furlong is a measure of Distance in Imperial units and US customary units. The acre is a unit of Area in a number of different systems including the imperial and U 2 hectares) or less. Each villager was allocated a set number of strips in each field (traditionally about thirty) which they would subsistence farm. Subsistence agriculture is self-sufficient farming in which farmers grow only enough food to feed the family and to pay taxes or feudal dues The strips were generally allocated by lot in a public meeting at the start of the year. Sortition, also known as allotment, is an equal-chance method of selection by some form of lottery such as drawing coloured pebbles from a bag The individual holdings were widely scattered, so that no single farmer would end up with all the good or bad land. Ploughing techniques usually used ridge and furrow cultivation to prepare the land for drainage and planting. The term ridge and furrow is often used by Archaeologists and others to describe the pattern of peaks and troughs created in a field by the system of Ploughing used
In addition to the three fields, there would be large common haymeadows (allocated in strips in a similar way), common pasture land or waste where the villagers would graze their livestock, woodland for the pigs, and a communal village green for social events, as well as some private fenced land (paddocks, orchards and gardens), called closes. Common land (a common) is a piece of land owned by one person but over which other people can exercise certain traditional rights such as allowing their livestock to graze Livestock is the term used to refer (singularly or plurally to a Domesticated Animal intentionally reared in an agricultural setting to produce such as Food Ecologically a woodland is an area covered in trees differentiated from a Forest. Pigs, also called hogs or' swine', are Ungulates which have been domesticated as sources of food leather and similar products since ancient times A village green is a common open area which is a part of a settlement The ploughed fields and the meadows could also be used for grazing outside the growing season.
As populations increased, the land available for each family diminished as more strips were required. From the late Middle Ages onwards, a gradual movement towards consolidation took place as small plots were amalgamated into fewer but larger holdings, with a corresponding increase in the power of the landowners.
Contrary to popular belief, not all areas of England had open-field farming in the medieval period. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland Parts of south-east England, notably parts of Essex and Kent retained a pre-Roman system of farming in small, square, enclosed fields. Essex is a county in the East of England. The County town is Chelmsford, and the highest point of the county is Chrishall Common KENT (1400 AM) is a Radio station broadcasting a Adult Standards/MOR format Roman Britain refers to those parts of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire between AD 43 and 410 In much of west and north-west England, fields were similarly either never open, or enclosed earlier. The primary area of open field management was in the lowland areas of England in a broad swath from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire diagonally across England to the south, taking in parts of Norfolk and Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, large areas of the Midlands, and most of south central England. Yorkshire is a historic county of Northern England and the largest in Great Britain. Lincolnshire (abbreviated Lincs) is a county in the east of England. Norfolk (ˈnɔrfək is a low-lying county in East Anglia, England, United Kingdom. Suffolk (ˈsʌfək is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in East Anglia, England. History Cambridgeshire is noted as the site of some of the earliest known Neolithic permanent settlement in the United Kingdom, along with sites at Fengate This article is mainly about the English Midlands For other uses see Midlands (disambiguation. This area was some of the most populous and profitable; it was also the main grain-growing region (as opposed to pastoral farming). Pastoral, as an adjective refers to the lifestyle of Shepherds and Pastoralists moving livestock around larger areas of land according to seasons and availability
From as early as the 12th century, some open fields in Britain were being enclosed into individually owned fields. In Great Britain, the process sped up during the 15th and 16th centuries as sheep farming grew more profitable. See also Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain (Breatainn Mhòr Prydain Fawr Breten Veur Graet Breetain is the larger of the two main islands In the 16th and early 17th centuries, the practice of enclosure--particularly depopulating enclosure--was denounced by the Church and the government, and legislation was drawn up against it. However, the tide of elite opinion began to turn towards support for enclosure, and the rate of enclosure increased in the seventeenth century. This led to a series of government acts addressing individual regions, which were given a common framework in the Inclosure Consolidation Act of 1801. The Inclosure Acts were a series of United Kingdom Acts of Parliament which enclosed open fields and Common land in the country
Throughout the 19th century, the developments in Britain were exported across the world, and the various contributions made upon the working population by warfare and increased mechanization finally finished the open field system off. War is an international relations Dispute, characterized by organized Violence between National Military units Mechanization or mechanisation ( BE) is providing human operators with machinery to assist them with the physical requirements of work However, to this day there is still more communally managed open agricultural land in Continental Europe than in England.
The open field system, administered by the mir (the community of the peasants) remained as the main system of peasant land ownership in Russia until the Stolypin reform process that started in 1905. Mir in Russian means both peace and world The exact date of origin of the Russian mir or commune is unknown Mir in Russian means both peace and world The exact date of origin of the Russian mir or commune is unknown The Stolypin agrarian reforms were a series of changes to Imperial Russia 's agricultural sector instituted during the tenure of Pyotr Stolypin, Chairman of the Council
One place in England where the open field system continues to be used is the village of Laxton in Nottinghamshire. Laxton is a small Village in the Civil parish of Laxton and Moorhouse in the English county of Nottinghamshire. Nottinghamshire (abbreviated Notts) is an English county in the East Midlands, which borders South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire It is thought that its anomalous survival is due to the inability of two early 19th century landowners to agree on how the land was to be enclosed, thus resulting in the perpetuation of the status quo.
The only other surviving medieval open strip field system is located in Braunton, North Devon. It is still farmed with due regard to its ancient origins and is conserved by those who recognise its importance although the number of owners have fallen dramatically throughout the years and this has resulted in the amalgamation of some of the strips.
Vestiges of an open field system also persist in the Isle of Axholme, North Lincolnshire, around the villages of Haxey, Epworth and Belton, where long strips, of an average size of half an acre, curve to follow the gently sloping ground and are used for growing vegetables or cereal crops. The Isle of Axholme is part of North Lincolnshire, England. It is the only part of Lincolnshire west of the River Trent. North Lincolnshire is a Unitary authority area in the region of Yorkshire and the Humber in England. Haxey is a village and Civil parish within North Lincolnshire, England. This article is about the English parish and town For other uses see Epworth (disambiguation. Belton is a small Village in the Isle of Axholme area of North Lincolnshire, England that lies on the A161 road. The acre is a unit of Area in a number of different systems including the imperial and U The boundaries are mostly unmarked, although where several strips have been amalgamated a deep furrow is sometimes used to divide them . The ancient game of Haxey Hood would be unplayable in a landscape enclosed with hedgerows. The Haxey Hood is a traditional event in at the village of Haxey in North Lincolnshire, England on the afternoon of January 6 or Twelfth
A similar system to open fields survives in the United Kingdom as allotment gardens. Allotment gardens are characterised by a concentration in one place of a few or up to several hundreds of land parcels that are assigned to individual families The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located In many towns and cities there are areas of land of one or two acres (up to about one hectare) interspersed between the buildings. These areas are usually owned by local authorities, or by allotment associations. Small patches of the land are allocated at a low rent to local individuals or families for growing food.