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Field Names

Local History > Local History 1 > Arkwright
What are Field Names?

Field Names, a Brief Description.

Field Names, may be defined as the names of all the pieces of land forming part of the agrarian economy of a town or village. (1).

Around 1840 a new list of field names was produced to find out who owned the land and in particular what revenue the church would receive from that land. This plan of field names was called a Tithe map. A tithe being one tenth of the annual agricultural produce of a the parish payable to support the church or other such religious establishments. Money payment as a substitute to tithes was not abolished until as late as 1936.

The parish of Sutton-Cum-Duckmanton, in line with all other parishes in the country was surveyed and a list was compiled of all the land, its size and its owners. The Lord of the Manor, Richard Arkwright being the sole land owner for the area. The list was compiled as follows.

•(1). The Land owner. (Richard Arkwright and a few other very minor land owners).
•(2). The occupiers. (Mainly tenant farmers).
•(3), The number of the field referring to plan. (Tithe Map)
•(4) The name of and description or Lands and premises. (Field Names).
•(5). Quantities in statute measure.
•(6). Total quantities for each owner.
•(7). Rent charge payable to the Rector.

A tithe map was then produced showing the position of each field and giving it a number that could be cross referenced with the listing.

The field names themselves gave an indication of the use the field had been put to. The field name could give an indication as to the size, the distance from the village, the fertility or infertility, any natural features, types of crop grown or animals raised, wild animals, plants and trees, the industrial use of the land, or the past or present owners of that piece of land. In fact anything to do with the field's current or past uses, or even that it was near to something.

The wording used in the field names come from many old and new languages, and may give us an indication as to the early settlers in the area. (2).

(1). English Field Names. A Dictionary. John Field. p. IX. Introduction.

(2). What Was There Before Arkwright Town. G. Downs-Rose.

An Explanation of the Field Names Associated with the 1837 Tithe Map for Sutton-Cum-Duckmanton Parish. (Arkwright Area).

It may help to know the following:
FAR, Land a great distance from the village.
NEAR, a) One part of a two part enclosure. i.e. Near and far field
b) An enclosure which is near to the village.

LITTLE, A piece of land smaller than another of the same name.
GREAT, An extremely large piece of land.
NETHER, Land further or Lower down than the village.
UPPER, Land above a named feature.
LOWER, Land tower than a named feature. (See Oxpasture).

(Some of the field names are self explanatory).

An Explanation of the Field Names of Sutton-Cum-Duckmanton. (Arkwright Area).

FAR PEASLEY CLOSE, Land on which peas were grown.

LADY (S) BOWER, A sheltered woodland glade dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Any 'LADYS' fields were for the upkeep of a church or chapel in the name of the Virgin Mary, and any revenue from the field was used in this way.

FAR BOWER FIELD, A f field with a small wooded area in it.

UPPER CLOSE, Is land above another piece called close.

WEST FIELD, Refers to land to the west of a village or piece of land.

LONG FIELD TOP, Is land which is of a larger area than another and lies at the top of a slope.

LITTLE ROUGH PIECE, This is a small piece of rough land.

BRICKYARD FIELD, Is a field where or next to where clay was dug and bricks were made.

FURNACE FIELD, Is a field next to or including a furnace.

HIGH OAKS, Land near to or containing oak trees tall oak trees or even wooded land high upon a slope.

STABLE FIELD, Land near to or containing a stable.

SAW PIT FIELD, Land near to or containing a saw pit. In the days when timber was cut by two man with a hand saw, the cutting of the longitudinal planking was done by placing one of the men into a pit below ground designed for the purpose.

BUTCHERS CLOSE, This was land belonging to the village or parish butcher.

OX PASTURES, Were areas of land where ox or oxen were pastured.

INTAKES, Are areas of land taken in by enclosing them.

GLEBE(S), These are the areas of land belonging to the church create a revenue for them.

LONG CLOSE, An enclosed piece of land which is of a longer length than those nearby.

GREAT CLOSE, Is a large enclosed piece of land.

LOWER HORSE CLOSE, An enclosed piece of land on which horses were kept or pastured, this being the lower one.

LITTLE/GREAT STUBBING, Land covered in tree stumps.

FAR/NEAR PINGLE, This is a small piece of land.

FIVE ACRE CLIFFE, Five acres of land on a slope.

CLIFFS, Slopes.

FOOT GATE CLIFFS, Sloping land with a footpath through it.

BROOK CLOSE, This is land besides a stream or brook.

LITTLE/GREAT MOOR CLOSE, Barren waste land.

NOOK, Land in a secluded corner.

NETHER WHITE CLOSE, Land whose surface is whiter than those surrounding.

THREE CORNERED PIECE, Is as it sounds, a three cornered piece of land.

MEADOW, Grassland which is mown for hay.

LEYS, Meadow land.

COMMON PIECE, This is community land, or land enclosed from common land.

HILLOCKS, Land containing hillocks.

PIECE/CROFT, Pieces of land. A croft being near to a house.

SLATTING PITS, Places where beast were slaughtered.

PITS, May refer to mineral extraction, or even pits dug to trap animals or to bury refuse.

DICKEN FIELD, A place where bartering was practiced. (Dicker, to trade or barter. Or dicker, a set of ten hides used as a unit of trade).

OSIER BEDS, Land on which osier willows were grown. The osier willow (SALIX VIMIMLIS). Was usually grown as a coppice tree, i.e. The trunks are cut down to ground level to encourage sucker growth besides streams in marshy districts. The thin stems were then used for basket making,

GALLOWS CLOSE, Land on which the village gallows were sited. It was not unusual for a village to have its own gallows, but it is unlikely that a small manor like Sutton would have had its own. There are no records to suggest this either. It is possible that a well or coal/ironstone mine could have had a set of wooden head stocks in the shape of a gallows which gave rise to its name. There are other field names around gallows close which give us other clues. 

CINDER HILL PINGLE/BOTTOM and CLOSE, which refers to land with cinders or slag heaped on it, suggesting mining operations or the likes. Also nearby is PIT CLOSE.

RYE CLOSE, TURNIP CLOSE, COW/CALF CLOSE, and WHEAT CROFT, show the use that the field was put to. i.e. The crops grown or the animals pastured.

SPRING CLOSE and WELL CROFT, Refer to the type of water source to be found.

FAR TINKERS PIECE, Land on which itinerant tinkers camped.

LANE CLOSE, Refers to land near a lane.

CROSSNOR CLOSE, May well refer to the land to the north of a cross-roads.

QUARRY PIECE, Land containing or bordering a quarry.

SHAWS CROFT, May reflect ownership of the land or containing a copse. Also BAGSHAW CLOSE and SIMS CLOSE.

CLOVER LEY, Land on which clover grew as a cultivated crop.

KNEE ACRE, May refer to a poor piece of land requiring work on hands and knees. Or a knee shaped piece of land.

MOW CLOSE, Land on which a haystack stood.

DALE ACRE, An acre of land in a valley.

GROVE PITS, Pits by a plantation of trees.

TYE GREAVE, A small enclosure in a grove. Greave can also be a pebbly beach at the side of a river.

HOMESTEAD, Land near to the centre of the village or farm.

BROAD CLOSE, A wide piece of land.

GORSE CLOSE, Land covered in gorse.

WOOD CLOSE, Land near to a wood.

CRABTREE CLOSE, Land near to or including crab-apple trees.

LONG LOW HAYES, A long piece of land on a hill (LOW), fenced in as part of a forest enclosure for the keeping of game.

HILL SIDE, Land on the side of a hill.

PINCH PARK, A derogatory name, ambiguously referring to parsimony and torture.
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