Bourne Archive: Document: Dyke          Latest edit 21 Feb 2010.   

Interactive version ©2006 R.J.PENHEY

The Bourne Archive

 Summary of a Bourne legal document: Purchase of land in Dyke1 and Cawthorpe2 by Robert Hardwick from James and James Swift for £89: 1720.

Names mentioned:

People                                                                                  Places

Robert Bates                                                             Bourne

Mr. Blyth                                                                   Broadwater

Edward Charles                                                        Cawthorpe

?Rollo Cleric                                                              Dyke

William Emlyn                                                          Dyke Meadow

The Earl of Exeter                                                    Hangate Way

Robert Hardwick of Dyke                                       Hazeland Field

Widow Hardwick                                                      Hoecroft End

William Hardwick                                                     The Hurn

Mr. Hythe                                                                  The Hurn More

Mr. Johnson                                                              Little Becs

John Killingworth                                                     The Moor

Mr. Lea                                                                      The Moor Field

Mrs. Lea                                                                    Morton Mear

John Michelson                                                         Morton Road

John Mitchelson                                                       Nutto Field

Sarah Pank                                                                Rosecraft

John Pell                                                                    Sparrowsike

D’oily Quarles                                                           The West Field

William Smith                                                                      

John Spencer

James Swift the elder, yeoman of Dyke, Bourne.

James Swift the younger, yeoman of Dyke, Bourne, eldest son of Sarah Swift, and James Swift the elder, her husband.

Sarah Swift, née Pank, deceased, wife of James Swift the elder and granddaughter and heir of  Sarah Pank, widow, deceased.

John Topper

6 April 1720

10 acres of arable, ley meadow and pasture in Dyke and Cawthorpe hitherto occupied by Swift and Swift.  To be held by Hardwick, of the lord of the manor for a yearly rent of 6d.

Signed: James Swifte senior and James Swifte junr.

Witnesses: ?Rollo Cleric, D’oily Quarles and John Topper.


Terrier3 (Schedule) Annexed to the Deed

A Schedule or Terrar of the land to [?witness] the Deed hereto annexed referr[?] In the Moor ffield

In the Moor Field4:

3 acres5: 1 acre Ley ground6 abutting on Rosecraft7 south, Morton Mear8 north, William Smith west, John Hillingworth East.

1 pingle9 abutting on Broad water10 north, John Hillingworth south.

1 other land11 abutting on Rosecroft south,  Morton Mear north, John Spencer west, William Emlyn east.

1 other land in the same furlong abutting on Morton Mear north, the Moor12 south, William Emlyn west, Mr. Lea east.

1 ley next the moor. Abutting on William Hardwick’s headland13 west, William Emlyn south.

1 other land abutting on Morton road14 west, William Emlyn south and Robert Hardwick north.

In Hazeland Field15:

4 acres: 1 acre abutting upon Morton road east, Mrs. Lea south and Mr. Johnson north.

1 other land abutting on Mr. Johnson’s headland east, Mrs. Lea north, Mr. Hythe south.

2 lands more abutting on William Hardwick’s headland west, Mrs. Lea south, Edward Charles north.                                        

In the Hurn16:

3 leys abutting upon Hangate way south, John Pell east, William Smith west.

In the Hurn More:

 half an acre, The Earl of Exeter south, William Smith north.

In the West Field17:

 1 acre 2 lands lying in a place called the Little Becs18, 1 abutting  upon Hazeland Field north, Edward Charles east, and William Hardwick west.

The other abutting upon Hazeland Field north, Robert Hardwick west, Mr. Blyth east.

One other land abutting upon Hocroft End19 north, John Michelson west, Robert Bates east.

In Nutto Field20:

1 acre Arable land: 1 land abutting upon Sparrowsike21 north, Robert Hardwick west, John Michelson east.

1 other land abutting upon Robert Hardwick east, William Emlyn west.

1 other land in the same furlong: Widow Hardwick west, John Killingworth east.

1 other land in the same field: William Hardwick east, William Emlyn north, Robert Hardwick south.

In Dyke Meadow22:

1 acre of meadow four gadds23, part thereof lying between the Ma[??]   and the

pasture 4 Gadds other part thereof lying beyond the ?pasture John Mitchelson, south.


When using the Google satellite photographs, click on the small blue triangle to the left of the picture, to get a full view.

For an explanation of the grid references, see Wikipedia.

A glossary of medieval land use terms may be found on the St. John’s College Forest site.

These ten acres are in very small plots, scattered widely in Dyke and Cawthorpe.  See Open field system. The property illustrates the practical pressure towards enclosure.  Today, it would be called rationalization.  The Bourne Enclosure Act came in 1766 and the commissioners allocated the land in 1770.  It brought these fragments of an acre and less together, producing a landscape which many people can remember today.  In the past fifty years the process has been continued and the commissioners’ fields too, have been rationalized as the land has been turned over to arable rather than mixed farming and as machinery has grown bigger.

1. ^      Dyke, a hamlet of the parish of Bourne, Lincolnshire. Grid reference TF1022. As a township, it worked its own medieval field system, distinct from that of Bourne township. However, by the eighteenth century, owners in Dyke may have held land also in the fields of Bourne or Cawthorpe.

2.         Cawthorpe, a hamlet of the parish of Bourne, Lincolnshire. Grid reference TF0922. As a township, it worked its own medieval field system, distinct from those of Bourne and Dyke townships.

3. ^     In this context, a terrier is a schedule or list of property where that property is land (OED terrier, n.1). The word derives ultimately, from Latin terra.

4. ^     The Moor Field lay to the north of Dyke township, occupying the land between it and the parish boundary with Morton in the north, The Car Dyke in the east and the Morton Road (modern A15) in the west. It was probably named from the same lowland moor (bog in modern terminology) as that which gave Morton its name. In England, such lowland moors have long been drained and forgotten except in place names.

5.         An acre was an area of arable ground: specifically, one 40 poles long by four broad or its equivalent in any shape. 4,840 square yards. It was notionally, the area which a team could plough in one day so originally, it varied in size according to the difficulty in cultivating the local soils. Several other units of land measurement were derived from it so they varied too. The modern, statute acre is the equivalent of 4046.856 square metres. Use of the unit in connection with ‘ley ground’ would be appropriate as, though it was pasture, it was sown rather than permanent pasture.

6.         ‘Lea, lay or ley ground’ is temporary grassland; arable land with a crop of grass or other forage species, as opposed to permanent pasture (OED Lea2, ley, lay).

7.         Rosecraft, spelt Rosecroft later in the document, lay in the Moor Field. The description in the present text seems to fit a position between the Morton parish boundary (Morton Mear) and the baulk (OED baulk n3) or warple which, in Hayes and Lane Fig 83, is hinted at, along the top of the name ‘Dyke’.  That is to say, the warple, Rosecraft would run from about TF012227 to TF107227.

However, OED records neither croft nor craft as meaning anything like this. In this instance, it is most likely to refer to a piece of enclosed ground within or adjacent to the open field. On the face of it, the likely meaning of the ‘rose’ element in the name, is a reference to the flowering plant but in Cornwall, the ‘rose’ element in the English forms of some names, relates to moor, in the modern sense, or heathland (Cornish, rôs). Though its association with the Moor Field may seem appropriate and the Brittonic language persisted later in the far south of Lincolnshire than in most places in eastern England, the heath meaning of ‘rose’ seems very unlikely this far east in the country. The Welsh form of the word is rhos and is associated with moor and wetland (Geiriadur Newydd). The Breton noun roz means a small hillock covered in bracken and heather (Garnier roz 2.). The relevancy of the range of meanings in all three of these languages makes a freak coincidence unlikely. Richard Coates has discussed the significance of the frequency of Brittonic place names in England: see his paper.

In the estate maps (EEB and BAEM) there is an anomalous plot in about the right position. In 1825, it was plot 140 on the Bourne Abbots map and was held by John Brittain, copyhold of Bourne Abbots. If this had originated as an early enclosure in the Moor Field then it may be Rosecraft. On the 1988 1:25 000 Ordnance Survey map it is one of two fields approached from alongside the Car Dyke and abutting on the field track representing the warple discussed above. Its position is around TF106227 and it appears in the north-east corner of this map.

When we look at a satellite photograph, we find that the old plough strips in this hypothesized ‘old enclosure’ are very much part of the pattern in the adjacent parts of the rest of the field. Here, the proposed ‘old enclosure’ is the one with the most sheep. To the east is another modern field. The indications of medieval ploughing leave an impression that these two fields were part of one furlong, with that to the west of them. But, to the northern ends of these two fields, there is unploughed ground in two rectangular blocks, one wide and the other narrow. This seems a good candidate for the title ‘Rosecroft’. If the two blocks were separate, either would fit the OED definition of croft as ‘a piece of enclosed ground, used for tillage or pasture’. Here again, we meet the possibility of Cornish nomenclature. A nineteenth century West Cornwall glossary defines croft as ‘an enclosed common not yet cultivated’ (OED croft, n1 1.).  Here apparently, we have the Moor, an unploughed enclosure in a shallow hollow, extended along the hollow by an unploughed enclosure called Rosecroft.

Not so long ago, in the days when cattle were reared in south Lincolnshire, a farm would have its crew yard (OED crew, n2).  This is a term generally accepted as being of Brittonic origin. Similarly, it is hard to think that Crowland, a place whose economy relied on cattle, whose physical structure was thoroughly adapted to this and where Guthlac met his British-speaking devils, did not take its name from a similar source.

8.         This is probably the ‘boundary’ meaning of mere (OED mere n.2 1. a.) rather than a mere as a shallow lake. The whole northern boundary of Moor Field coincided with the parish boundary with Morton.

9.         A pingle was a small piece of enclosed land (OED pingle, n.2).

10.       Since the land was in Moor Field and Broad water adjoined it to the north, the latter was in or adjacent to the Moor Field but not on its southern boundary and probably not its east or west one either. Beyond this, there is no information.

11.       This was probably a less vague term than it appears. It relates to allocation of land in the open field system. Typically, a medieval open arable field was divided into furlongs, each notionally, a square of ten acres (OED furlong, 3). This was divided into lands or strips. Each of the lands was allocated by some version of a ballot each year, to  the farmers so far as their claim to land went. An individual with a smaller claim would then drop out and the ballot would continue among those with greater claims. The land to which the man had rights would therefore be represented by a particular plot, only during one year. However, the present text reads as though in Dyke, by 1720, the ownership had settled permanently upon a particular strip.

12.       Evidently, the Moor lay within Moor Field, rather than adjoining it. The strip is in the same furlong as that which gave rise to the discussion in note 7. We have seen two strips running north-south and ending at Rosecraft. If these were towards the north-east corner of Moor Field, as tentatively concluded in note 7, then, in Hayes & Lane Figure 83, the Moor was either the leg of mutton plot south of the number 3 or the small plot with east-west strips south-west of the letter A. But the division between them is aligned with the railway (OS 1:25 000, 1st Series. sheet TF12. 1955) and is very likely an artefact of the post-medieval imposition of the permanent way on the landscape. So the two plots will have been one. After the railway had been built, the two parts had been managed differently so one had retained signs of strip cultivation and the other had not. These two plots, together with the ground between them, occupied for a time by the railway, seem to have been the Moor. TF102228 to TF106227.

The wet ditch which marks its northern boundary lies in the bottom of a slight hollow, indicated by the 25 foot and 10 metre contours in the OS 1:25 000 1st and Pathfinder series maps respectively. The boundary with Morton lies on the top of the slight ridge rising from it and the somewhat bigger hollow to its north, in Morton, is the site of Southmoor Field, Morton (Hayes & Lane fig 76 and OS 1:25 000).  It seems then, that when these Anglian names were allotted, these two hollows harboured wetland to the west of the Car Dyke.

To judge from existing archaeological finds, the early Anglian settlement locally was not in Dyke or Morton but just outside the Dyke field system to the south; on the line of the railway and to the north of Mountbatten Way (Hayes & Lane fig. 83. TF103215). Though the form of the name, Morton is pre-Danish, it seems that the presence of the moors may have inhibited settlement in Dyke and Morton. Indeed, the two moors may have been one, since moor - that is to say, bog - can spread up a slope, provided rainfall is sufficient. However, once the settlement had begun, the slight elevation of the moor ground above the Car Dyke and the fen to the east, would have made its drainage readily possible leaving the moor to be remembered only in the names.

In this satellite photograph, the Moor shows little sign of its former peat.

13.       In an enclosed field, a headland is a strip at the end of the ploughed furrows, left unploughed and used for turning the plough. The job is finished by ploughing the headlands, across the general alignment of the furrows. In an open field, the headlands were not ploughed and provided both turning space and access for the users of other strips. But, since this one was seen as belonging to Mr. Hardwick, it seems that it was regarded as part of the strip rather than being a public right of way.

14.       The main road northward towards Morton; now part of the A15.

15. ^   Hazeland (Haseland) Field, the largest of the Cawthorpe fields. It extended from Bourne Wood to the A15, along the Morton parish boundary. See map.

16. ^   A hirn was a nook or corner (OED hern, hirn, n.). It might be concave or convex but in field terminology it seems more often, to have been used for concave features. I have traced neither the Hurn nor the Hurn More. They were possibly two of the enclosed fields of Dyke Haws. The two of these named by the EEB are there, called ‘Kettle Fold and Wath Closes’.

17. ^    The West Field, as the name is used by the Exeter Estate Book, was one of those belonging to the Bourne field system as opposed to those of Dyke and Cawthorpe. It lay to the West of Bourne and extended from opposite mill Drove to the parish boundary with Toft. Its name was more fully, Bourne West Field (BAEM). However, no strip in Bourne West Field could abut onto Haseland Field. EEB lists plots in Cawthorpe West Field which will have adjoined Haseland Field.

We are therefore looking to the west of Cawthorpe; between the township and Bourne Wood. This area is not named by BAEM and the southern edge of Haseland Field is not clearly marked, except by the Edenham Road. In the EEB, it is named as Cawthorpe West Field and shown as bounded by the Edenham Road but the line of this seems partially, to be an enclosure road: its eastern end cuts across ridge and furrow (Hayes & Lane Fig. 83),  so is not relevant to 1720.

18.       At the north end of Cawthorpe West Field somewhere between TF08482240, by  and TF08852218, opposite Cawthorpe Hall. The wood is not mentioned as an abutment to the south so it will not have been in the north-westernmost part of the field.

At first sight, Little Becs would seem to imply the presence of streams but it could be a name remaining from a time when it was the smaller of holdings by Bec Abbey. This nomenclature is found, for example, in Tooting Bec, in London (TQ280723).

19.       Evidently, in Cawthorpe West Field but otherwise not placed. A croft was a small enclosure (OED croft, n.1) and a hoe was a projecting ridge of land (OED hoe, n.1). Allowing for the direction of the field ridges (Hayes & Lane Fig.83), one of two plots shown in the EEB may represent Hocroft. One was at TF088220, the other at TF083219. The former was held, copyhold, of the Manor of Bourne. As far as the general topography goes, neither particularly suits the ‘hoe’ description but the feature giving the name may have been on a smaller scale.

20. ^   Nutto Filed was the south-westernmost of the Dyke fields. It included Leg of Mutton Field and lay west of the Car Dyke, east of the modern A15 and south of Main Street, Dyke.

21.       Sparrowsike evidently lay in or adjacent to Nutto Field, Dyke. A sike is a ditch with a very small stream running in it, at least during part of the year (OED sike, syke, n.1). It seems probable that it was the ditch running parallel with Main Street, Dyke, just to the south of the township. Hayes and Lane (Figure 83), show strips orientated in a way which would suit the description, both near the Car Dyke and towards the A15. Some of the former are tapered strips and appear in the pasture in this satellite photograph. The hypothetical Sparrowsike runs across the north of the picture. The western group is just discernible in the southern field, in this satellite photograph. The hypothetical Sparrowsike is the ditch on the northern edge of the picture. The road to the west is the A15.

In Laxton there is a feature known as ‘the Sike’. Beresford and St Joseph (p. 40) describe it as ‘the artery of unploughed grassland through which ran Ellen Tree Brook in 1635.’

22. ^   Dyke Meadow lay on either side of Gravel Dike (New Scotten Dike), south of the Morton parish boundary, east of the Car Dyke and Wath Field, north of Dyke Drove and west of Scotten Dike.

23.       A gad was in origin, akin to a rod. It was a Lincolnshire measure of meadow land. It was used in open pasture and was a synonym of swath. It was typically, a width of 6½ feet (OED Gad, n.1 6.).  The word also means ‘faggot wood’ (St. John’s College Forest site glossary of medieval land use terms) but not in the present, meadow context.

For the geography of the medieval field names in Bourne, see Hayes and Lane, Figure 83: also Bourne Places.

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