Bourne Archive: BAEM: Dyke Meadows                            Latest edit 31 May 2010.  

Text, page and picture ©R.J.PENHEY 2010.  

The Bourne Archive Gallery

Dyke Meadows, from the Bourne Abbots Estate Map.

This is a detail, covering the area of early enclosures called Dyke Haws in Bourne Parish, taken from the Bourne Abbots Estate Map of 1825.

Gobold’s Park


Moor Field


Dyke Meadows


Morton Parish


Dyke Fen


The contrast in the picture here is enhanced to reveal what in the map itself, is often very faint.

 The parish of Bourne had three sets of open fields; one set each for Bourne, Cawthorpe and Dyke. Those of Dyke were named Moor, Wath and Nutto fields. Dyke also had its Fen, Meadow and a group of small enclosed fields called Dyke Haws. A haw is a hedge or the land it encloses. In modern use, we know haw best from its use in the name hawthorn, that is, the thorn plant used for hedging. The variants on the name ‘hedge’ and their significance are discussed on the page dealing with the field called The Heg.

Boundaries: In the map, unlike the former open fields, the area has no consistent brown outline so it is not possible to be completely sure what was included under the name Dyke Meadows. Even the name is not given by BAEM but it does appear in a map in the Exeter Estate Book so that there is little real doubt about where the limits were. In the north it abutted on the parish boundary with Morton. In the north-west, it abutted on the Car Dyke, beyond which was the Moor Field. It had a short boundary on an anomalous strip which looks as though it may have been regarded as an extension of the easternmost of the Dyke crofts and it had a complex boundary with the Wath Field. In the south, it abutted the Dyke Outgang, beyond which was Dyke Haws and in the east, it was bounded by Scotten Dike, beyond which was Dyke Fen.

Management: Its name indicates that before enclosure, it had been pasture. Its position is towards the fen is consistent with this. Like Bourne Meadows, in the early centuries of Dyke’s existence, it will have been more damp than the lands to the west of the Car Dyke.

Soil: The Soil Survey indicates that most of the land between Scotten Dike and New Scotten Dike has a type 1024b soil, fen peat over glacio-fluvial drift. A small area of this drift is exposed around the New Scotten Dike, giving 511i, well-drained fine calcareous soil derived from lacustrine gravel. Between New Scotten Dike and Wath Field is cornbrash soil (512a).

Features: The abrupt change in width of Dyke Outgang, at Scotten Dike is typical of roads extending towards the fens. Such quirks mark the edge of a phase of expansion into the wetland. In this case, the next phase appears to have been Gobold’s Park, an enclosure of part of Bourne North Fen. It has a counterpart at Frier’s Bar, on the Bourne Outgang, at the south-east corner of Gobold’s Park. It looks as though Gobold’s Park was bounded by Dyke Eau which, to judge from the alignments here, ran along the north side of Dyke Outgang, from the Eau Well, in field 52.

Index of samples from the map                 Archive Contents