Bourne Archive: BAEM: Moor Field                             Latest edit 10 Jun 2010.  

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

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Moor Field, Dyke from the Bourne Abbots Estate Map.

This is a detail, covering the area of the pre-enclosure Moor Field in Bourne Parish, taken from the Bourne Abbots Estate Map of 1825.


Nutto Field


Morton Parish


? The Moor & Rosecroft ? 1720


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.

Boundaries: Moor Field is outlined here by a faint brown line. This runs along the Turnpike Road in the West, the Bourne Parish boundary with Morton in the north, Car Dyke in the east and in the south, the rears of the tofts of Dyke and the road leading to the Turnpike.

Soil: The field is largely on the limestone known as cornbrash, though in the eastern half, this is covered by gravelly deposits from the Devensian glacial. The field’s name indicates the presence of acid peat to the West of the Car Dyke. This lay in a slight hollow occupying much of the eastern half of the field. In the western half of the field, the cornbrash is near the surface (IGS 1” Series sheet 143). The adjacent open field in Morton, to the north of the parish boundary was Southmoor Field (Hayes & Lane Fig.76. EEB calls it South Moor Field). This indicates a second, once boggy hollow, which appears to have given Morton its name.

Moor is a Germanic word applied to things to do with acidic peat. In England, the many lowland moors, having been regarded by estate managers as waste, have now been drained. Besides this, the wet acidic habitat is now generally known by a word derived from the Irish language: bog. One result of this is that in the modern mind, a moor is an upland. However, there are plenty of place-names like Morton and Moor Field, to tell of the former existence of moor at low elevations.

Management: The 1825 map shows the outline of he former open field but its lands had been laid out as enclosed fields as a result of the 1766 Enclosure Act. There is a terrier of 1720, which mentions places within the field as it was before the enclosure. Two of these are Rosecroft and The Moor, of which the descriptions appear to indicate a position adjacent to each other and close to the bottom of the slight hollow in the field.

Some of the post-enclosure fields are slightly pink and numbered. These were held copyhold of the Manor of Bourne Abbots. Others are marked F. and were held freehold by the named owner. Others are marked Co. Ex. and were held copyhold of the manor of Bourne, which is to say, of the Exeter Estate.

Features: The pencilled line running from North to South approximates to that of the railway opened in 1871. Plot 142, which straddles the Car Dyke adjacent to the ford includes a barn, close to the water. It survived until the 1990s and was interesting because its western end was built on the natural ground but its eastern end was on the fill of the Roman Car Dyke. There used to be a very distinct crack in the wall where the quality of the foundation changed.


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