Bourne Archive: BAEM: Wath Field                             Latest edit 8 Nov 2010.  

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

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Wath Field, Dyke from the Bourne Abbots Estate Map.

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


Car Dyke


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: Wath Field is outlined here by a faint brown line. This runs along the Dyke Outgang in the south, the Dyke Meadows in the east and north and in the west, a strip of old enclosure lying along the east bank of the Car Dyke. Wath Field was the smallest of Dyke’s open fields. Dyke Meadows is not named by the Bourne Abbots Map but is so named by the Exeter Estate Book (EEB).

Soil: The northern part and the strip of land adjacent to the Car Dyke is type 511i, lacustrine gravel. It is sediment which drifted down the slope from the west, under the waters of the proglacial lake, known as Lake Fenland. This was part of a complex of basins of which Lake Pickering was one. At what became the fen edge, the slope ended, so the sediment drifted no further. The rest of the field is on soil based on Jurassic limestone and clay, type 512a (Soil Survey). Geologically, this is mostly cornbrash with a little Kellaways clay and sand in the south-west part (IGS).

Features: It apparently took its name from the wath or ford which preceded the Wath Bridge and provided access across the Car Dyke, to Dyke’s lands towards the Fen. In this map of 1825, the crossing is shown as a ford but the EEB, of a year or two later, shows it as a bridge. It is remarkable how closely the dog-leg course of the Dyke Outgang follows the presence of the firm, relatively well-drained, cornbrash soil, minimizing the passage over Kellaways clay.


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