Bourne Archive: BAEM: Dyke Haws                           Latest edit 1 Jun 2010.  

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

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Dyke Haws, 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.

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 bestfrom 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. 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 Haws.

Boundaries: In the south it was bounded by Bourne East Field and Bourne Meadows. In the north it abutted on Dyke Outgang, the road giving access from the village to Dyke Fen. In the west it extended to The Heg which may have been regarded as one of its enclosures. This and one other enclosure abutted on the Car Dyke.

Management: Of its twelve enclosures, nine were held by the successors of George Pochin, the lord of the manor of Bourne Abbots who had died in 1798. Of the others, two were held by Emlyn Hardy and The Heg by Henry Bott. The Exeter Estate Book (EEB) makes it clear that these last three were held copyhold of the Manor of Bourne.

Soil: The Soil Survey indicates that most of the enclosures lie on soil type 511i, lacustrine gravel, fine loamy soil over calcareous gravel. This was laid down in the Devensian, at the foot of the slope leading down from the site of Bourne Wood, to the bottom of Lake Fenland, a proglacial lake impounded by the ice cap extending into the site of The Wash. No. 55 and a little of 54 are on 1024b, fen peat over glacio-fluvial drift, providing a deep peaty soil. There is also a narrow strip of 512a, Jurassic limestone and clay. It runs from the southern edge of plot 46 to plot 52. This is made clearer by the Geological survey which shows the limestone as cornbrash but has the peat extending barely into Dyke Haws.

Features: Plot 52 is the site of the Eau Well, formerly, the source of the Dyke Eau, a river which is shown but not usually named in maps made until the 17th century. For example those of Saxton (1576) and Hondius (1610).

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