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Dear all,

As part of an on-going project which is looking at peasant perceptions of, 
and interaction with, the medieval landscape, I am exploring local field-
and furlong-naming conventions in the period before the Black Death.  I am 
particularly interested in the use of qualifying elements which help to 
define furlongs within different open-field systems.  Some communities, 
for instance reference soil conditions and soil colours more than others.  
Elsewhere, furlongs are more generally defined by reference to either 
natural or man-made topographical features.  In other places, furlong 
shape is clearly important, often in places which provide 'birds' eye' 
views over the fields.  Contrasts can also be made between the use of wild 
or cultivated crops as identifiers, or wild and domestic animals.  And 
what are we to make of the references to earlier landuse, particularly 
settlement sites (e.g. furlong names in -cot, -wik, -worth etc.), and 
local understandings of temporal depth in the landscape?

Consequently, I would be interested to hear from list members who might 
have compiled lists of field and furlong names pre-1350 for individual 
manors or parishes (and hopefully robust interpretations of their 
elements).  I am keen to include in this study local examples taken from a 
range of landscapes across the country.  Any information shared would, of 
course, be fully acknowledged.

Many thanks in advance.

Richard

Dr Richard Jones
Centre for English Local History
5 Salisbury Road
LEICESTER
LE1 7QR