Exploring the historic landscape of. Fotheringhay Prepared by Rachel Shaw. Fotheringhay. Like the rest of Rockingham Forest, the landscape of Fotheringhay went through a process of change. The change that made most impact on the appearance of the countryside was Enclosure.
Prepared by Rachel Shaw
The remaining land, too wet or poor for ploughing was left as open pasture for the animals to graze.
By 1300, most available land was under the plough, to grow food. People worked communally. They owned scattered strips of arable land throughout the parish.
RAF Vertical Air Photo 1940s, showing the ridge and furrow of the old open fields still surviving under the network of newer field boundaries. Since this photo was taken, much of the old ridge and furrow has been obliterated by modern ploughing.
Fotheringhay township: early C17thCliffe Bailiwick map (The National Archives)
With a reduced population there was less demand for food and less available labour.
Now the demand was for cloth so it was more economical to farm sheep. For this you needed enclosed fields.
The system of common farming came to an end. Strip-owners were reallocated the equivalent amount of land as privately owned fields.
The loss of common rights could cause great hardship to those who had depended on it and had little or no land of their own. It was often resisted.
Fotheringhay township: 1716(Northamptonshire Record Office)
Use the detailed mapping of the village to identify where you might still see evidence of earlier buildings/ streets/ field layout etc.
Work out your route for fieldwork and plot it on your base map.
Fotheringhay village: 1716Northamptonshire Record Office
Fotheringhay Village: early C17thCliffe Bailiwick map (The National Archives)