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Ridge and Furrow

Essentially a medieval agricultural landscape form, Ridge and Furrow was created by the regular ploughing of fields on an annual basis to a distance that could comfortably be managed by one man and a horse-drawn plough, or by a team of oxen. The land at the time was unenclosed by hedges or fencing, and each strip would have been worked by a single family. Raised ridges in this manner had the advantage of better draining the fields for crops, before the advent of underground field drainage systems.
The ridges are typically 220 yards (one furrow-long or a furlong) in length, a term which survives into modern horse racing. In width, they vary from about 5 or 6 yards, up to 22 yards. The best preserved examples in England are generally in the Midlands, and whilst not commonplace due to extensive ploughing out in the last few hundred years, there are still examples throughout Warwickshire SP2579 : Shadows reveal ridge and furrow, Hill House Farm, Northamptonshire SP8556 : Blenley Farm & Grazing near Yardley Hastings, Oxfordshire SP5611 : Ridge and Furrow, Beckley, Leicestershire SK6717 : Sheep among the earthworks at Hoby by the Midshires Way, Shropshire SJ4312 : Frosty ridge and furrow in Onslow Park and Gloucestershire SO7912 : Field, Hardwicke. There's even a pub, in Gloucester... SO8615 : The Ridge and Furrow
by Richard Law

Created: Thu, 2 Apr 2015, Updated: Fri, 3 Apr 2015


13 images use this description:

SP4980 : Ridge and Furrow by Richard Law
TF4691 : Medieval patterns in a field by Richard Law
NU2128 : Line of a footpath towards Swinhoe by Richard Law
TF4691 : Medieval patterns in a field by Richard Law
SJ6500 : Ridge and furrow marks in a field by Richard Law
SP1782 : Ridge and Furrow in a field by Castle Hills Farm by Richard Law
SP2883 : Field south of Oaklands Farm by Richard Law
NU2128 : Fields north of Swinhoe by Richard Law
SP5080 : Orchard at Harborough Fields Farm by Richard Law
SK6827 : Ridge and furrow on the south flank of Hickling Standard by Tim Heaton
SP5081 : Ridge and furrow fields at Cestersover by Richard Law
NU2329 : Ridge and furrow in a field southwest of Beadnell by Richard Law
SP4880 : Ridge and Furrow by Richard Law


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