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Ancient Cultivations at Grassington, Yorkshire

  • Eliot Curwen

North of the village of Grassington, near Skipton in west Yorkshire, is a large field known as High Close Pasture, largely occupied by old cultivation areas separated from one another by lynchets and low, wide banks. The area so occupied runs 1200 feet in a northerly direction, and is roughly 300 feet wide. Formerly it extended considerably to the west, as remains of apparently the same series of lynchets are to be seen covering Kimbergill Hill and extending to the southern slopes of Lea Green. On High Close Pasture the lynchets and banks are well preserved ; they enclose rectangular fields among which, though varying in size and shape, the form of a short, broad strip seems to predominate. It is extremely difficult to deduce the dimensions of a customary acre from the actual fields on the ground? but in this case the strips average from 360 to 400 feet in length, and round about 75 feet in breadth–dimensions which suggest a I × 5 acre with an area of about 0.65 acre.

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1 If the plan given by Seebohm (Customary Acres, p. 123) of the open fields round Carnac in Brittany be studied, it will be found that, if the scale given is correct, there is not one plot which approaches in size the customary Breton arpent. The majority contain only about one-third of that area.

2 Vide First annual report of the Upper Wharfdale Exploration Committee.

3 The Circle and the Cross, pp. 80 to 102, 225.

4 Sussex Arch. Coll. LXIV, 35, 49 ; Antiquity I, 276, fig. 2

5 For plans of the BodminMoor examples seeAntiquity 1, 277, figs.1416.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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