Coaxial field system

Field in Cholesbury parish, possibly part of a coaxial system. Note the long, thin shape of the field and the heavily wooded field boundaries,Coaxial enclosure is an extensive group of fields that share the same orientation, often extending over several kilometres. It may reflect a deliberate act of landscape reorganisation. This type of enclosure has a sinuous shape often defined by ancient lanes and sub-divided into small, elongated fields. The enclosure layout can be dictated by topography. Field boundaries are composed hedgerows with a high species diversitty. They are often found in heavily wooded areas.


Some fragments of coaxial field systems may survive in parts of Buckinghamshire as identified in the Historic Landscape Characterisation project. Coaxial enclosures in Buckinghamshire tend to be found predominately in the Chilterns and the south of the county. Some of the best examples can be found in the Chess valley and on the Chiltern ridge radiating north westward from Chesham. One set in Aston Clinton seems to be cut by the later Roman road known as Akeman Street. More tentative examples have also been found in the Vale of Aylesbury, in the parishes of Whitchurch, Wing and Mentmore, which may be relicts of a once extensive system running over the Purbeck Hills. 


All local examples pre-date the earliest maps and are likely to be medieval or prehistoric in origin.  Examples of this type found on Dartmoor, the Hertfordshire Chilterns and elsewhere have been dated to the Bronze Age.