Furlongs and strips

Two long, sinuous fields in the top middle of this picture are enclosed strips or furlongs at LudgershallLong thin enclosures with parallel curving boundaries. This category is a direct indicator of former open field farming, representing the shape of previous cultivation strips. Many of these enclosures are found next to settlement and have been incorporated (or form a part of) property boundaries or ‘tofts’ and ‘crofts’.  Unsurprisingly, the distribution of this type is mainly in Aylesbury Vale and Milton Keynes where the majority of open field farming took place.


It is hard to establish a firm date for this type as most are piecemeal enclosures established in the medieval or early post-medieval periods. Where fossilised strips occur there is a tendency for these enclosures to preserve ridge and furrow. There is also the possibility of finding older settlement evidence if the enclosed furlong or strip is located next to an historic settlement.