Saxon fields and farming

Ridge-and-furrow at ChiltonRidge-and-furrow at North MarstonSaxon and medieval ploughing with a mouldboard created the ridge-and-furrow pattern which makes a field look wavy. The ridges aren't completely straight but curve slightly. This was caused by turning the plough at the end of a ridge. It would have to pull out to the left slightly to turn to the right to plough the furrow. Crops were planted on the ridges; the furrows between them acted as drainage channels as well as marking out people's plots of land. There were no hedges marking out fields but ridges and furrows were grouped together to make furlongs.


Aerial photograph of ridge-and-furrow at Marsh GibbonRidge-and-furrow can still be seen in various parts of Buckinghamshire. Do a search on Buckinghamshire's Heritage Portal to find five places of ridge-and-furrow or open field system and write down the locations here:





Mark the places on the map of ridge-and-furrow attached to this page.


Go back to find more Changes in the landscape.