Field Names

Field Names

Map of Manor of Mulbarton, 1724

In 1724, when James Balls of Norwich bought the lordship of the Manor of Mulbarton from the Rich family, he had a map made of his acquisition. This shows roads, buildings, fields and landowners. The land was divided into Furlongs of various sizes (a term for an area of land as well as a measure), and many of these were further subdivided into long narrow strips.

The area of the Common is given as 45 acres 3 roods 22 poles, and there were gates at the two southern corners. The rest of the land was divided into 22 Furlongs which are named:

1724 Estate Map - turned so top of map is North
1724 Estate Map - turned so top of map is North

In the North of the Parish is Sowdle Field Furlong; Hay Row Furlong; Brome-Dale Furlong.

West of the Common is Catbridge Close Furlong; Catmay (later Catmere) Hurne Furlong; Mulbarton West Street Furlong; Catbridge Field Furlong.

East of the Common is The Scite of the Mannor; Mulbarton Street; Oldfield Furlong.

East of Chapps Hill Lane (a north-south lane now part of Swainsthorpe Road and Shotesham Road) is Gravill Pit Furlong; Castelins Wongs; Chapps Hill Furlong; Chapps House Furlong.

South of Common and Rectory Lane is Porter Bush Furlong; Porter Bush over Furlong; Nether Gate Furlong; Middle Furlong; Drink-Hill Furlong; Kenningham Hurne Furlong; Yesmer Furlong; Burtch Field (later Birch Field) Furlong.

Wong = field (used of part of an open-field). Derived from Danish. Hence Castelins Wong.
Spong = a narrow strip of land - used of some fields by Birch Field Lane. Also originally from Danish.
Herne = piece of land projecting into another district, parish or field, from Anglo-Saxon.
Mere = boundary or border. Hence Cat May / Catmere Herne on the border of Swardeston and East Carlton.
Pightle = small enclosed piece of land, derivation uncertain. Also spelt 'Pitle' or 'Picle' on some maps 

1 acre = 4 roods = 160 rods, poles or perches = c. 0.4 hectares
1 Rood = 40 rods, poles or perches = c. 10 ares

Similar to above - note top of map is South
Similar to above - note top of map is South

Tithe Map, c.1840

Every parish was surveyed under the Tithe Act of 1836 when the tithe of produce was changed to a rent-charge in lieu of tithes for every field and piece of land. The Mulbarton 'award' was made on 12th March, 1841. The map and accompanying rent-charge book is in the Norfolk Records Office. Mulbarton is said to cover 1348 acres 26 poles, of which 60 acres 20 poles are Roads and Common Land. The 1724 Furlong names appear again, with variations in spelling and some additional names for fields.

The Tee, Tee Close (on road to Swainsthorpe)
Dirty Close, Great Dirty Close, Little Dirty Close
Clamp Pightle, Clamp Close, Brick-kiln Four Acres, Great and Little Brick-kiln Pastures - all words associated with making clay-lump 'bricks'.
Hulver Bush (= old name for holly), Ashery, Cherry Tree Close
The Swamp, Swamp Close, Dry Close
East and West Crow Fields
First and Second Cuckoo Fields
Sarah Barley's, west of the Common (probably should be Sarah Burley, a member of a large Mulbarton family, who died in March 1770)

And several fields are named according to their size: Six Acres; Nine Acres; Twenty Acres - though Hundred Acres only has an area of 4½ acres!

Lodge Farm Account Book, 1919

Even in 1919, the old field names were used to list work, crops and yield at Lodge Farm:

8 acres Glebe; 8 acres Fyers Grove; 8 acres Middle Grove; 7 acres Drinkets;        12 acres Crow Field; Clamp Close; Bullock Shed Field; Old High; Broom Field;     9 acres Corner Field; Wood Close; Corner Grove; 
In Swainsthorpe: Union Piece and 12 acres Pit (These must be around the Union Workhouse, later Swainsthorpe Hospital).

Many of these Mulbarton field names are now preserved as street names on the modern housing estates.