The Berkswell Society
Medieval furrowed field 

‘Ridge and furrow’ is an archaeological pattern of ridges and troughs (‘furrows’), created by ploughing in the Middle Ages. This was typical of the ‘Open Field System’ where families managed one or more strips within a large open field. The strips allowed good and poor land to be shared out fairly. Over time, the single sided plough piled up the soil to form the ‘ridge’, with the ‘furrow’ acting as a drainage channel to protect the crop from waterlogging. The ridges and furrows are not obvious when the grass and rushes are long. They are most clearly seen in winter during early morning or late afternoon sun.



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