Blidworth like many other villages had a system whereby a breck was created in the forest and over a period of seven years various rotation of crops were planted. After seven years the land was left to revert to its wild state and another breck was created.Everybody had a parcel(s) of land in each field. Together with the use of common ground and forest the villagers managed to grow enough food to sustain a family. The individual villager worked his own ground, plus so many days working for the squire, 1/10th. of his produce and animals were handed over to the Church.Blidworth and surrounding district had two Acts of Parliament bringing in the Enclosure Acts of 1769 and1812. The terms of enclosure included making roads to be 60 feet in width, all bridges, gates, and stiles had to be kept open. The land apportioned had to be fenced within nine months with quick thorn or the land had to be forfeited. There was to be no grazing of the roadsides for seven years. The poor were to have the trees, shrubs and bushes on the common land for fuel for the first nine months after the award.
The Commissioners examined all claims to land and notice of the examination meetings were given two weeks in advance at Divine Service in the Parish Church . The cost of the commission had to be shared according to the acreage awarded. Subsequently many small holders could not afford to fence or meet their apportioned share of the expenses and lost their land. The independence of the villagers was compromised and they had to rely on wages as farm labourers,their only means of livelihood. In 1838-40 a farm labourer’s wage was two shillings a day, much of the work was casual and seasonal.
Many left the villages to work in the mines, ironworks,town factories, navying on the new railroad, and many others emigrated. It is reported that 43,000 people per year left the country between 1831 and 1841 to try and regain in other countries, the ownership of land lost to them in Great Britain .The rate book of 1842 for Blidworth shows who lived where and who owned what. Many of the field names indicated to whom they belonged, many of the local public-house landlords are found to be farmers owning large plots of farmland.
We would like to acknowledge the article written by Mrs Sheila Stokes and donated to the History Society and part re-produced above and entries abstracted from various books written by W.Richards, J.C.Whitworth andW.Wild. We thank also Philip Jones for his help.
Our project is based using three Ordnance Survey Maps- 1. 1840 Cassini Historical Map of Mansfield and Worksop Scale 1:50,000 2. 1974 Mansfield and The Dukeries Sheet 120 Scale 1:50,000 3. 2008 Sherwood Forest Explorer Map. Scale 1:25,000
The area of our project is a three mile radius taken from Three Ways Junction in Blidworth.This six miles circumference takes in:
North- Northern border of the old Rufford Mine in Rainworth. South- Southern border of Sansom Wood, Longdale Lane ,Ravenshead. East- Just short of Farnsfield village close tothe 30 mph speed restriction in Mansfield Road . West- Taking in part of Thieves Wood and Haggnook Wood, Ravenshead.
List of designated farms contained in the 1840 Cassini Historical Map.
The designated farms contained in the 2008 Sherwood Forest- Explorer Map has been divided into four quadrants.
North East Quadrant 15 farms. 1. Inkersall Grange Farm, Bilsthorpe. 2. Cottage Farm. Lockwell Hill. 3. Lockwell Hill Farm, Kirklington Road . 4. Rufford Forest Farm, Field View, Farnsfield. 5. LittleAllamoor Farm, off Mansfield Road , Farnsfield. 6. Allamoor Farm, off Mansfield Road , Farnsfield. 7. Forest Farm, Mansfield Road , Farnsfield. 8. Farnsfield Farm. 9. Forest Farm, Baulker Lane , Farnsfield. 10. White Post Modern Farm Centre. 11. Mill Farm, Mansfield Road ,Farnsfield. 12. Boundary Farm, Mansfield Road ,Rainworth. 13. Lurcher Farm, Mansfield Road ,Farnsfield. 14. Hill House Farm, Old Rufford Road (A.614) Farnsfield. 15. Carr Banks Farm, Longland Lane , Farnsfield.
North West Quadrant 13 farms.
1. Three Thorn Hollows Farm, Blidworth Lane , Rainworth. 2. Firs Farm, off Marr Road , Mansfield . 3. Lindhurst Farm 4. New Farm, Blidworth Lane , Rainworth. 5. Providence Farm, Blidworth. 6. Cottage Farm, Cross Lane ,Blidworth. 7. Copt Hill Farm, off Ricket Lane , Blidworth. 8. Ling Farm, Ricket Lane , Blidworth. 9. Scarecrow Farm, Ricket Lane , Blidworth. 10. Woodlands Farm. 11. Norwood Hill Farm, New Lane, Blidworth. 12. RedGate Farm, Ricket Lane , Blidworth. 13. High Park Farm.
SouthWest Quadrant 8farms.
1. Campfield Farm, Kirkby Road , Ravenshead. 2. Silverland Farm, Main Road , Ravenshead. 3. Fishpool Farm, Main Road ,Ravenshead. 4. New Farm, 155, Main Road, Ravenshead. 5. Bottom Farm, Calverton Road Blidworth Lane , Blidworth. 6. Blidworth Dale Farm, Ravenshead. 7. Kighill Farm, Kighill Lane , Ravenshead. 8. Forest Farm, Mansfield Road , Papplewick.
SouthEast Quadrant 16 farms.
1. Longland Farm, Longland Lane , Farnsfield. 2. Baulker Farm, Baulker Lane ,Farnsfield. 3. Haywood Oaks, Haywood Oaks Lane, Blidworth. 4. Combs Farms, Combs Lane, Farnsfield. 5. Far Baulker Farm, Old Rufford Road , Oxton. 6. Sykebreck Farm, Blidworth Lane , 7. Grange Farm, Ollerton Road , Oxton. 8. Archer’s Water Farm, off Blidworth Lane , 9. Moorlands Farm, Ollerton Road , Oxton. 10. Little Tithe Farm, Blidworth Lane, Calverton. 11. Barton Farm, off Old Rufford Road , 12. Spring Farm, Salterford Lane , Calverton. 13. BigTithe Farm, Old Rufford Road , Calverton. 14. Salterford Farm, Whinbush Lane , Calverton. 15. Sansom Wood Farm, Ollerton Road , Calverton. 16. Beanford Farm, Beanford Lane , Calverton.
Intention. Ideally we would like to contact the occupants of each farm on the 2008 detail. From them we would like to ascertain as much information as they are willing to divulge,particularly the following points:
1. How long have they had the farm? 2. What type of farm is it- whether it be arable, livestock or other. 3. Acreage. 4. What changes have there been in farming practices during their occupancy of the farm.
Once we have completed our survey our intention is to visit the Nottinghamshire Archives Office and delve deeper into the history of individual farms. We would appreciate any feedback from this article, whether it be to point out errors or to add information that may help us to draw a picture of farming in the Blidworth area. Any photographs of the farms in the 2008 detail that we could loan, scan and return would be appreciated.