A Reconsideration of Some Former Husbandry Practices

A Reconsideration of Some Former Husbandry Practices

Kerridge, Eric

Agricultural History Review, Volume 3, No. 1 (1955)


The purpose of this article is to reconsider certain points of former husbandry practice, namely, ridge and furrow, and boundary balks, and to continue the discussion of them which was originated respectively by Mr M. W. Beresford and by Dr and Mrs C. S. Orwin.

In a series of articles  Mr Beresford sought to prove “that the single strip of the medieval fields is represented exactly by the ridge and furrow of the modern English landscape.” Against this I ventured to argue that “Ridge and furrow was not always for arable cultivation; when for arable, not always for cereal crops; when for cereal crops, not always for permanent cultivation; when for permanent cultivation, not always for continuous tillage; when for continuous tillage, not always for open field tillage; when for open field tillage, not always for common field husbandry.” I also entered a plea that agricultural history should be studied primarily not by archaeological but by historical method.

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