Oxford Digital Library

Bringing Laxton to Life:a unique insight into feudal England
Bodleian Library - Map Room

The Bodleian Library has a special relationship with Laxton, a village remarkable as its current pattern of agricultural land use remains virtually unchanged since feudal times. An open field system is still in place, and the Bodleian has the good fortune to include amongst its holdings, Mark Pierceís 1635 manuscript map, A plat and description of the whole mannor & Lordship of Laxton with Laxton Moorehouse in ye county of Nottingham and also of the mannor & Lordship of Kneesall lying adiacent to ye aforesaid mannor of Laxton. The map is fully coloured in nine pieces, each measuring roughly 76cm x 59cm at a scale of around 1:3,950.

The Library also possesses the accompanying terrier, which describes each of the thousands of strips of land shown on the map, identifying the person farming each strip, and its acreage. It consists of 228 openings, measuring 35.5cm x 48.5cm.

This project will involve the full digitisation of the Laxton Map of 1635 and its accompanying terrier. The intention is to make both map and text fully searchable, thus highlighting a strip from one of Laxtonís fields would lead the searcher direct to the relevant descriptive text found in the terrier.


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