Saturday, December 3, 2011

More Evidence of Medieval Fields at Tring Reservoirs

Very Low Water Levels at Startops Reservoir, near Tring, December 2011
The dry stream trench in the foreground is main inlet stream - the overflow from Marsworth and Tringford Reservoirs - both of which were low. When full the water would be up to the dam - which holds back Marsworth Reservoir.
In October I reported on the very low water levels at Wilstone Reservoir and how they had  revealed evidence for an ancient ridge and furrow system. In the centre of this picture you can see the same parallel lines of slightly darker vegetation which is all that is visible of a medieval ridge and furrow field, possibly associated with Marsworth village.
Continued below the fold, with more pictures
I decided to check Google Maps but the satellite views show Startops reservoir full and there was no sign of the ridge and furrow pattern. On the other hand switching to Wilstone the evidence is very clear.

Western Corner of Wilstone Reservoir
The remains of the ridge and furrow pattern is very marked, and the extent of the quarry area where earth was taken to build the dam can clearly be seen.
A good dry example of ridge and furrow can be seen a few miles to the west where the Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union Canal cuts across the medieval field at Broughton.

The Canal at Bridge 16 with the Broughton ridge and furrow field on the other side
Ridge and Furrow field at Broughton cut by the canal
The overall shape of the original medieval field can clearly be seen.

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