Aerial photographs taken
during the autumn and winter months have revealed extensive evidence of
medieval ridge and furrow on the clayey soils of the low land above the River
Ivel as well as on the sandy ridge top.
Hundreds of years of subsequent ploughing have eradicated most of the
surface evidence but outlines or ridge and furrow can be seen in some of the
fields. The practise of the Three Field System was in use during this period.
Each large field unit was divided into a number of long, narrow raised strips
(ridges) separated by shallow ditches (furrows). They were owned by the Lord of the Manor and the vicar, who
allowed local residents to farm them. In return they received rent in kind from
their tenants in the form of agricultural produce or livestock. The parish
tithe was 10% of all the produce raised each year and was given to St Mary’s
Church for St Neots Priory. It was stored in the tithe barn which stood in the
farmyard of Church Farm, opposite St Mary’s church.