Ufford Parish Council

A Farming Village

Map to show the medieval parish and open fields

There were 3 large open fields around medieval Ufford and 3 smaller ones round Bainton.

Ridge and furrow undulations resulted from centuries of strip cultivation. Unfree village folk known as villeins had to work for 3 days a week on their lord`s strips and paid a rent for their own strips to grow their food.

The village livestock grazed together the water meadows after the hay crop, on the stubble after harvest, and on the limestone heath.

By the early 17th century there were “closes”, often not surrounded by a hedge or wall, notably Downhall Closes and Moor Closes and on Main Street next to cottages such as Dove Cote Close. These belonged to yeomen farmers who were descendents of former freeholders or enterprising people able to consolidate strips and buy plots of land.

Sir John Trollope is believed to have initiated Parliamentary Enclosure in Ufford in 1795. Royal assent was given in 1796. and the open fields were divided up and enclosed by hawthorn hedges. Common grazing rights were abolished. The two largest land holders were Sir John Trollope and the owner of Ufford Hall. Most of the smaller landholders received some land and they also rented land.

In 1851 there were 2 large farms, Newport and Walnut, 2 medium size farms, Ufford and Bottom and 3 small farms. In 1940 there were still 4 working farms in the village itself, now there is only one.