Sibford Scene Archive

Sibford Scene 173 February 1994

Click on the cover image to download the complete edition

Text, letter

Sibfords Society

We were delighted to see many new faces at our last meeting: those who were able to attend both the Sibford and Swalcliffe Society meetings enjoyed a real treat within the space of a week. At Sibford, Vera Hodgkins shared with us her knowledge of the plush industry which once thrived in Shutford. Her talk covered details of the specialised weaving industry and included vivid memories of the many processes and the people who carried them out. Some of the examples of plush materials were stunning in both colour and quality, wonderful examples of a local industry which furnished many of the palaces all over the world during the early 1900s.

Our next meeting will be our AGM on Friday 11 March at 8.00pm in the Mission Room. Kevin Larner (Cherwell District Council Leisure and Recreation Department) has agreed to come and talk to us after the AGM. Kevin has already helped the Society to secure a grant towards the production and printing our Village Walk leaflet, so please make a note of this date in your new diary.

Sibford before the Enclosure

Sibford before the Enclosure (in 1790 for Sibford Ferris) was a very different place. There were few houses beyond the immediate village and most outlying farms were not built until the 19th century. There were closes (small fields) and orchards, belonging to houses in the village, which were enclosed, but beyond these were the common fields, which were farmed in strips. The whole of any one area of common land would be arable one year, and all the strip-holders would have to comply, while other common fields would be leys or pasture.

A list of Benjamin Lamb’s half yard land (about 15 acres) in 1750 includes 43 separate pieces, examples of which are:

  • One yard of greensward above Whitemore (Jos. Harris west & Thos. Walford east).
  • One acre at Mill Hill (Thos. Walford east, The Hill west).
  • One butt at Bromswell Head (Thos. Walford north & south).
  • One land in Wagborough (Thos. Walford east).
  • One hadland at Long Oathill (Thos. Walford east).

(In each case. the persons farming the adjoining strips are named.)

In 1776 John Lamb had corn crops on 14 of his own strips and on 7 of Jonothan Farden’s, which he appears to have farmed with his own. He recorded the number of shooks and sheaves harvested on each strip, presumably all to be carted back to the village for threshing with flails.

To visit all his strips, a Sibford strip-holder might, for example, have had to walk to Debrook Leys (by the bridge on the way to Shutford), or to Between Churchways (the field between the Shipston – Banbury road and the road to Sibford Ferris) or to Longmans Pool & Lower Dick (bordering the Hook Norton parish) or Mill Hill & Hide Furlong (towards Temple Mill). He must, surely, have been ready for his home-cured bacon, home-produced vegetables and home-baked. bread. on his return.

Ina Lamb

Above, you may see one or two items of historical interest from this edition. To see the whole edition, click on the front-page image to download it as a pdf.