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Lynchet Embankment in a field

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Lynchet Embankment in a field
Undated. Image shows a lynchet embankment in a field off Foundry Lane. Lynchets are the result of the ploughing of the slope over centuries and are believed to date back to Medieval times. In 1274-1275, during the reign of Edward I, the Hundred of Skyrack was recorded, part of a country wide survey or investigation taken Wapentake by Wapentake. Farm land in this area was owned by the Templars of Newsam and was gifted by William de Somervil and Walter de Kelingbec, 4 bovates and 3 bovates respectively. A bovate is a medieval measurement of land, named from the Latin Bovata, meaning ox. Another term was the Danish 'Oxgang'. The measurement was arrived at by how much land a single ox could plough in a year. The land was ploughed by teams of 8 oxen. A bovate, depending on the quality of the soil and the shape of the fields, measured roughly 15 acres. At one time the farm here was called Killingbeck Grange Farm and has links to Kirkstall Abbey. ('Grange' means a monastic farm.) Image courtesy of John Garnett.

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