A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 13, Bampton Hundred (Part One). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1996.
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Ducklington's open fields covered much of the central part of the township. (fn. 1) Before inclosure in 1839 the furlongs were grouped in five fields, with Beanhill field in the north, Park field between the village and Barley Park, Middle field parallel to it on the south-east, and Wood field ranged along the north side of Cokethorpe Park; in the southwest, between Boys Wood and Barley Park, was Claywell field. (fn. 2) The medieval fields were probably similarly widespread, the demesne arable in 1328 lying in furlongs which, where identifiable, were in the later Claywell, Middle, and Beanhill fields. (fn. 3) An unidentified Aldefelde containing 25½ a. of demesne granted to Eynsham abbey c. 1200 was probably on the west side of the parish where the abbey's holdings were concentrated. (fn. 4) Edgerley field, mentioned in the 17th century when it was mostly in closes, (fn. 5) referred to an area in the north-west near the deserted hamlet of Eggesley. (fn. 6)
In 1086 both parts of Ducklington manor had permanent pasture (1 furlong by 1 furlong). (fn. 7) Later the chief area of common grazing was the heathland at Coursehill, which seems to have been inclosed in the 17th century. (fn. 8) The manorial meadow in 1086 was estimated at 60 a. (fn. 9) In the early 19th century the common meadow (194 a.) lay chiefly along the river Windrush; (fn. 10) some, notably Gooseham, lay near the village, (fn. 11) but the larger stretches, Upper and Lower mead, lay south of Ducklington mill. Smaller meadows such as Seal ham, which contained demesne in 1328, also lay in that area. (fn. 12) Ducklington men held meadow strips in Wagg's ham near Hardwick and in Yelford mead near Yelford, both of which were intercommoned with other manors; both were surveyed with Ducklington's fields in 1839 but remained uninclosed until Hardwick's fields were treated in 1853. (fn. 13) In 1601 some parishioners held meadow strips west of Barley Park, 'staked out from Lew mead' but apparently tithable to Ducklington. (fn. 14) Other early meadows, perhaps not commonable, included one at Coursehill. (fn. 15)
Much of the common meadow was apportioned by lot: (fn. 16) in 1601 the glebe meadow was mostly described as fixed pieces, but the same pieces c. 1689 lay in Upper, Lower, and Yelford meads 'according as the meadow runs'. (fn. 17) Some Ducklington yardlands included 3 or 4 acres of lot meadow, presumably the 'yard meads' mentioned in connexion with several other Ducklington holdings. (fn. 18) The Moors, c. 66 a. north of the village, was possibly common meadow before its inclosure in or before the 17th century: it comprises long, narrow closes lying across a central watercourse, perhaps indicating artificially 'floated' meadows. Moor closes, created before 1670, (fn. 19) were attached to various Ducklington holdings which, when first granted as manorial leaseholds in 1587, had common rights but no meadow in severalty. Many of the closes were of 3 a. or 6 a., suggesting that the partition observed the traditional meadow quotas of Ducklington's yardlands. (fn. 20)
In 1086 both parts of Ducklington manor had woodland 3 furlongs by 2 furlongs. (fn. 21) Since the later Boys and Home woods may already have been transferred to Standlake manor, (fn. 22) Ducklington's woodland may have been in the Barley Park area. It was presumably the 'wood towards Bampton' held by Guy de Dive, lord of Ducklington, c. 1200. (fn. 23) By the 1240s William de Dive had an inclosed wood or park there with assarts and uninclosed woodland to the south where manorial tenants had grazing rights. An attempt to inclose or impark the 'foreign' or uninclosed wood was opposed by Eynsham abbey, and Dive agreed to desist unless the abbot gave leave; (fn. 24) the foreign wood remained uninclosed in 1328. (fn. 25) The manorial park was mentioned regularly from the 13th century, (fn. 26) usually carrying a low value since only underwood and pannage were included. (fn. 27)
Barley Park was so called by the 15th century, and poaching there by Oxford scholars was recorded in 1506. (fn. 28) By the early 16th century the lords of Ducklington paid £1 6s. 8d. a year to the lords of Bampton for land taken into the park, presumably the c. 25 a. of park said to be in or near the park but 'in Bampton' in the 17th century. (fn. 29) Its location is uncertain, but part of Edgeley coppice (later Moulden's wood) was described in 1839 as lying in Ducklington or Lew and Bampton, (fn. 30) The wood seems to have been brought within the park palej as were, presumably, the medieval uninclosed wood and grazing ground in the south, where the pale evidently abutted directly on the arable of Claywell and Middle fields. (fn. 31) From the 1520s Thomas Lawley (d. 1549), parker to successive lords of Ducklington, restored and restocked the park: the work included quicksetting 1,000 perches of deer fence and repairing the park lodge. (fn. 32) When sold by the Crown in 1545 the park was 'fully replenished with the king's deer' and contained c. 120 a. of woodland, divided into several coppices, mostly 'oaken spires' and maple of between 10 and 36 years' growth. (fn. 33) In 1601 the park was reckoned to contain c. 330 a., of which 110 a. were woodland; (fn. 34) at its fullest extent the park comprised nearer 375 a. (fn. 35)
In the 17th century former demesne pastures at Great Coursehill were planted, becoming later Great Heath plantation (c. 17 a.). (fn. 36) In the 1690s Edgeley coppice (Moulden's wood) was separated from Barley Park where, in the the 18th century, additional plantations were made. (fn. 37) Davis's coppice, north of Moulden's wood, was presumably planted in the mid 18th century by one of the Davises, prominent Ducklington residents. (fn. 38) In Cokethorpe Park the Harcourts planted coppices and peripheral belts in the mid 18th century, (fn. 39) and in the 1750s acquired Barley Park and parts of Moulden's wood and Coursehill plantation; (fn. 40) at or before inclosure in 1839 the Stricklands of Cokethorpe acquired all the woodland in the parish. (fn. 41)
In the 1760s most of the woodland was cut on a 10-year cycle. (fn. 42) Oak and elm predominated and were sold regularly from the Cokethorpe estate in the 19th century. (fn. 43) At inclosure and in the 1870s there were c. 160 a. of woodland in Ducklington; (fn. 44) the Standlake part of Cokethorpe Park contained another 70 a. of woodland, excluding Boys wood (73 a.) which the Stricklands held on lease from the lords of Yelford. (fn. 45) The Cokethorpe estate kept the woods in hand throughout the 19th century, but in 1919 sold those in the north-west of the parish with the surrounding farmland. (fn. 46) The woodland area was reduced in the 20th century, notably by the removal of Great Heath plantation and the southern tip of Barley Park wood. (fn. 47)
Hardwick's open fields were intermixed from an early date with those of Brighthampton, Yelford, and Standlake. When the shared fields were inclosed in 1853 the c. 450 a. of open-field holdings deemed to be in Hardwick (fn. 48) included arable in Brighthampton's West field and Standlake's South field. The greatest concentration, however, was in Hardwick field, which occupied perhaps 190 a. south of Cokethorpe Park between the hamlet and Breach Farm. Hardwick field was divided into Wood (earlier Long Hedge) and Church fields in the northwest and north-east, and Hale and Dry (or Costall Bush) fields in the south-west and southeast. (fn. 49) Many Hardwick holdings lay in Yelford field, since from the 16th century or earlier the uninclosed part of Yelford parish had been treated, except for tithe, as an integral part of Hardwick's fields. (fn. 50)
In 1086 Wadard's Brighthampton estate, later probably part of Hardwick manor, included 16 a. of meadow. (fn. 51) Later Hardwick's common meadows lay chiefly on the river Windrush in Rough meadow, Up meadow, and Underdown, some of them lot meadows shared with Standlake, and there were also meadow holdings in Yelford meadow and the Marshes (adjoining Shifford boundary stream). (fn. 52) No pasture was mentioned in 1086 but until inclosure Hardwick had a large common (over 120 a.) south of the hamlet, sometimes called Hardwick Great Moor. (fn. 53) In the shared fields the inhabitants of Hardwick, Brighthampton, Standlake, and Yelford had common rights over most of the fallow and stubble; many of the meadows were commonable after Lammas. (fn. 54) In the mid 16th century Hardwick men complained of exclusion from their traditional Lammas grazing for sheep on Standlake Down and for cattle in Volnhurst: both belonged to Standlake but were intercommoned. (fn. 55) Hardwick men apparently had no rights on Standlake common, and likewise Hardwick common was exclusive to their cattle. (fn. 56) In the 16th and 17th centuries stints for a yardland were usually 10 draught cattle, 4 horses, 6 pigs, and 50 cattle; none were allowed more than 2 geese. (fn. 57) By the later 18th century cow commons seem to have been reduced to 8 per yardland. (fn. 58)
Cokethorpe seems to have had no separate fields, and most holdings there, attached to Ducklington or Standlake manors, (fn. 59) comprised closes or woodland in the area of the later park. By the later 16th century 1½ yardland in the Ducklington part of Cokethorpe was made up entirely of arable and grass closes, most of them apparently in the north-eastern part of the later park. (fn. 60) Common rights attached to Cokethorpe holdings in the 16th century were presumably excercised in Hardwick or Ducklington. (fn. 61)
In 1086 the two parts of Ducklington manor together contained land for 10 ploughs, but 12 were in use, 5 on the demesne worked by 9 serfs and 7 held by tenants (13 villeins and 11 bordars). The value of the manor had risen from £10 at the Conquest to £13. (fn. 62) Additions to the demesne (inhechinges, possibly temporary hitchings) were mentioned in the 1170s. (fn. 63) In 1272 the demesne comprised 4 ploughlands, meadow and pasture worth £6, the park and its wood, and a dovecot and fishpond. (fn. 64) In 1295 and the early 14th century there were 3 ploughlands in demesne, estimated at 230 a. and 250 a. and conventionally valued at 4d. an acre; in 1328, however, c. 167 a. of demesne arable, probably two-thirds of the whole, was worth only 1½ d. (or 2d. if an assumed third was valueless fallow). Demesne meadow, variously 30 a. and 50 a., was worth 2s. an acre, and there was unspecified several pasture. (fn. 65) In 1372 the demesne arable was undiminished, since two-thirds of the manor contained 180 a. (fn. 66) In 1423 a third of the manor had 97 a. of demesne arable and 10 a. of meadow, but in 1430 demesne farming seems to have ceased on the other part of the manor: the site of a former manor house and all or most of the demesne was divided among several tenants. (fn. 67)
In 1272 there were 25 villein yardlands worth £20 a year on Ducklington manor, and freehold rents of over £13. (fn. 68) In 1279 the manor comprised over 40 yardlands, including land at Claywell, Putlesley, Eggesley, and Cokethorpe. Some 19½ yardlands were held by 23 freeholders and 19 single yardlands and 4 half yardlands were held by villeins; 43 a. were held by 5 cotters, and 18 a. of 'foreland' (possibly assarted land, worth 6d. an acre) was let to villeins. (fn. 69) On Eynsham abbey's Claywell manor, which included a demesne yardland at Putlesley, there Were 4 villein yardlanders, and 3 or 4 half-yardlanders who each held an additional 5 a. (fn. 70) Thus the fields of Ducklington contained some 50 yardlands, excluding 3 ploughlands of demesne and the glebe. In 1601 Ducklington was reckoned to contain 60¾ yardlands, including 2 yardlands of glebe. (fn. 71) A yardland containing only 20 a. seems to be implied in 1279, (fn. 72) but later yardlands were larger: the glebe in 1601 comprised some 54 field acres, and in 1771 an estate which in 1587 was 1½ yardland comprised 66 field acres (46 statute acres). (fn. 73)
Later surveys of Ducklington manorial holdings differed widely in detail but show a general fall in the combined value of rents and services between 1279 and the mid I4th century. Labour services in the early 14th century included 12 days' work at the hay harvest, probably 6 days' reaping and carrying corn, 1 day carrying wood, and some winter ploughing. (fn. 74) Overall manorial values were maintained into the later 14th century, (fn. 75) suggesting that disruption through plague was not prolonged. By the 1420s, however, values were seriously reduced; on the Lovels' third of the manor yardlands were yielding rents of only 5s. each, and on the other part rents were frequently reduced from the probably standard 12s. a yardland because of decay or lack of tenants. Holdings were usually of 1¼ yardland or less, and then demesne arable was divided between two tenants, the grassland between six. (fn. 76) By the 1480s the manor had risen in value to over £46 (fn. 77) and in the early 16th century yielded over £40 gross, including £26 from copyholders and £14 13s. 4d. from Barley Park. (fn. 78)
In 1086 Wadard's Brighthampton estate had land for 1 plough, which was in demesne worked by 1 servus, 1 villein, and 5 bordars. (fn. 79) In 1279 the demesne, centred on Hardwick, still comprised 1 ploughland, which in 1295 included 100 a. worth 4d. an acre; there were 15 a. of demesne meadow and several pasture worth 10s. a year. (fn. 80) In 1312 the demesne arable was said to be only 60 a. worth 2d. an acre, but a proportionate reduction in reported grassland and tenant holdings suggests that only two thirds of the manor was included. (fn. 81) In 1279 the tenant land in the Hardwick part of the manor comprised 2½ yardlands held by 3 freeholders, (fn. 82) 5 yardlands held by 8 villeins, and 11 a. held by 3 cottars. (fn. 83) The standard rent for a villein yardland was 6s. 7d., with services valued at 4s. 2½d.: in 1295 services included 27 days' work between Michaelmas and mid summer, with additional weeding, mowing, haymaking, and carrying, and boon works in the corn harvest. Tenants also paid aid and churchscot. (fn. 84) Later manorial surveys do not distinguish between Hardwick and Brighthampton tenants. (fn. 85) In 1423 the manor contained 15 houses, 2 cottages, and 18 yardlands, mostly valued at 5s. a yardland; there seems to have been a small quantity of residual demesne. (fn. 86)
Before the mid 16th century Hardwick's demesne, reputedly 7 yardlands, was divided among the tenants in pieces called berrydells (presumably bury doles) of 4½ a.; some tenants had meadow pieces, perhaps also former demesne. (fn. 87) After the partition of the manor in the mid 16th century the holdings centred on Hardwick passed to St. John's College, except for two which had been sold from the manor in 1569 and passed later to Wadham College; (fn. 88) freeholders paid quitrents to St. John's, many of them presumably for land in Brighthampton. In the later 16th century the 7 Hardwick copyholds of St. John's comprised some 4 yardlands with a few other acres and berrydells, and the later Wadham holding comprised 2 yardlands. (fn. 89) Hardwick in 1601 was reckoned to contain c. 10 yardlands. (fn. 90) The Hardwick yardland was reputedly 35 customary acres, but most seem to have been smaller. (fn. 91)
By the early 14th century Ducklington's demesne arable, although dispersed widely over the fields, lay in blocks of up to 25 a. in some furlongs. (fn. 92) By then there may have been a three-yearly rotation of crops, since a claim to half the tithes of a piece of land in Claywell was also expressed as a right to tithe of the first harvest after the fallow. (fn. 93) In 1372 a third of the demesne arable lay fallow and in common. (fn. 94) Crop rotation in Hardwick's fields probably followed that in the partly intermixed fields of Standlake. (fn. 95)
The average value of moveables taxed in Ducklington and Claywell in the early 14th century varied from c. 47s. 6d. in 1316 to c. 36s. in 1327; in Hardwick in 1306 the average value was c. 36s., and the rise when Hardwick was later assessed with Brighthampton and Yelford suggests that the wealthier tenants of the joint manor lived in those other settlements. (fn. 96) In Ducklington in 1316 the highest contributors, two members of the Dive family, manorial lords, together paid over £1 on goods worth £16 13s. 4d.; 15 paid less than 2s. and only four above 4s. In Claywell the range of payments was narrower, between 18d. and 7s., with only three below 2s. and 11 between 2s. and 4s. Hardwick's chief contributor in 1306 was Joan de Grey, lady of the manor, who paid 5s. of the total 19s. 1d.; 15 others paid between 4d. and 18d. on goods worth between 10s. and 45s. (fn. 97) From 1334 Ducklington's standard assessment was £5 15s. 3d., little more than half that of nearby Standlake, suggesting that it was not prosperous; by contrast Hardwick with its members (presumably Brighthampton and Yelford) was assessed at £7 5s. (fn. 98)
In 1523-4 Ducklington's total subsidy of only 17s. 4d. was paid by 11 contributors; Hardwick's 5s. 6d. was paid by 5 contributors and Cokethorpe's 2s. by two. There were no wealthy men, the highest assessment being on only £7 worth of goods. (fn. 99) In 1543-4 the 35 contributors in the three settlements paid a total £2 10s. 6d.; Robert Bullock of Cokethorpe paid on goods worth £14 and in Ducklington Richard Harris, whose family later owned one of the largest farms, paid on £12 worth. (fn. 100) In later 16th-century subsidies (fn. 101) a small group paid on goods worth between £3 and £10, the wealthiest being the Harrises, Thomas Wilshire, a miller, James Foster, whose house later became the Bayleys' manor house, and in Hardwick the Bullock and Edwards families. (fn. 102)
In 1587 Sir Christopher Brome broke up Ducklington manor by granting the copyholds and demesne, together some 47 yardlands, on 2,000-year leases for substantial initial payments and low fixed rents. (fn. 103) Twenty leaseholds were created, (fn. 104) the few known purchase prices ranging from £30 for a house and 1½ yardlands to £94 for a house and 3¾ yardlands. (fn. 105) Most leases seem to have been taken up by the existing copyholders. The largest comprised 6 yardlands, including 2½ yardlands of demesne; (fn. 106) at least 4 other leases were of 3 yardlands or more. Later the long-leasehold tenure caused legal uncertainty: (fn. 107) in 1627 one leasehold estate was thought to be held in chief (fn. 108) and intermittently the leaseholds were valued, as 'chattel leases', with a testator's personalty. (fn. 109) After an Act of 1881 the tenure was treated as freehold. (fn. 110)
Each yardland in 1587, including those on the demesne, was granted with one share in the manor's common pasture, which was notionally to be divided into 47¼ parts, presumably representing the yardlands with surviving shares. (fn. 111) The discrepancy between that figure and the reputed 60¾ yardlands in Ducklington in 1601 (fn. 112) may be accounted for partly by the yardlands in Claywell manor. (fn. 113) Perhaps common rights attached to freehold yardlands were excluded from the notional division; certainly the total of quitrents from some 26 yardlands in 1587, compared with the total from all leaseholds in 1716, (fn. 114) suggests that all or most of the 47¼ yardlands were former copyhold and demesne. Some ancient freehold quitrents recorded in 1716 (fn. 115) were for inclosed holdings in Barley Park and elsewhere which may have had no common rights; others, however, were for open-field holdings, notably 6d. paid by Nicholas Wansell, which was for 4 yardlands which had certainly included common rights. (fn. 116)
The creation of leaseholds may have been followed rapidly by a partition and inclosure of common pasture, as well as of the Moors mentioned above. In 1587 all the new leaseholds had shares in the common pasture at Coursehill in the north-west of the parish. (fn. 117) Great Coursehill included a piece of several pasture, partly wooded and probably former demesne, which was commonable by all manorial tenants between Lammas and Lady Day; by 1615, however, it had been newly ditched and divided off from the rest of Coursehill and by 1705 was evidently an inclosed coppice (the later Great Heath plantation) offering no common rights. (fn. 118) Its owners, the Ballows, had by then also acquired in severalty Little Coursehill (c. 10 a.), identifiable as Heath close in the extreme northwest corner of the parish. (fn. 119) A close called New close in 1619 may be identified as part of the later Oxfar close north of Coursehill Farm. (fn. 120) Immediately west in 1619 was part of Ducklington Cow Leys, presumably common pasture but by the later 17th century an inclosed piece of glebe. (fn. 121) Other early closes held in severalty in the Coursehill area were first mentioned in the 17th century, (fn. 122) and closes further east may date from the same period. (fn. 123) By the early 19th century there was no common pasture, and the entire northern fringe of the parish comprised pasture closes. (fn. 124)
The acquisition of leaseholds in 1587 presumably confirmed the position of the small group of wealthier farmers. In 1610 the resident lord was assessed on land worth £14, 5 farmers on goods worth between £3 and £6, and 4 on lands worth £1; in Hardwick William Edwards, owner of the later Wadham estate, paid on land worth £4 and 2 men on land worth £1. (fn. 125) The range of payments in 1628 was very similar. (fn. 126) In 1662, when 51 householders in Ducklington and Claywell paid tax on 132 hearths, as many as 40 paid on 3 hearths or less. The larger houses were the rectory (12 hearths), the manor house (8), and the Harris family's house (7), and there were a few substantial farmhouses in the village, in the Ducklington part of Cokethorpe, and at Claywell. (fn. 127)
Several farmers, mostly yeomen, left personalty worth over £200 at their deaths. The more valuable inventories included those of farmers in Claywell and Cokethorpe as well as Ducklington, and of members of the Green family of Ducklington blacksmiths. (fn. 128) Thomas Saunders of Cokethorpe (d. 1614) and Thomas Barker of Ducklington (d. 1706), both active farmers, made very large cash bequests, the latter's approaching £1,000. (fn. 129) Besides manorial lords such as the Bayleys and Stonehouses several testators, including the Johnsons in Ducklington, were styled gentlemen, owned small estates elsewhere, and made substantial bequests. (fn. 130)
Mixed farming was general on farms both large and small. The owner of one of the larger 16th-century flocks (160) also kept cows, bullocks, and oxen; one of the principal early 17th-century farmers grew wheat, barley, maslin, pulse, and hay, and had 120 sheep, a dairy herd worth £45, 12 pigs, and 8 horses. (fn. 131) Flocks of c. 250 sheep were recorded at Claywell in 1663 and Ducklington in 1706. (fn. 132) The tenant of the large Farm estate at Cokethorpe in the early 18th century grew much wheat and barley, but also kept many sheep and cattle. (fn. 133) Some testators had small quantities of flax and hemp, or stocks of bees. (fn. 134) Malt and malting equipment were recorded regularly, and at Hardwick in 1680 there was a maltster. (fn. 135) Other specialists, besides the wealthy blacksmiths, included several shoemakers, wheelwrights, and weavers, a glover, a tanner, and a fellmonger, the last also selling drapery and hosiery. (fn. 136) Thomas Edgerley of Hardwick (d. 1620), called yeoman but also a carrier or 'far carter', (fn. 137) had teams of horses and trading contacts in London, Burford, and elsewhere; his son Thomas moved to Oxford and was appointed London carrier to the university. (fn. 138)
By 1716 Ducklington manor had 22 leaseholders and 10 freeholders; most estates were evidently unaltered from 1587, and at least 7 were held by the families of original lessees. (fn. 139) The number of farms in Ducklington hardly changed between 1601, when 2 yardlands of glebe scattered in the open fields abutted the lands of 17 owners, and 1771, when an estate of comparable size abutted the lands of 16 owners. (fn. 140)
In the early 18th century most of the farmland attached to the Cokethorpe estate was let: former demesne meadows in Standlake (some 40 a.) were divided among several tenants, (fn. 141) and a 3-yardland holding in Ducklington was let separately until the 1750s when it was included in the lease of Barley Park farm; (fn. 142) most of the farmland, however, formed the Farm estate, worked from a house (probably Peck's) in the Ducklington part of Cokethorpe. (fn. 143) In 1714 the Farm included c. 20 a. of closes in Ducklington, most on the east side of the later park, c. 132 a. in Standlake, chiefly closes around the later Breach Farm and in the later park, and a little open-field land and lot meadow in Ducklington, Hardwick, and Standlake. (fn. 144) Leases of the Farm were recorded until the late 1730s, (fn. 145) but by the 1750s much was in hand, having probably been taken into the park. The farmhouse near the chapel was removed, the residual farmland presumably being worked from Breach Farm, where there were buildings by 1767. (fn. 146)
Hardwick's farms in the 18th century were small: the three principal holdings of St. John's College were all under 50 a., Wadham College's estate was c. 52 a., and the Hardwick part of Cokethorpe's Farm estate was probably smaller. (fn. 147) The Mountains, however, lessees of the Wadham estate and undertenants of the St. John's copyhold centred on the later Manor Farm, (fn. 148) may have worked the holdings as a single farm.
Some of Ducklington's holdings remained intact from the 16th century until inclosure, (fn. 149) but the formation of larger farms began in the later 18th century. The former Harris estate, owned by the Davises and probably worked from the later Manor Farm, (fn. 150) remained one of the largest farms: in 1782 its 320 estimated acres included 236 a. of open-field arable and 80 a. of closes, mostly grass. (fn. 151) When Barley Park became part of the Cokethorpe estate in the 1750s it contained an established farm of c. 148 a., which was enlarged before 1755 by purchase of adjacent holdings. (fn. 152) Closes north of the park, acquired by the Cokethorpe estate in 1752 and at first let separately, (fn. 153) seem to have been merged in the 400-acre Barley Park farm by the 1780s. (fn. 154) Other farms of over 100 a. (fn. 155) included Claywell farm, much of it old inclosure, the later Yew Tree farm, and a farm, chiefly the Locktons' ancient leasehold, probably worked from a farmhouse at the east end of Back Lane. (fn. 156) The Druce family built up and let a farm of c. 105 a., the core of the later Ducklington farm. By 1819 Walter Strickland of Cokethorpe held some 600 a. in the parish, keeping 140 a. of woods and park in hand; Barley Park farm was let with c. 210 a., and 250 a. were let to Samuel Druce and John Nalder, who owned other Ducklington farms. Nalder's own farm, the later Manor farm, was the largest outside the Cokethorpe estate; Strickland bought it before inclosure, along with many smaller Ducklington holdings. (fn. 157)
Mixed farming continued even on farms with much inclosed grassland. On the Cokethorpe estate in the earlier 18th century many of the closes later imparked were used for cereals. (fn. 158) Adherence to 'the old dull beaten road' was blamed for the poor husbandry on the estate in the 1730s. (fn. 159) Later the parish's extensive inclosed pastures encouraged some specialisation: soon after the Harcourts acquired Barley Park they had a flock of 800 sheep there. (fn. 160) In 1801 it was reported that of Ducklington's estimated 1,980 a. only 514 a. (26 per cent) was arable and as much as 1,310 a. (66 per cent) permanent grass; Hardwick's 473 a. were fairly evenly divided, with 259 a. (55 Per cent) arable. (fn. 161) If the figures for Ducklington were reliable much was converted to tillage before 1819 when 956 a. of arable and only 801 a. of grass were reported. By the 1830s Ducklington was reckoned to comprise 1,898 a., with 1,000 a. of arable, 880 a. of it in the open fields; there were 600 a. of pasture closes, 194 a. of common meadow, and over 100 a. of woodland. The arable, assuming a four-course rotation of crops, was valued at £4 an acre if the crops were turnips, barley, beans, and wheat, and c. £3 if the course included a fallow year. The common meadow and inclosed pasture was valued at £2 an acre, the woodland at £1. (fn. 162)
Inclosure, planned from 1819 but several times deferred, (fn. 163) was completed for Ducklington township in 1839; at the same time tithes were commuted. (fn. 164) The award treated an area of 1,882 a., allotting c. 1,057 a. of open-field land; some 12 a. in detached, intercommoned meadows (Wagg's ham and Yelford mead) were left uninclosed until Hardwick's inclosure in 1853. (fn. 165) The principal allottees, the Stricklands of Cokethorpe, after exchanges received over 600 a., bringing their total holding in the township to c. 1,035 a., including an in-hand estate of 275 a. which comprised the Ducklington part of Cokethorpe Park and most of the outlying woodland. Only 13 others had any stake in the open fields, some with a few acres, and only the Revd. J. H. Pinkney, a non-resident landlord, received over 100 a. for an estate combining two leaseholds which had survived largely intact from 1587. (fn. 166)
When Hardwick was inclosed in 1853 c. 585 a. of the township's 670 a. were allotted; the relatively few old inclosures were in and near the hamlet, around the later Manor Farm, and at Yelford. (fn. 167) The chief allotments, excluding the Yelford part of Hardwick, were to St. John's College (c. 158 a.), (fn. 168) to Walter Strickland of Cokethorpe (143 a.), and to Wadham College for its Hardwick farm (75 a.). Strickland had evidently enlarged his Hardwick holdings by buying up land shortly before inclosure, acquiring as much as 105 a. of freehold. (fn. 169) He was also lessee of St. John's College's Hardwick mill estate. Thomas Lee, a Ducklington solicitor related to the Alders, tenants of St. John's from the early 17th century, (fn. 170) received 27 a. for freehold; he also held the former Alder copyhold and a St. John's leasehold, making a postinclosure farm of c. 100 a.
In Ducklington after inclosure the Cokethorpe estate's farmland was divided between Manor and Barley Park farms (both over 200 a.), Coursehill farm (144 a.), its farmhouse apparently under construction in 1839, (fn. 171) and a farm of 175 a. worked temporarily from a village farmhouse, probably the later Church Farm. (fn. 172) The fields of the last lay in a block north-west of Cokethorpe Park where, before 1851, Walter Strickland built Cokethorpe Park (later Home) Farm to serve his in-hand estate. (fn. 173) He continued to let Manor, Barley, and Coursehill farms, which in 1851 together comprised c. 650 a. and employed 28 labourers; Home farm, then and later, was usually managed by a bailiff. (fn. 174) Various rearrangements in the 1880s, including a temporary union of Home and Barley farms, were probably in response to the agricultural depression. (fn. 175) Barley and Coursehill were still large tenant farms in the late 19th century, (fn. 176) but Manor farm, occupied by the Wilsdens from the 1840s until the 1930s, was reduced to only 110 a. when sold to Edwin Wilsden in 1919. (fn. 177) In that year most of the outlying parts of the Cokethorpe estate, first offered for sale in 1912, were sold: with their woodland Barley Park farm comprised over 350 a. and Coursehill 380 a. (fn. 178)
The chief Ducklington farms outside the Cokethorpe estate, all between 100 and 150 a. in 1839, were Claywell farm, the later Ducklington and Yew Tree farms worked from the village, and the unnamed farm owned by Pinkney, with farm buildings both at the later Windrush Farm and the east end of Back Lane. (fn. 179) By 1861 Claywell farm comprised 130 a.; in 1881 it was much larger, probably briefly, comprising 380 a. and employing 14 labourers, but by 1900 was reduced to its former size. (fn. 180) Ducklington farm, c. 160 a. in 1861 and c. 200 a. in the early 20th century, was acquired in 1862 by the Strainges, who farmed it from the house in Church Street for over a century before building a new farmhouse near Coursehill in the 1990s. (fn. 181) The later Yew Tree farm, 155 a. in 1861, was bought soon afterwards by J. S. Beaumont, (fn. 182) who in 1865 also bought the former Pinkney farm (132 a.); (fn. 183) Beaumont let some of his land but in 1871 was farming 225 a. from Yew Tree Farm and employing 13 labourers. (fn. 184) The Holtoms, millers and farmers at Ducklington mill, enlarged their farming interest in the later 19th century and by 1881 farmed 125 a.; (fn. 185) in the 1890s they bought most of Beaumont's estate centred on Yew Tree Farm, (fn. 186) but not Windrush Farm which continued as a separate small farm. (fn. 187) In the 20th century the outlying farms, particularly Home, Barley Park, and Coursehill took over most of the farmland in the parish. Of farms based in the village only Ducklington farm was over 150 a. by 1939; Yew Tree farm comprised only 124 a. in 1953. (fn. 188) The last working farmhouse, Ducklington Farm, continued in use until the 1980s.
In Hardwick the chief post-inclosure farms were College, later Manor farm, and three worked from farmhouses in the hamlet. The Mountains, farming between 130 and 150 a. at Manor farm, (fn. 189) held land from both St. John's and Wadham colleges; Wadham enlarged its estate to 98 a. by purchase in the 1860s. (fn. 190) The Lee estate at inclosure and into the 1860s was held by Charles Florey, who farmed some 120 a. from a house on the south side of High Street. (fn. 191) Much of Strickland's large holding was held with Hardwick mill by Alfred Hickman, who in 1851 was farming 210 a,; later Mill farm, too, was held by the Mountain family. (fn. 192) Hardwick farm, some 70 a. of Strickland's land worked from a house on the north side of High Street and held by the Cosiers throughout the later 19th century, was sold from the Cokethorpe estate in 1919. (fn. 193) The agricultural depression seriously affected Hardwick in the 1880s, notably bankrupting the Mountains. (fn. 194) St. John's College bought many small cottages and united some of its holdings in a farm of c. 170 a. centred on Manor Farm, let to Robert Eagle, who was also Wadham's lessee. (fn. 195) Manor farm, later held by the Florey family, remained the principal farm in the 20th century. (fn. 196)
After inclosure most Ducklington farms were between 60 and 75 per cent arable, the extremes being Barley Park farm (only 45 per cent) and Ducklington farm (88 per cent). (fn. 197) By the 1870s, however, less than 60 per cent of the farmland was arable and by 1914 nearly three-quarters was permanent pasture. (fn. 198) In the later 19th century the chief crops were wheat, barley, beans, turnips, and vetches. (fn. 199) In 1914 half the arable area was under wheat and barley, and other main crops were oats (11 per cent), and turnips and mangolds (each 5 per cent). In the mid 19th century sheep and cattle from Strickland's Home farm were praised. (fn. 200) Sheep, dairy, and stock farming became predominant in the parish, but sheep numbers halved to only 38 per 100 a. in the early 20th century; by then pig numbers (9 per 100 a.) were high for the region. (fn. 201) Farms remained mixed, ranging from largely cereal farms such as Ducklington farm (70 per cent arable in 1888) and Manor farm (90 per cent arable in 1919) to Claywell farm (only 10 per cent arable in 1900) and the large dairy and stock-raising farms at Coursehill and Barley Park (43 and 20 per cent arable in 1919). (fn. 202) Later specialisation included pig farming at Coursehill and Claywell in the 1930s. (fn. 203)
Gravel pits and claypits in the parish were mentioned in 1601, and fuller's earth near Claywell was also exploited at that date. (fn. 204) In the 1760s a gravel pit in Hardwick was so enlarged that it was undermining the road. (fn. 205) In the early 19th century there was a brick kiln on the clays in the west of the parish. (fn. 206) Large-scale commercial gravel extraction, begun in the later 20th century, has chiefly affected the south-east of the parish around Hardwick. (fn. 207)
By the 19th century most inhabitants were employed in agriculture and related trades: 64 of the 104 families in Ducklington and Hardwick in 1831 were supported directly by agriculture, (fn. 208) which was reported in 1834 to provide full employment only in the summer. A labourers' income, even when supplemented by relief, was below 10s. a week; cottage rents were from £2 10s. a year, and allotments were let to 19 families. (fn. 209) In the 1860s some boys were employed on farms throughout the year, and women mostly in the summer. (fn. 210) In Ducklington in 1851, besides the usual range of craftsmen and shopkeepers, there were 3 sawyers and 2 woodmen, 3 fishermen, and, reflecting the influence of the Cokethorpe estate, several gamekeepers, gardeners, butlers, and other specialist servants. In Hardwick, except for such servants, the population was almost entirely engaged in agriculture. (fn. 211) In 1861 Ducklington's shopkeepers included 2 shoemakers, 2 bakers, a tailor, a wheeler, and a grocer. By 1881 there were 2 grocers in Ducklington and 1 in Hardwick. There was a small brewery in Ducklington, opened by the innkeeper of the Strickland Arms c. 1866 and closed by 1891. (fn. 212) In the later 19th century the agricultural trades included cattle and corn dealers and Ducklington mill became an important employer. (fn. 213)
Witney, particularly its textile industry, had long influenced Ducklington's economy, providing apprenticeships and other employment and encouraging fulling in Ducklington's mills. (fn. 214) In the 19th century, however, although the blanket factories reputedly drew employees from nearby villages, (fn. 215) few Ducklington inhabitants described themselves as weavers or factory workers, and almost all the labourers were agricultural. (fn. 216) Witney's importance to Ducklington increased in the 20th century as numbers employed in agriculture declined. In the 1920s most Ducklington men who were not farm labourers, and many girls, worked in Witney's mills; married women worked as out-workers for gloving factories in the area. (fn. 217) Since the Second World War most of the greatly enlarged population has been employed outside the parish.
In 1044 there was a mill weir at Ducklington at the point where Witney's boundary left the river Windrush to cross the Moors north of Ducklington; (fn. 218) the mill was probably that which, until the early 19th century, stood near the footbridge on the north side of the village. (fn. 219) Presumably it was the manorial mill which in 1086 rendered 12s. a year. (fn. 220) By 1279 freeholders on Ducklington manor held New mill, with a house and 2 a., and a mill with unspecified land; a third freeholder, John Miller, may also have held a mill with his house and yardland. At Cokethorpe, but held of Ducklington manor, was a fulling mill with a house and ½ yardland. (fn. 221) In 1311 Ducklington manor contained two corn mills and a fulling mill, the last perhaps Cokethorpe mill, mentioned in 1318, when its site was on the river Windrush apparently between Ducklington and Hardwick. (fn. 222) New mill was still so called in 1328, when it marked the limit of a fishery on the Windrush, and in 1601 when it was next to Ducklington's Upper Meadow and therefore presumably on the site of the surviving Ducklington mill, south-east of the village. (fn. 223) By the early 15th century there were 3 mills on the divided Ducklington manor. (fn. 224) From the later 16th century the reunited Ducklington manor contained only 2 mills, (fn. 225) probably those north and south-east of the village.
In 1587 both manorial water mills were let by Sir Christopher Brome on 2,000-year leases, one to Edward Harris, the other to Roger Wilshire; the lands attached to Harris's mill included New Mill close, implying that his was the later Ducklington mill. (fn. 226) It was still held by Harrises in the mid 17th century and may have passed later to the Quinneys, (fn. 227) who certainly acquired the other mill, of which they were tenants, in 1694. (fn. 228) In the 1750s the Quinneys were succeeded in one or both mill leases by William Leake and before 1785 by John Leake. (fn. 229) At inclosure in 1839 Charles Leake held both Ducklington mill and the site of the mill on the north side of the village. (fn. 230) That mill, demolished by 1838, was known variously as Coxeter's, after a mid 18th- century mortgager, (fn. 231) and Smith's and Knipe's after late 18th- and early 19th-century lessees or millers. (fn. 232) It was a fulling mill in the later 18th century, and was described as a tucking mill in 1823; it was presumably the watermill, for sale in 1828, which was used for spinning in connexion with blanket manufacture. (fn. 233)
Ducklington mill, a water corn mill with 2 pairs of stones in 1838, had been worked for much of the later 18th century by the Hudson family and later by William Wright. (fn. 234) Nonresident owners sublet the mill with attached cottages and c. 80 a. of land until 1894, (fn. 235) when it was sold to G. H. Holtom, miller there since 1867. (fn. 236) Flax-processing equipment was said to have been installed c. 1838, but in 1853 the machinery comprised only 3 pairs of stones powered by an iron water wheel. (fn. 237) In 1885 the mill was partly converted for flour rolling, and in 1898 Holtom & Sons built a large 3-storeyed rolling plant, with a steam engine to supplement the water-power; the old mill remained in use for grinding barley and maize. (fn. 238) Holtom & Sons continued at the mill until the 1950s, when W. J. Oldacre Ltd. converted it for the processing of animal feeds. (fn. 239) The old mill and the building of 1898 were demolished in 1983 and a new feed mill and warehousing (extended in 1985) built for the storage of E.G. grain. In the 1980s the firm employed c. 40 people. The feed mill closed in 1992 but grain storage continued. The mill house, of unknown date but built before 1839 on a site immediately north of the mill, was demolished in the mid 20th century. (fn. 240)
By 1279 there were two mills on Hardwick and Brighthampton manor; (fn. 241) one, Beard or Underdown mill, came to belong to Standlake parish, (fn. 242) the other was presumably the later Hardwick mill. In 1295 the manor contained two water corn mills and a fulling mill, in 1312 one corn mill and a fulling mill, and in 1423 two water mills; (fn. 243) the respective functions of Hardwick and Beard mills at that date are not known.
By the 16th century Hardwick mill was a copyhold of the manor, held with 1 yardland and some meadows. (fn. 244) St. John's College, Oxford, owners from 1571, changed the tenure to leasehold in 1743. (fn. 245) In the 1560s the miller was presented in the manorial court for excessive tolls, but in 1577 his monopoly of grinding the corn of college tenants was confirmed. (fn. 246) The Bullock family held the mill by the mid 16th century and until the 1630s; (fn. 247) it passed to John Franklin (d. 1682), (fn. 248) whose son-in-law William Grove and his descendants, prosperous yeomen, held the mill until the mid 18th century. (fn. 249) The Hawkinses were lessees until 1827, and the Stricklands of Cokethorpe Park until the 1880s. (fn. 250) The mill estate comprised c. 34 statute acres in the later 18th century, and 48 a. after inclosure in the mid 19th. (fn. 251) The Stricklands' undertenants were sometimes both farmers and millers, (fn. 252) but others sublet the mill separately from the house and farm. (fn. 253) The college lessee from 1890 was G. H. Holtom; (fn. 254) his large-scale enterprise at Ducklington mill presumably made Hardwick mill redundant and it ceased operation in the early 20th century. (fn. 255) Later it was held with the adjacent Mill Farm, sold by St. John's College in 1964. (fn. 256)
The surviving mill building is mostly 18th- century with earlier masonry, including a latemedieval stone doorway. Most of the machinery was sold c. 1940 and the undershot wheel has been removed; the main stream of the river has been diverted through the mill leet and wheel chamber, and its earlier course is silted up. There are indications that there were once 2 wheels, the surviving second chamber perhaps used for fulling. (fn. 257) The mill floor contains pieces of a large gravestone with a monastic indent of c. 1300, perhaps from Eynsham abbey. (fn. 258) The mill house, of ashlar and coursed rubble, has an 18th-century symmetrical 3-window front range and an early 17th-century rear wing, which retains internal evidence of original timberframing. The central doorway and windows probably date from a rebuilding by Richard Hawkins in 1801, commemorated by a datestone. West of the house is a late 18th-century granary, its first floor timber-framed with later brick infill.
By the later 18th century the Cokethorpe estate was conveyed with three mills, (fn. 259) of which two were presumably those acquired with Ducklington manor and the third perhaps the early 18th-century water-house (Fish House), which seems to have been used also as a corn mill. (fn. 260) An earlier 'fish house' on the site, not apparently counted as a mill when acquired by the Harcourts in the early 18th century, (fn. 261) may have been the successor of the medieval Cokethorpe mill.
A fishery on the river Windrush was attached to Ducklington manor in the 14th century and probably earlier. (fn. 262) In the 16th century it seems to have extended southwards along the west branch of the river into Cokethorpe and Hardwick, (fn. 263) and to have included the brook (then called Cogges River) which ran south from the eastern Windrush at Shilton ham, east of Ducklington mill. (fn. 264) The fishery descended with Ducklington manor and most was merged with the Harcourts' Cokethorpe estate from 1712; (fn. 265) part, separated from the manor and granted c. 1693 with the Barley park estate, was acquired with that estate by the Harcourts in the 1750s. (fn. 266) In 1587 the lease of one Ducklington mill, and probably of the other, included an attached fishery. (fn. 267)
In 1279 Hardwick manor included a fishery allegedly on the river Thames, (fn. 268) but the fishery later attached to the manor was on the Windrush. In 1571 most of the Hardwick fishery passed with the manor from John Herle to St. John's College; (fn. 269) part, attached to Underdown mill and granted by Herle in 1569 to Peter Ranckell, was sold to Joseph Mayne in 1604-5 and to Sir David Williams of Cokethorpe in 1610. (fn. 270) Williams had acquired another fishery on the Windrush, probably in Standlake, with Golofers or Giffards (later Cokethorpe) manor. (fn. 271) Williams seems also to have leased the St. John's College fishery in Hardwick from 1610. (fn. 272) The fisheries owned by Williams descended with the Cokethorpe estate, (fn. 273) whose owners from 1710 or earlier continued to lease the college fishery. (fn. 274)