The Laxton Map

Laxton lies about nine miles north of Newark on Trent in Nottinghamshire. When this map was made, the arable land was farmed in large open fields without internal hedges or boundaries; it was worked ‘in common’. Uniquely, part of Laxton was never enclosed, and is still farmed according to the open field system.

The map is made of nine sections. It was commissioned by Sir William Courten, who as owner of the estate was monitoring and regulating the working of the open fields. The scale is roughly sixteen inches to the mile, and individual strips of land are clearly visible, as well as pasture, woodland, individual trees, streams, roads, buildings, animals, and people working the land. An accompanying ‘terrier’, or land register, records who farmed each parcel of land, and where they dwelt.

This Treasure isn’t currently on display in the Weston Library.