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Field Names

Agricultural Background

The term Long swathe is used for two fields on the 1703 map. One of these has become Lower Swarth and is the only survival in 2008. Meadowland was sometimes measured in swathes. A swathe was roughly 10ft across, being the reach of a man scything from left to right.

Washbrook is the name given to a stretch of the Bayswater Brook and a field adjoining it. It does not appear in the 1919 map, or the 1703 map and it appears to have been used to wash the sheep rather than dipping them, which would, of course, have polluted the stream.

Public Administration

There is no clear example of public administration but there is what appears to be a reference to the adjoining parish of Marston. The field nearest the parish boundary on the 1703 map is called Marston Cross Ground, which may be a reference to the fact that it is immediately across Elsfield parish boundary marked by the Bayswater Brook. This name has changed by 2008 to Masons Cross, but seems unlikely to refer to masonry even given the fact that stone was taken from Elsfield quarry to Oxford in the 13th century. One would have expected the name to have appeared in earlier documents if it referred to masons or masonry.

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