One hundred years ago
THE IRREGULARITY OF ENGLISH FIELDS.
[TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."'
Sir, — Mr. Austin, in his charming "Haunts of Ancient Peace — II," in the Spectator of September 15th, says, speaking of English fields, "they sweep in and out in a manner unaccountable." I think their irregular shape may be eas- ily accounted for. At a time when tim- ber-trees were more valuable than now, as often the only source available of fuel, men, in laying out fields, would take the hedges here, there, and any- where, in order to take in a tree which, left in the hedgerow, might stand, but which, left in the open, would hinder the plough. Once make the fields irreg- ular for this reason, and the lanes must of course twist in accommodating them- selves to their shape. — I am, Sir, &c., The Spectator 22 September 1894