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The Porchfield of Trim - A medieval 'open-field'

Dermot Kelly


The Porchfield of The Porchfield of Trim lies between the new Anglo-Norman town of Trim founded c. 1180 and the rural-borough of Newtown-Trim founded c. 1220 in County Meath. The two towns were connected through the 'open-field' Porchfield by a medieval road 'sunken-way'. The Porchfield probably included 'three acres in the fields outside the town' for a number of the new burgesses of Trim, as documented in the Borough Charters for Kells and Drogheda. Ridge-and-furrow was the cultivation method used in 'open-field' agriculture of the time. The characteristics of ridge-and-furrow are described and a case is made for the presence of apparent blocks of ridge-and-furrow in the Porchfield of Trim with reference to medieval land measurement units, in particular the perch as the predominant measured width of 'the long narrow strips' still existing in the Porchfield of Trim.

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