The Great Field
The Great Field was the largest of the three areas of open field and the closest to the village, coming right up to one end of what was then the main street. It was divided into Furlongs with the strips in each furlong running in a different direction. Not all of the furlongs appear to have had names and were identified by a description such as “a furlong shooting east to west”.
The road from Englefield to Theale (now the private drive to Englefield House but on a slightly different course) forms the boundary between Wickcroft and Hammerhedge Furlongs. Another road, called Green Lane, branching from the Theale road at a point where the pound was situated and running on to join the Bath Road where the A340 now does, also acts as a furlong boundary for part of its course and where it appears to cut across Widemoor Furlong does so parallel to the strips. Ridgeway Lane, running from Sulhamstead Lane to Parker’s Corner (these two roads together now make up Bostock Lane) runs along the headland between furlongs at the southern end but then cuts clean across the strips for the rest of its course, although that section is more faintly drawn. The earlier plan of the Great Field has what is clearly the later addition of a red, dashed line here running from what is identified by its modern name of Bostock Lane (rather than Sulhamstead Lane as used on slightly later maps of) to Parker’s Corner so clearly Ridgeway Lane only came into use after the time when that plan was drawn and before Ballard’s.
© 2021 Richard J Smith