Manuscripts and Special Collections

Laxton: Farming in an Open Field Village

The 'Laxton: Farming in an Open Field Village' exhibition ran from April to August 2009. 

This online version of the exhibition consists of a series of pages based on the display boards, plus a selection of the items that were exhibited.

Photograph showing ploughing with horses at Laxton, c.1930s  From Ch Pa 178

About the exhibition

The village of Laxton in North Nottinghamshire is unique in preserving the medieval traditions of open field farming. An otherwise typical agricultural community, it escaped being fully enclosed in the nineteenth century. The three open fields, divided into strips farmed by tenants of the Laxton estate, are still managed today by a jury reporting to the manorial Court Leet.  

The exhibition drew on the University’s collections to highlight farming life in Laxton, and to explore agricultural routines and processes which have long since disappeared from similar villages in the Midlands.

Of particular importance were the Manvers Collection of estate records, and manorial records in the Tallents Collection. Photographs were taken by Manuscripts and Special Collections staff at visits kindly hosted by the people of Laxton in 2008.

Full-size images and transcriptions of many more documents relating to Laxton can be found on the Laxton: Living in an Open Field Village learning resource. 

Visitor comments

Fascinating. This has helped me with my history course

A fascinating insight into village life

The exhibition provided an impetus for Laxton to form a Local History Group and has generated and brought together much interest in local history which looks set to continue beyond the exhibition. A thought provoking experience.

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Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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