Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
in Victorian times
  The old ways on the farm - Glossary of terms  

This page gives a little more background information on some of the old hand-tools and methods which were in use for much of the Victorian age.

Although steam powered machinery came into use on the larger farms and estates, old ways such as horse-ploughs were still used in places long after the death of Queen Victoria.

Farmworkers and hayrick

Scythe - a long handled tool with a curved blade for cutting the stalks of corn in the field.
Scythes are shown on the right.

Sheaves - bundles of corn stalks tied together after being cut in the field. See the picture below right.

Using scythes
Scythes in use

Sickle - a tool with a semicircular blade for cutting the stalks of corn in the field. A sickle is shown in use far right.

Ricks or hayricks - round or rectangular mounds of cut hay with sloping tops left out in the fields to dry. See the photograph at the top of this page. Nowadays valuable crops are stored under cover in large farm buildings.

Sheaves of corn
Using a sickle
Sickle in use

Threshing - the process of separating ears of corn from the stalks they grew on.
An early implement called a flail for threshing corn, shown on the right, is on display at Radnorshire Museum in Llandrindod Wells.

Reaper - a machine which cuts the stalks of corn in the field.

Threshing flail
Oxen at work

Oxen - an old name for breeds of cattle used for tasks such as pulling heavy items like ploughs and wagons. See the picture above right.

Some of the changes which affected livestock farmers during the Victorian age are shown on the next page...

Livestock, steam machinery, and railways...


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