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Talgarth and district
Cole Brook common field
  An ancient field system in Victorian Bronllys  

The 1839 tithe map for the parish of Bronllys reveals something unusual. The map shows a large area of narrow strip fields, and the records which go with the map call this area the "Cole Brook Common Field".
In medieval times arable land was divided up into narrow strips and shared between the villagers. Each one got the same number of strips, and these were spread out so that everyone got a share of the better and poorer land.
Villagers could also graze their animals on the open common pasture. The map below shows this ancient system still in use in 1839 in Bronllys. (Nearby Llyswen had a similar system still surviving).
We have coloured in the strips so you can see who held what land. The table underneath gives the names.


In Victorian times almost everyone had to pay tithes to the Church of England. At the beginning of the reign the tithe became a tax on your property. The maps were drawn to see what property everybody had
  The land of Evan Prosser of Porthamal  
  The land of Benjamin Price of Marish  
  The land of Roger Thomas  
  The land of William Price (an orchard)  
  The land of William Turner of Pentresollers  
  The land of Evan Davies  
  The land of William Davies of Upper House  
  The land of William Williams  
  The land of Mary Kitchingman of the Mason's Arms  

All the above above people apart from William Williams rented this land from a landowner. Mr Prosser of Porthamal rented his farm and these strips from the Earl of Ashburnham for example. Evan Davies rented his land from Colonel Woods who was a local landowner and M.P. for the county.

More about the Common field at Bronllys...


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