fence month

1) The enclosing of coppice woods to protect new growth from grazing animals.

Coppice woods or ‘springs’ were felled at regular intervals, and the cycle differed from one region to another. Nevertheless, such woods had to be enclosed to protect the new growth from grazing animals, especially from domestic stock. That period was known on the Fountains Abbey estate as the fence time and in 1520 Ralph Scayffe and his son Robert agreed ‘to keep the sprynges during the fense tyme’, Bishopside. Similar restrictions applied to forest areas, and a survey of Pickering for 1619-21 listed a tax that was charged on those traveylinge over the foreste in fence moneth. It was an ancient custom: 1250 ‘common for oxen and cows ... except in the fence month’, Galtres.

spellings fence time
dates 1250 1520 1619-1621

Related Content Loading...

Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0