1) To take the top sods off the land.

1694 for pareing the grounde where the bricks are to be made, Tong. When land was being prepared for cultivation, the sods were burnt so that the ashes enriched the soil: it was a practice that seems to have gathered momentum in the eighteenth century: 1755 Some sour, marshy grounds are made arable by spading the turf from the surface and then burning it in heaps. This is called Pairing and burning, Mirfield. The practice was discouraged in some manors: 1742 if any person grave and burn any turf or sods ... in order to convert the same into tillage, 3s 4d, Meltham

1749 not to pair, flee or burn any of the surface or swarth of any of the closes, Calverley.

dates 1694 1749 1755

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