ANCIENT FIELD NAMES.
When we need to describe a particular item or area such as a field or wood, we usually try to find a distinctive feature about its location or use, or even a nickname. Such is the case for all our fields, although long since forgotten or out of use, some names still survive on documental records.
For instance behind Bowhill House is Cats Field, which could have been used by wild felines, or haunted by cats, next to that is Spring Field, and adjacent at the corner of Small Profits Lane is Broom Field, obviously where that plant flourished.
These animals seem to be everywhere now, but next to Blue Hills is a field called Conebury, ie. a rabbit colony. Shingle Barn Farm is on the site of Kitchen Field, whereas the house Broomfield, along Lughorse Lane, which used to be called Luckhurst, was built on the site of Coal Pit Field. There is a thin strip of field coming down through Buston, on the edge of the parish boundary called Devils Dyke Shaw, a derogatory name for unproductive land.
The stream that finally crosses the Lees, has meandered along the south of Benover Road, then at the Organic garden turns south to cross Simmons Lane. Then midway between Mill Place and Manor Farm, it curves through 90 degrees to the west, and the field that forms the outer rim of this quadrant arc is called Rainbow Meadow. Near this point, next to Emmet Hill Lane, of course one finds Ant Hill Meadow, and across the lane is Ammetts Hill Wood. At this lane’s junction with Claygate Road is Redgate Field, and the other side of Claygate Road is Burlow Field, which could have had a problem with knotty trees. Behind the Engineer site is Dencher Field, pared and burnt at some time, and on the corner of Pike Fish Lane was Butchers Field. Further south to the East of Pike Fish Lane is Air Baloon Field, which for an early nineteenth century name or before, posed a puzzle as to its origin. Just to the East of this are three areas called Spitses Shaw.
In the area between Manor Farm and Claygate Road are fields called Gin Cock, Gin Cock Hops, Gin Cock Shaw, Benover Meadow, and Thistle Field. Further along between Wolsey and Forge Lane we find Jenkins Meadow, Flood Ditch Field, Jury Field and Jury Shaw. Many field sizes have changed in time, but within the region of Rugmer there are names such as Young Hatch Gate, Mad Pit Field, Knights Field, Crowsons Meadow, Calais Meadow, Dog Pit Shaw and Great Dog Pit, that conjures up a variety of connotations. Behind Mockbeggar Farm is a field called Blind Robin.
Along Spenny Lane to the West of Gain Hill is Humpy Back Field, Spectacles Field and Great Lee Field.
Beyond Fowle Hall along Waggon Lane is Adder Field, where vipers were found to abound, and at its junction with the main Paddock Wood road is Sabbath Land Field, which could have been a convenient central meeting place for a particular church or chapel. Between Fowle Hall and Queen Street is Rebellion Meadow, that could have connections with some of the disputes of farm workers unrest in the area, where they found a quiet place to meet.
This subject can be quite a study in itself with other fields reflecting ownership or location such as Darmon Meadow, Yalding Field, or Yalding Meadow. Of course the name of The Kintons has been around for some time, but I would suggest that this is derived from a manorial family name of Kyntone, and not the game of Quintain. Whatever we may decide about the derivation of particular names, their actual origins for most of them, go way back in time.
The other location that we must not forget is Burgess Bank, site of our new surgery, and where the Roundheads during the Civil War forced the supporters of the King to surrender. (This has previously been described in detail.) From here they fired cannon shot over the village to win the “Battle of Yalding”.
The source of this information was the 1840 Tithe Map.