ID: MARG_325 / Sue Howlett

TitleEast Mersea Manor Map c1650 D/DU 555/18
AbstractTwo versions of the coloured map of the manor (c 1650), as well as the lists of landholders which link with the numbered plots (from ERO ref. D/DU555/18 Manorial Records of East Mersea). There is also a later tracing of the same map (D/DU 555/19) to which, unfortunately, we do not have a copy of the key. Because it is all quite hard to read, it's not easy to identify which individuals held (paying rent and/or feudal services) for each landholding. You can also see the larger areas held by distant aristocrats such as Lord Compton,

One thing this map does show is that Mersea (and most of Essex) didn't operate the medieval Open Field strip system, because the nature of the woody and marshy land meant that fields were individually enclosed during the earlier or medieval period as they were made suitable for farming. If somebody today had masses of time, or was doing a PhD etc, it would be really interesting to link this with the 1841 Tithe Map of East Mersea, or even today's field maps, to see how much had changed. They both show acreage of the fields (in acres, roods and perches) which probably didn't change much over the centuries.

AuthorSue Howlett
SourceMersea Museum