Around the Village - South West

Garry Allam, Bishop's Sutton Heritage

Archaeological field marks of Scrubbs Lane

There are many crop and soil marks all around Bishop's Sutton Parish. These shown here are undated but show two related enclosures and some linear marks.

 

Perhaps these marks had something to do with the fact that I think this field is called The Butts and was the old village Archery range.

Gore Shard Field, 1873

This is one of the oldest names in the Parish. Both elements derive from the Old English; the first 'Gore' comes from Gara a triangular shaped piece of ground (gara ultimately comes from gar a spear e.g. ground shaped like a spear head coming to a point). The point being where Scrubs and White Hill Lanes meet, the actual point being cut off with the building of the Vicarage in the late 19th century.

 

The second element 'Scard' comes from the Old English Sceard and means a gap as in a hedge. This would suggest that White Hill Lane and Scrubbs Lane were in use in Saxon times. The field is still called Goreshard and the word scard is still used today in the local dialect.

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Gore Shard Field 1940

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Gore Shard Field 2011

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Dark Lane 1839 Tithe Map

Dark lane is the short lane of just over half a mile in length that runs west from Scrubbs lane through Scrubbs farm yard.

 

This section is metalled and then turns to a track that bends south west down to skirt Grove Copse and joins Appledown Lane just above Dark Copse  which lies just inside Cheriton Parish. 

Originally the east end of Dark Lane seems to have been a dead end being an access road from Scrubbs lane into the north side of what was Scrubbs beech wood and Scrubs Copse. The west end was at best a track from Appledown for access into Grove copse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Lane 1909

 

between 1850 and 1870’s Scrubs barn had been erected and between 1881-91 and a cottage had been added to form a small farm. it looks like the west end of Dark lane was added to give access out to Appledown Lane from Scubbs Farm.

 

The lane clearly takes its name from the Copse which simply means what it says a place thickly wooded with little light. It can also mean a dark menacing or evil place.

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Dark Lane 2009

Looking west along Dark Lane towards Scrubbs farm from Scrubbs Lane

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Salt/White Hill Field Names

Salt Hill: This is the ridge or hill that runs from Scrubs to White Hill lane. This might have been the earlier name for White Hill but because of the lack of early evidence it hard to say.

 

Salt is most likely to have had Saxon origins, and is unlikely to have had any connection to the obvious - more likely to have been a corruption of Salh which means Willow, so possibly Willow tree hill.

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Salt Hill/Bottom 

View to the south from the A31 Bypass showing Salt Hill

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Scrubbs Farm Roman archaeology

It wasn’t until between 1840 and 1880 that the first buildings appeared along Dark lane (called Scrubbs Barns) and after 1880/1890 the dwelling was built and it became known as Scrubbs Farm.

At least 1,700 years before there seems to have been quite a lot going on in the area of Scrubbs. As of yet no evidence of habitation has been found, but even so there is evidence of a lot of Romano British activity nearby in the form of enclosures and field systems so it is likely there would have been habitation nearby.

In the field to the south of Scrubbs farm there is a large depression in the field some 25 metres by 20 metres. Excavations have revealed silting up to a depth of a metre and it is thought to be a dew pond. These ponds were man-made, almost always on high ground where there was no supply of natural surface water and was chiefly used to water livestock ( until a few years ago there was a dew pond a couple of fields to the north of Scrubbs).

At the edge of the pond is a large curb of packed flint indicating a hard standing on the edge of the dew pond. Leading away from the hardstanding is a 25 feet length of  terrace, metalled with crushed flint and topped with chalk; which forms what is considered to be section of Roman lane.

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