Picture of Arthur Young

Arthur Young

places mentioned

1776 Tour of South Wales and South Midlands

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By the Editor.

OCTOBER 23, 1776,1 landed at Milford haven from Ireland. About the haven the country is chiefly in tillage; the soil a good reddish loam on a red grit stone. They have clover, but no turnips. The whole country as bare of trees as Ireland. Viewed the haven from the high lands above Hubberston: it is a noble bason here, with hanging shores, that want nothing but wood. Sixteen ships added greatly to the scene.

Making enquiries concerning Pembrokeshire in general, the Rev. Mr. Hall, who resided much in it, informed me, that one third of the county is mountain; and that the other two thirds let from 10s. to 20s. an acre; average 15s. That a part of it consisted of a very fine red loam at 20s. excellent for every sort of crop: the other parts clay, or clayey, with a tract to the south of lime stone land. The course of crops most common:

  1. Plough up grassland for fallow and lime,
  2. Wheat,
  3. Pease or barley,
  4. Barley or oats,
  5. Oats,
  6. Leave it to grass and weeds for 5 or 7 years, but few sowing clover.

It is surprising how, with such a rotation, they are able to pay such rents. Farms in general are so small that £100 a year is a considerable one. The whole county is inclosed, without such a thing as a common field. The food of the poor, bread and cheese, with broth made of salt meat, laid in at the cheapest season; much fish also eaten by them. Many keep cows; no goats on the mountains.

To Haverford-West, the soil a rich reddish loam on slate and clay. I remarked some wheat on clover. Lime the manure, but not in any quantities.

Half oxen and half horses universal in all the teams. The cottages many of them not a whit better than Irish cabbins, without an equal show of pigs, poultry and cows. Labour 8d. in the winter, and 10d. in summer, the year round. The whole country is in gentle inequalities; and, if wooded, would be beautiful.


Mutton, 3d. per lb.
Beef, 3d. to 5d.
Pork, 3d.
Butter 6d. to 8d.
Chickens, 4d. to 6d.
Turkies, 3s. to 4s.
Geese, 10d. to 10½d.
Potatoes, 2s. to 2s. 6d. a bushel.

The town of Haverford is on so steep a hill, that necks must sometimes be broken in passing it.

To Narbarth. Several cottages building in the Irish way, of mud with straw. The poor people seem well cloathed and fed. They use through all this country small heavy carts with two oxen and two or three horses, the driver sits on the front of the cart, and drives with reins.

Their car is a two-wheeled skeleton, one for corn and hay, but boarded for lime, ' Has a pole for oxen, two horses draw four barrels of lime, two horses and two oxen five of lime or culm, which is truly ridiculous, much inferior to the Irish car.

The country is generally in tillage, and ploughed tolerably well, but in the low lands good meadow; and I saw some woods. Scarcely any such thing as waste land.

At Slabbard, in the way to Narbarth, rents are from 15s. to 20s. an acre; some rich meadows at 40s. The course of crops,

  1. Fallow,
  2. Wheat produces 3 to 4 bushels each, at 12 gallons to a strike, and 4 strikes to a bushel,
  3. Barley ditto 6 or 7 ditto,
  4. Oats 5 or 6 ditto,
  5. Clover 2 or 3 years,

Customary acre ¼th more than statute.

Wheat yields 7 for 1, on some farms 12 for 1.

Lime they measure by the Irish barrel of 4 bushels, lay 60 an acre on the fallows. It costs 2s. 6d. a load of 5 barrels, and is burnt in perpetual kilns. Farms are all small, from 5 or 61. a year of which size there are many in the hands of labourers, up to 60l. which is a large one. Their cattle are all housed in the winter.

Three miles before Narbarth are some extensive woods. That town is prettily situated on the side of a hill with the ruins of an old castle.

The hedges, as well as the cabbins, cars, and barrels, put me in mind of Ireland. They form a bank 5 or 6 feet high and 2 or 3 broad, out of two ditches, and plant the hedge in a row along the top, setting old thorns, &c. to choose, as they form a fence immediately, which I never saw before, general, except near Waterford. In repairing, they clear the sides and mould up the roots, thinning the plants on the top, but either from the dryness of the banks or for want of cutting, many of them make a very stunted unhealthy appearance. There is some plashing, but it is very badly done.

October 24th to St. Clear. From Narbarth to Hubberston the course is,

  1. Fallow lime and dung,
  2. Wheat,
  3. Barley
  4. Clover mow the 1st crop for hay, and plough in the 2d for barley, or else leave it a lay.

Rents 7s. 6d. to 10s. the whole farm through, to 14s. on some farms. Farms rise to very large ones, but in general small. The Irish cottar system is found here - 3 or 4 cottages to a farm of 40 or 501. a year. They are always at the call of the farmers, they are allowed two or three grass fields at a moderate rent, a cow or two, but no pigs, unless one in a year, to kill at Christmas Strangers get in winter 4d. a day, and food; without food 8d. in harvest 19. 1s. 6d. and food. They live on bread and cheese, and milk, or water; no beer, nor meat, except on a sunday. The culture of potatoes increases much, more planted last year than ever known before. The poor eat them: and every cabbin has a garden with some in it. They put them in the Irish lazy-bed way, on grass land dunged; but the best return is by setting them in drills with the plough.

Poor rates 6d. to 9d. in the pound, but reckoned by the plough land.

The use of clover increases greatly, and some mix tresoile with it. Lime the common manure. It is carried in panniers on horses 25 miles to the mountains of Carmarthenshire; a barrel is from 4 to 5 Winchester bushels; 5 barrels to a load: and from 3 to 10 loads to an acre last 3 crops. Price at the kiln 3s. a load. It is burnt with culm raised within half a mile of the quarry. They burn from april to september; never in winter. The effect of it is very great on all soils; it is seen to an inch.

They mow their barley and oats, but bind them into sheaves.

Many sheep are kept in the mountains of 8lb. a quarter; some 5 ½ They clip from 1lb. to 1½ lb. of wool; of which the stone is 18lb. and sells for 14s. mountain flocks are valued at 3s. 6d. a head round; if very good 5s. 6d. There is a right of commonage over all the mountains of Pembroke and Carmarthenshire. Leases generally for three lives.

The country towards St. Clear improves greatly, for passing some commons of heath, furz, and fern, at the fourth mile stone, there is a delicious scenery to the left, about Llandowra. There is a beautiful glen, formed by hills, that project in a variety of forms, spread over with oak woods that hang on each side and unite at the bottom. Attention is fully commanded till a sweet vale 3 or 4 miles across opens to view, all cultivation, or meadows of rich verdure: nothing level, but an incessant inequality of surface; a river winds through it that is seen in many places, and neat white houses slated, scattered about, compleat the chearfulness of the scene. The whole is hemmed in by mountains, that give the full effect of contrast. A mile further another view to enchant a traveller who is pleased with landscapes. A rich vale watered by a winding river leads between two woody hills; the distant scene innumerable inclosures; further still you come to another vale yet richer, the river opening in finer reaches; the declivities bold, and covered with wood, farms, cottages, stacks, a church and village animate the scene. To St. Clear which is in a charming country situated on a navigable creek.

Through all this country the fewel is culm, or small coal beat into a kind of mortar, with sea-ouze or clay, and then kneaded together by hand, into balls three or four inches in diameter, every time the fire is mended; the cleanly creatures of the fair sex after this lay the cloth, or make the bed.

Lime around St. Clear the great manure, it is laid on the fallows, has been used more than twenty years, yet the benefit is such, that the effect is seen to an inch.

  1. Fallow,
  2. Wheat, yields 25 to 30 bushels Winchester,
  3. Barley, sow 5 and get 40,
  4. Pease, sow 2 ½ and get 25
  5. Oats, sow 5 and get 40
  6. Clover, 3 years,

Lime every where the great manure. There are sixteen or eighteen kilns in St. Clear. The culm is brought by water; one barrel will burn ten or twelve of lime. They pay 8d. a day for quarrying and burning. Running kilns will burn 40 to 50 barrels a day, The stone is very hard and fine, rises in great single rocks with much sand stone round it. There is no lime stone in Cardiganshire, but plenty in Carmarthenshire. They reckon that it does as well upon wet land as upon dry. They lay it frequently on grass without ploughing; it sweetens much; brings the white clover, and increases the quantity of hay. They carry it on horses, twenty-five and thirty miles into Cardiganshire, where it costs 10d. the Winchester bushel, but they reckon that no corn is to be had without it. Three fourths of Cardiganshire, mountain: one third, or one fourth of Carmarthenshire; in the latter, in ploughing the mountain sides, they throw every furrow downwards with a common, consequently they lose just half the day for want of turnwrest ploughs.

The farms here are small, from 5l. to 100l.four or five teams, at four to a team, half oxen, and half horses, to 100l. a year; breed the oxen on every farm; for all calves are reared; work them at three years old for one or two years, and then sell them: they are shoed, and move as well as horses. A horse costs as much as two oxen, yet has very few oats.

Rent of arable land 10s. of grass 20 to 30s. Tythes 2s. to 2s. 6d. in the pound, and some so high as 4s. They reckon in the gross, that rates, tythes, church and highway taxes, come to 5s. in the pound.

Many iron furnaces, the ore dug in the country. The poor people spin a good deal of wool, and weave it into flannel for their own wear, no linen is worn by them, flannel supplying the place. Query, to the physicians of the country -- Is the rheumatisin known here as much as in other countries where linen is worn? They make cloth also for their own wear. Weavers earn 1s. a day, and sometimes more. The poor live on barley-bread, cheese, and butter; not one in ten have either cows or pigs, fare very poorly and rarely touch meat. Their little gardens they plant with cabbages, carrots, leeks, and potatoes. Rent of a cottage and garden, 10s. to 20s. Building a mud cabbin costs 10l.


Beef, 3d. per lb.
Pork, 2½d. to 3d.
Mutton, 3¼d.
Butter, 7d. 20 ounces.
Potatoes, 1s. 4d. W. bush.
Chickens, 3d. to 3&hfd.
Turkies, 1s. 3d.
Geese, 1s. 6d.
Ducks, 5d. to 6d.
Wild ducks, 9d. to 10d. a couple.
Teal, 1s. a couple.
Widgeon, 6d. to 10d. a couple.
Salmon, 1½d. per lb.


Oak, 1s. to 1s. 6d. a foot, which is 4d. dearer than twenty years ago.
Ash, 10d. to 1s.
Oak bark, 3l. to 3l. 10s. a ton, most of it goes to Ireland, where it fells for 7l. 10s.
A carpenter and mason half a day.
A thatcher, 10d.

October 25, to Carmarthen, the first appearance of which place is very fine, upon some gentle hills, with very bold ones backing it, cultivated on every side to their tops. One mountain in particular, seems to hang over the town in a picturesque manner. The other approach to it from London more striking still; for the road leads just above a fine river that winds fancifully through a vale of rich meadow, scattered with wood. To the left above the town, a bold hill with a few inclosures and a house deliciously situated in a group of trees. The surrounding hills exhibit a waving scene of cultivation. At a distance rugged mountains with a broken outline close in the whole. For three miles together, there is the richest profusion of scenery.

The country all the way to Llandilo is fine; but the picturesque beauties of Newton Castle, the seat of Mr. Rice, are superlatively so. The great feature of the place is that of a very large hill, of the greatest variety of form, rising out of a most fertile vale, every where formed by higher hills, which approach in character to mountains, but are all cultivated. Through this vale winds the large river Towy, which breaks to the eye in beautiful reaches, scattered over almost every part, and apparently so distinct, that it is difficult to believe them the doublings of the same stream.

This vale is formed of a variety of grounds, with woods, groves, hedges, &c. in that sort of confusion which destroys the insipidity of a flat.

The hill which forms the park has scarcely a level acre in it; no undulating water set in motion by the impulse of contrary wind and tide, could present more various or fantastick forms; yet nothing rugged.

The hills and slopes melt into each other so happily, that the outlines are all beautiful. The woods of oak are noble; in some places they sink into hollows, in others, spread over the declivities of the hills, presenting themselves to the eye in the richest masses of shade that contrast the livelier verdure of the undulating lawn. One projection of the grounds is singularly striking, it is a bold promontory that pushes perpendicularly into the hills; the whole an entire wood of oak: on the summit of its brow, an ivy- bound castle, in such preservation as to be interesting; the aspect is venerable, the situation commanding. From the brow of the hill the vale opens a vast scenery of wood, meadow, water, cultivated hill, and distant mountain; with a hill rising abruptly out of the vale, as if to hold up Drislan Castle for an object; it is a peculiar one. The river makes two great reaches, and a bend immediately under the castle hill, as if to pay its tribute to the genius of ancient Wales. It is a noble view; I counted thirty woods, some of them large.

There is a round tower in the castle almost perfect; an old stair-case leads up to a parapet walk which surrounds the battlements, and commands the whole country: Upon the whole I think this spot the most picturesque residence I have seen in England. Hill and dale, and wood and water necessarily unite to form many beautiful scenes: they are the notes which must every where give the harmony of a landscape, but they are here accompanied with their richest melody.

But these rural beauties did not make me overlook agriculture. Mr. Rice some years ago brought hither a Berkshire bailiff, by whose means he cultivated turnips and cabbages; I saw a field of each, which were good and well managed. He finds them of admirable use in feeding bullocks, and fat and lean sheep. But for milch cows prefers cabbages greatly, as with care in picking off the dead and rotten leaves, they communicate no ill taste to the butter; for other uses turnips better: he succeeds them with barley, and then clover and wheat, in the Norfolk husbandry; a perfect contrast to the fallows of this line from Carmarthen to Llandilo, which are all succeeded by wheat, and then spring corn in succession till the land is tired.

Land about Llandilo is good and lets well much at 20s. mountain farms 5s. to 7s. 6d. average to Carmarthen 20s. the hay of the meadows sells at 30s. and those that buy are at all expences of cutting and making. Farms small, to 70l. or 80l. The course,

  1. Fallow and lime.
  2. Wheat, 12s. to 16s. bush.
  3. Barley, 18s. ditto.
  4. Barley, 16s. ditto.
  5. Oats, 15s. ditto.
  6. Clover generally for three years, and then fallow again.

Much of the vale is in tillage, for it is an excellent red, dry, sandy loam: the hills are much wetter, from clay and springs.

Throughout all this country the meadows are carefully watered by trenching and sluicing; the importance of which business, they understand perfectly well: they spread lime also upon them to kill rushes.

Thirty horse-loads of lime, at 10d. each, the common dressing for their lands, each 3 bushels, at 10 gallons; 4d. the loadat the kiln, 4 miles off. They carry it 33 miles into Cardiganshire, on poney's backs, 3 bushels each.

Every farmer keeps cows, and rears many calves: one of 30l. a year will have 15 cows, and rear 7 or 8 calves for oxen to plough with. On the mountains they have flocks of sheep to 400, small breed, worth 8s. each. Cardiganshire is a great sheep country; they make their rents entirely by them; all mountain ones. They there pen their sheep on lay land, then lime and plough it up: Wool 24lb. to the stone, at 18s. or 20s. a stone.

Among the poor there is a little spinning and weaving of flannel, for few of them wear linen; they all manage to buy some wool, spin and send it to the weavers, who earn 1s. or 1s. 3d. a day. Some spin hemp and flax for canvass sacking. Many in the mountains knit stockings, which are bought up at small fairs, and carried to Worcester, &c.' They live upon barley or oaten bread and cheese. Most get meat once a week: very few keep cows, but some have pigs fed on acorns. No cottars here; only in Pembrokeshire.

Labour 9d. a day the year round; 20 years ago was at 6d.

Carpenters and masons, 1s. 6d.

Thatcher, 1s.

Poor rates have risen from 9d. to 1s. 2d. in the pound.

Leases, 7, 21 years, and 3 lives.


Beef, mutton, and pork, 2 ½d. per pound.
Butter, 7d. 20 ounces.
Potatoes, 3d. for 2½ gallons.
Cheese, 2½d. to 3d.
Chickens, 2d. to 2½d.
Turkies, 1s.
Geese, 8d.
Ducks, 5d.
Salmon, 1d. to 1½d. per pound.


Oak, 1s. a foot; 20 years ago, 4d. to 6d.
Ash, 9d.

Their own spruce fir, 7d. very good; almost as white as Norway deals.

Not one third of Carmarthen mountains; in Brecknock not more. In Radnorshire more than half, and the same in Cardigan.

Before I quit Llandilo, I should observe, that it is a proper post from which to take a tour to see the romantick parts of Wales; in this route, viz.

To Aberestywith and Plynlymmon; Maluntlyth, in Montgomeryshire; Towymaronith, Dolgethly and Caeridderis, Trowsvunyth, Penmawwyr, Llamluvny, Carnarvon, Snowdon, Bangor, and so to Chester or Shrewsbury. Hughs, the landlord at the Red Lion, at Llandilo, has attended company this tour, which is through the most hilly and romantic country in Wales.

For 5 horses, 2 boys, himself, and a post-chaise, he charged 2l. 2s. a day. He maintained himself, his boys, and his horses; and travelled one day with another, 20 miles; a horse for himself he did not charge.

October 26, to Llandovry, 12 miles of very fine country; all hills and mountains, but cultivated to the very tops; with fine ranges of wood. The plashing of hedges much improved; many almost as well done as in Hertfordshire. At that place came first to waste Mountain; till then had seen very little from Milford haven.

To Trecastle all mountain country; one hill six miles up; to the left, higher ones, whose tops are in the clouds. Most of these ten miles uncultivated; these hills let from 3s. 6d. to 5s. an acre, exclusive of the low vales. Many farms from 5l. to 20l. a year; some to 100l. which is a large one. They take here 5, 6, and 7 crops of corn in succession.

To Brecon, rents rise to 10l. and 12l. and even 15l. besides meadows which are every where high; near Brecon 21l. a farm there must be very bad indeed to be so low as 5l. round. Lime every where used, but not in such quantities as in Carmarthen and Pembroke: the price 1s. 9d. a tail, of 4 strikes, at 10 gallons. Delivered coals 4 ½d. to 5d. the bushel, of 10 gallons, at the pit Lu. Near the river Uske, a Mr. Williams has several fields of turnips, which shew what might be done. In above 80 miles I have not seen 20 acres, and none in the hands of common farmers. Passed church, by the road side, surrounded by the largest yews I have seen.

Mr. Longfellow, at the Bell at Brecon, is so good a farmer, that he is secretary to the Brecknockshire Agriculture Society, but which does not flourish so much as I wished to hear it did. They were established in 1752, and were certainly the introducers of turnips and clover, which (turnips at least) are not yet adopted by common farmers. Mr. Longfellow, in common, has had 30 or 40 acres, fed them on the land with sheep and cattle, and had as noble barley after as can be imagined. Beans are unknown in general, but he has usually 20 or 30 acres. In sheep also he has made some exertions; he bought 20 ewes of Mr. Bakewell, to which he put a Brecknock tup, and sold the lambs at 2l. 12s. 6d. each: the breed answered exceedingly well. The acre here is 2 /3 of the statute measure.

October 27th, to Crickhovel, passed two more churches surrounded by vast yew-trees. The black hill Pengamvillrin, is all lime-stone, iron, and coal. The ore is come to first, under that the coal, and then the lime-stone; these hills thus rich in materials, hold thus for 20 miles due west, and belong chiefly to the Duke of Beaufort. The river Uske runs through a fine vale, between many hills and mountains. It is 60 miles to Swansea; all coal-ore, and lime-stone the whole way, with many collieries.

Through all this country land lets high, owing to the population of mines. A cover of arable which is 2 /3 of a statute acre, is 15s. Meadows from 30s. to 40s. but all watered that are possible to be done, and with the greatest skill and care. They build wears to raise the rivers; cut master carriers, trenches, ' and make mounds in every little hollow to catch every drop. Water at all seasons of the year, even when grass is ¾ grown if the weather is dry; a sure proof the husbandry is very well understood. The chief time is, however, from Christmas to May. Mr. Bridgwater, at Penyrworlood, near Hay, bought an estate that scarcely produced hay for his stables, but by watering, has made it as fine a grazing tract as can be. He did 2 or 300 covers. His method was to mud the water before he floated. I wrote to him afterwards for the particulars of his method, but I suppose my letter was not directed right, for I had no answer. Lime and pond mud mixed, are also found here to improve meadows greatly. Lime is 3d. a barrel, of 3 bushels, at the kiln.

Turnips are coming in, but none hoed; they eat them off with cattle and sheep by Christmas, and sow wheat after them on one earth.

Orchards are scarce through this country, considering the vicinity of Herefordsire, but there are some good ones.

The mountain tracts are very extensive, it is, for instance, 20 miles to Hay, and 16 of it are mountains uncultivated. All are common; but the lords of manors give leave for the rent of a fowl or a peppercorn for lives to inclose bits, and these afterwards become their property. The only stock on the mountains are sheep, except a few colts, ' every man keeps just as many as he pleases.

Mules are coming greatly into use, especially for bringing coals on their backs. A small one costs 8 or 10l. and carries as much as a large horse; asses are also used in great numbers.

The food of the poor people, bread and cheese and milk, or water; some small beer. Meat never, except on Sundays. Price of labour, 10d. a day the year round; 20 years ago, 6d. In harvest 7s. a week.

To shew the general improvement of the country. -- 20 years ago, there was scarcely any wheat in Brecon-market, now is a great corn-market.

Rents through this country not so high as before, from 7s. 6d. to 15s. Meadows 25s. to 40s. It is a richer country from Brecon to that place, than it is from thence to Monmouth. For 5 or 6 miles around the town, the soil, is a fine red loam. Farms, from 20l. to 200l. and some rise even to 500l. owing to Worcestershire farmers, with large capitals, coming among them. The course,

  1. Fallow,
  2. Wheat,
  3. Barley,
  4. Barley,
  5. Clover, 3 years.---Also,
    1. Turnips,
    2. Barley,
    3. Barley,
    4. Clover, 3 yrs.
    5. Fallow.

Orchards here begin to be common, but the produce is not considerable, two or three hogsheads per acre, the price 21. 2s. to 5l. The finest is the goldenpipin next the red-streak. A most barbarous custom, they have, which is that of planting beans with a dibble, any yet not setting them, in rows. Meadows are all watered with the utmost care and attention.

October 28th to Monmouth. For a few miles the country very hilly and pleasant before, but afterwards has a sombre air; much furze, and shabby wood; the foil wet and heavy, and red loam on rock; and the inclosures in some places so small, that nothing is to be seen: the cultivation not near so good in Brecknockshire: even the meadows are not taken such care of. Pass 6 miles of villainous road to Monmouth, after passing the turning of for Chepstow. Rents 7s. 6d. to 12s. Meadows 20s. to 25s. and near Monmouth 30s. to 3l. The situation of that place does not strike me as it did gray. CarmarthenI think may be preferred to it. here and there a patch of turnips, but very trifling. They summer fallow for wheat, and than take several crops of spring corn, with some clover. Orchards are here scattered everywhere.

Leaving Monmouth, pass the Wye, which is here a large river, and this is the most beautiful side of town. In a mile, come to a very beau tiful scene, where the hills fall very boldly to the river; a reach of which is seen under wood on one side, and cultivated hill on the other; but notwithstanding there has been no rain for many days, yet the river a stream of liquid mud. The soil is here a good red arable loam. They plough strait; and the meadows all watered that can be. Another mile brought me to the Birmingham manufactory for edged tools; six years ago I was here, and they then informed me that 60 men were employed, now only 8 or 10 from deadness of trade. A little higher, the Red Brook works for melting iron ore, from the forest of Dean; and also from Lancashire, into pigs. They burn here sticks less than my wrist into charcoal.

What is remarkable in these works, is their melting over again the bloomery cinders, left many years ago in great heaps as refuse; and such is the superior skill of the present age over the preceding, that they get almost as much iron from them, as from fresh ore.

Enter the great forest of Dean, across which the road leads for 10 moles. It contains a great deal of timber, but few within sight of the road fit for the navy. The beech beautifully fine and strait. Much of it overrun with furze, fern, holly, and bushes. Every body around turn in whatever cattle they please. I remarked the soil particularly, and found little that is bad; much very fine; and such as would answer admirably for corn. Great tracts of very fine found turnip loams. North to south is 15 miles over; there are, pro bably, 90,000 acres in it; incroachments have been great and numerous. Much lime-stone all around. Few countries are more truly rich than this vast waste; for it contains in the first place, a fertile soil, fine timber, lime, iron, and coals to burn and smelt them.

About Mitchels Dean, 16 miles from Monmouth, land rises from 10s. to 30s. but in general from 15s. to 20s. It is a great bean country: strong heavy land. In the course,

  1. Wheat.
  2. Beans set by hand in 7 inch rows.
  3. Barley.

It is remarkable that these crops form in the other extremity of the kingdom, (east Kent) the round tilth, but in an arrangement, which converts this bad husbandry into good, viz. 1. Barley, 2 Beans, 3 Wheat. On other soils their course is,

  1. Fallow,
  2. Wheat,
  3. Barley,
  4. Clover, two years, the first for hay; the second fed by sheep.

A waggon load of lime for 5 or 6 horses, 15 barrels, each 1½ cwt. which is 7s. at the kiln. A cord of wood, 6s. to 6s. 6d.

Price of labor 5s. a week the year round. Colliers and miners, 10s. to 15s. a week.

The colliers in winter get young furz, chop it in a trough, and give it their horses with great success.

Coal is found within two feet of the surface: but some pits are 300 feet deep.

October 29, to Gloucester, through an orchard country, where the golden pippin claims the pre-eminence for cyder. Passed a fine plantation of Scotch firs, exactly 14 feet square. I could count 40 years growth, they are 60 feet high, and from 9 to 18 inches diameter, 5 feet prom the ground.

It was about Gloucester, that I first saw any thing like a farm-yard, with cattle foddered at straw.

Passed that city and its rich vale, of which I have before an account to Frog-Mill, near which place I met with one piece of execrable husbandry, that of breast ploughing a lay (the same operation as for burning) in order that the grass might rot for sowing pease in the spring; the men were paid 5s. an acre. When it is considered, that paring and burning secures a crop of turnips -- and consequently barley; and that pease are of all others the most uncertain crop; -- promising only when dibbled on a lay on one ploughing -- it must be obvious, that this disturbing the turf, and letting loose the whole family of weeds, must make the pease a foul crop, and consequently, mar the course at its very opening.

Rent of the open fields, 6s: to 10s. I observed the farmers in these fields taking pieces in with dead hedges, instead of hurdles, by agreement, in order for a turnip course, after which, open field again.

October 30. To North - Leach and Burford. Passed the great inclosure at Sherborne, by Mr. Dutton, for several miles. It has been three or four years doing.2 All by walls, 4½ feet high; the work, 1s. 6d. for the lug of 5½ yards. While open field, this tract of country, let from 4s. to 7s an acre, now at 14s. or 15s. tythe free. It is noble work, and will advance every private interest that is concerned, at the same time, that it promotes every public one.3

To Bowood, near Calne. For the following account of the husbandry about that place, I am indebted to the kind attention of the Earl of Shelburne (now Marquiss of Lansdown) who took every means of having me well informed.

Farms rise from 200l. to 900l. a year, but generally are about 300l. or 400l. The soil is various: just about Bowood, there is much inch sand: also, tracts of stiff clay, others of stone brash loam; and the downs are a lightish loam on chalk. Rents from 18s. to 30s. an acre; average 20s. exclusive of downs, the arable part of which are from 3s. to 5s. but the sheep walk thrown into the bargain with the rest of the farms. Descending from the downs, is the beginning of what is called North-Wiltshire, which is in general a rich wet loam on clay, or a clay, at from 20s. to 40s. an acre; very little under 20s.

Courses here are,

  1. Summer fallow,
  2. Wheat,
  3. Barley,
  4. Oats,

But the most general is,

  1. Beans,
  2. Barley,
  3. Clover,
  4. Wheat, which is truly admirable.

About the Downs some farmers have,

  1. Turnips,
  2. Wheat,
which for that situation is an excellent course.

They plough three, four, or five times for wheat, sow 2, 2¼, 2½, bushels per acre, and get from 3 to 7 qrs. an acre, which last great produce I was assured, had sometimes been gained, the average 4 qrs. For barley they plough thrice, sow four bushels in April, and get on an average 5 qrs. For oats they plough but once, sow five bushels and gain 6 qrs. on a medium. For pease they stir twice or thrice; sow 3 or 3½ bushels; but the best pea husbandry here, is that of the Bath gardeners, who line much land for early pease drilled, kept clean, and got off time enough for turnips, which are eat on the land by Michaelmas, for wheat, and it is thus that their finest wheat is gained; 5 qrs. of pease are sometimes had, which are a very extraordinary crop.

But I should here observe, that the pease thus gained, are drilled by the hoe in rows, 9 to 12 feet asunder; one drill being sown, the men in making the next cover the feed in the first, and so on; beans are done in the same way; and what surprized me, I found much wheat put in, in this manner; upon ploughing flat for that grain, they strike the drills across the lands. The common price for putting in a crop in this manner is 4s. an acre. Whatever is thus sown, is hand-hoed twice at, 4s. a time.

For turnips they plough as often as necessary to kill the couch, making the land very fine for har. rowing it out, raking it in neaps and burning. The quantity sown, is, however, very trifling. If they design the land for wheat, they sow in May, prepare by folding. Clover they generally mow once for hay and once for feed, get from 15 cwt. to 40 cwt. per acre, they have found that it will burst cows, if they are turned in while it is wet Some tares they sow for feeding off with sheep.

Sainfoine is pretty much cultivated, near the Downs; they mow it for hay, get two tons an acre, feed the after-grass with sheep,&c When it is worn out, which will be from 12 to 15 years, they pare and burn it for turnips, and then take barley and clover, and reckon that it should be seven years in tillage, before laid again to Sainfoine.

Carrots are very much cultivated upon the sand, about Bowood, by the Bath gardeners, there being no sand between that place and Bath. They pay 50s. an acre for it, from May-day to Michaelmas; dig it two spits deep, and sow it broadcast; they get from 3 to 3 ½ bushels per pole square: the farmers sow some for horses, and give them washed instead of corn, and find it answers very well; after them they sow barley, which yields great crops. This culture of carrots should be extended by the farmers through all the sands and light loams of the country, instead of turnips, for oxen, sheep, hogs, and cows; 3 bushels per pole, are 480 per acre; which would prove more profitable than any thing upon their farms, if they would substitute trench ploughing instead of digging, which is a practice entirely unnecessary. The gardeners also hire these lands for potatoes; they dung for them hoe drills 18 inches asunder; dung the drills, and plant upon it 6 inches asunder; hoe clean twice, at 4s. an acre each time; crop 3 to 4 bushels per square pole; 3½ are 560 per acre, wheat is sown after them.

Copse woods in this country are very profitable; when let they yield 20s. an acre rent; and if a landlord keeps them in his own hands, he will find no difficulty in making them yield that or something more: they are cut at 12 or 14 years growth; and are sometimes sold standing, at from 15l. to 24l. an acre.

There is a great plenty of marle here, both of blue, white, and a reddish colour; it is not much used the quantity they lay on is 120, three horse-loads each equal to about a square yard, generally on grass; they reckon it does much good: the digging and filling costs 1½d. a yard.

As to farm-yard dung, they raise very little, for their cattle are never confined in winter, they eat hay even on wet lands. Coal-ashes they get in the towns for 3s. a load, of 50 bushels; spread them on clover and meadow lands, upon which they are found very serviceable. No soot used. Rags are bought at Calne, at 3½lb. for ½ d. they are found very beneficial, some assert them to be best on wet, others on dry lands.

Common town manure, 3d. a load.

Sheep are universally folded on the grass lands, as well as arable.

Hollow draining is well known, and is one of the greatest improvements they have made; they cut them from 18 inches to 3 or 4 feet deep, at the expence of 8d to 18d a pole, digging and filling: the effect is very great. The superfluous water is principally owing to springs. But I must remark, that they are entirely ignorant of the way to lay their lands dry, by cutting no more drains than necessary. Many of them are cut down the hills with the slope, all which must be entirely useless: they seem to have no notion of going to the spring head, cutting through it, conducting away the water by one oblique drain, and seeing the effect before they proceed: in nineteen cases out of twenty, this lays all the land below quite dry; but they begin at the bottom, and keep draining up the whole side of the hill, which usually is labour lost.

They plash their hedges, which are in general good.

They sometimes lay down land to grass; and at other times their way is to leave the wheat stubble of itself to become a meadow; which is true North American management. Grass land lets at 25s. an acre. It is principally applied to daring; two acres will summer-feed three cows of the best grass, but in common it takes an acre and half to a cow; the breed here is both long and short horns, but chiefly the former from Warwickshire; but their home-bred milks best; of butter a cow will give 9lb. or 10lb. a week; but the common produce is cheese; the famous North Wiltshire sort. Dairies for this purpose rise to 200 cows, but in general are of 40, or 50. Sixty will make 3 cwt. of cheese every day. They begin to make in April; but no butter except from the whey; this sells at 8d. per lb.

A very good cow will give as follows:

£. s. d.
5 cwt. of cheese, at 30s. 7 10 0
Whey butter 1 0 0
Calf 0 5 0
Hogs 0 10 0
£ 9 5 0

But the average of a dairy, including losses, will not exceed 5l. The cheese sells at Reading fair at Michaelmas, from 22s. to 40s. per cwt. average 30s. to 3 5s. in some dairies; or about 4d. a lb. which for cheese that sells to the consumer at 8d. appears low. Surely better management should be exerted by the farmers to keep this great profit out of the pockets of factors and dealers.

A good cow gives from 4½ to 5 gallons of milk a day; and they reckon that one sow may be kept to twenty cows, and the pigs kept and fattened as hogs. The winter food is hay alone, half a ton per cow.

There are some oxen fattened up to a large size, from 18l. to 25l. fat. Some are a year and half in fattening; in the winter have oats and hay.

Their swine fatten to 30 score on pease and barley; the pease they grind.

Flocks of sheep rise to 2000; the profit is the Lamb and wool; the wool 2s. and lamb 16s. 6d. this is in a general way of reckoning; but a part of the produce is an annual sale of ewes, keeping the same number of lambs in lieu of them this is the universal system, no fatting stocks.

Some particulars of importance concerning this article, given me by Lord Shelburne's shepherd, were as follow.

Fourteen hundred sheep will eat an acre of turnips in a night.

One acre of turnips for sheep is equal to a ton of hay, or 40s.

The rot never known, except in wet lands more to the North.

The sheep on the Bowood sands yield an inferior wool to what comes from other soils, by reason of the reddish sand affecting the colour. and also adding to the weight.

A thousand sheep will fold ½ an acre in a night, which is worth 10s. 6d. or 1l. 1 s. per acre.

The Wiltshire sheep are not reckoned so hardy as the Hampshire, yet are they constantly folded the year through.

Long-legged sheep in this part of Wiltshire reckoned better than short-legged; and will fell better: this so much the case, that if 20 are chosen out of 500, they will in general be the longest legs in the flock.

Wethers will fatten in common to 26lb. a quarter; and rise generally to 30s. value; but good sheep bought in at two-year-old, and kept a year, will be worth from 40 to 45.

Relative to the breedi ng system the following, are the particulars of the Earl of Shelburne's flock, which are under the management of an excellent shepherd, and are reckoned a very fine flock.

Total number - - - - - 840


Ewes 320
Year-old ewe
Two-toothed ewes too young or too small to breed. 60
Lambs 320
Rams 16
Wethers 4

Their food,

200 acres of summer pa sture, in which run also 8 horses and 12 cows.
200 Winter pasture,
60 After grass,
52 Tons of hay,
4 Acres ofturnips.

The annual sale is,

£. s. d.
180 lambs, at 12s. 108 0 0
120 ewes, at 21s. 126 0 0
520 fleeces, at 21/4 lb
1430 lb. at 8d.
147 13 0
£ 281 13 0

The fold, if reckoned, would be 10s. 6d. a night per 1000, or 9s. for 840, which is 164l. 5s. Query, if this should be added, as it is all, or nearly all, applied to the land which supports the sheep. -- On the downs the system varies from their getting more into turnips.

In tillage, &c.they use both horses and oxen 4 horses are necessary to 100 acres; 6 oxen they find to do as much work as 4 horses. In a plough, They use 4 horses or 6 oxen, and this on their sand land; they do an acre a day, going 5 inches deep. the summer joist is 1l. 1s. and the allowance of corn, &c. 6 bushels of oats to 4; and 2 cwt. of hay a week. The decline in a horse's value they reckon at 3l. per annum. They give their draft oxen corn when hard worked. Horses they like best.

They stir their stubbles in autumn.

Price of a cart, 4 horses, and 1 man, 8s. a day

In stocking a farm of 300l. a year, 200 acres, 120 grass and 80 arable, they calculate as follows,

£ s. d.
6 Horses, at 15l. 90 0 0
25 Cows, at 10l. 250 0 0
50 Sheep, 50 0 0
Swine, 6 0 0
Harness, 10 0 0
2 Waggons, 42 0 0
2 Carts, 20 0 0
2 Ploughs, 1 10 0
3 Harrows, 1 1 0
1 Roller, 4 0 0
Dairy utensils, 5 0 0
Sundry small implements, 21 0 0
Rent, 300 0 0
Tythe, 25 0 0
Rates, 75 0 0
Wages, one man, 7 7 0
Ditto, a boy, 4 0 0
A dairy-maid, 5 0 0
2 Labourers, 35 0 0
Seed Wheat, 20 acres, 16 0 0
Oats, 20, 5 bushels at 2s. 10 0 0
Barley, 20, 4 ditto, at 2s. 6d. 10 0 0
Beans, 20, 3 ditto, at 3s. 6d. 10 10 0
Wear and tear a year, 5 0 0
£ 984 18 0

Land fells at 32 years purchase.4

Tythes both gathered and compounded; when the latter, wheat pays from 7s. to 10s. barley 3s. to 4s. oats 3s. clover and meadow 2s. 6d. turnips small tythes.

Poor rates run very high through all this manufacturing neighbouurhood; 6s. in the pound is common; but every one, with whom I conversed, asserted, that this was owing to ill management in the officers, and great neglect in the justices; I think, however, there is another cause fully equal to the effect, which is the custom of the landlord paying the rates, they are dispensed by the tenant, and entirely under his management: How, therefore, can any oeconomy come into the expenditure while others bear the burthen?

This is a system worthy of Bedlam alone.

The whole country is employed in the woollen manufacture, carried on at Calne, Chippenham, &c.

In every poor cottage tea is drank.

Leases are from 3 to 5 years; but on many estates there are none. A system which can only do where there are no expensive improvements to work, or where the landlord is at the whole expence of such.


In harvest 1s. 4d. a day, and 3 meals a week; 1 gallon of ale a day, and their small beer.
The same in hay.
In winter, 5s. to 6s. a week.
Reaping wheat 4s. to 7s. an acre.
Mowing corn 1s. 6d.
-----clover and grass 1s. 6d.
Hoeing turnips 3s. 6d. to 4s.
-----beans 4s.
Dithing and rep hedge 8d. to 1s.
Digging land one spit 2d. a pole.
----------two ditto, 3d. a pole.
No water furrows in their wheat lands.
Threshing wheat 2d. per bushel.
Other threshing by the day.
Faggoting 2s. per 100, six feet long and 3 feet round.
Farming man's wages 7l. to 8l.
A lad 2l.
Dairy-maid 5l. to 7l.
Other ditto 4l. to 5l.
Women in harvest 8d. a day and board,
-----in hay the same.
No rise of labour.


Broad-wheel waggon 45l
Narrow ditto 22l.
a cart 8l.
A plough 15s. to 2l
A roller 30s. to 5l
Shoeing a horse 20d.


Bread, at Calne, 6½lb. for 1s.
Cheese, 3½
Butter, 8d. whey.
Beef, 4d.
Mutton, 4d.
Veal, 3d.
Pork, 4d,
Bacon, 8d.
Milk, ½ a pint, skim.
Potatoes, 8d. a peck.
Candles, 8d. per lb.
Soap, 5d.
House rent, 30s.
No firing bought.
Tools, 10s.


Bricks, 22s. per 1000.
Oak, 1s. 6d. cheaper than formerly.
Ash, 36s. to 37s. a ton.
Elm, 30s.
Poplar, &c. 30s.
A carpenter, 1s. 6d. a day.
A mason, 1s. 2d.
A thatcher, 1s. 6d.
Dry walls, 9s. a pole, 7 feet high, for the labour 1 foot of mortar, course in the middle.

Particulars of a farm,

150 acres.
50 arable.
100 grass.
100 rent.
16 wheat.
16 oats.
16 beans.
20 cows.
6 horses.
10 young cattle.
2 labourers.
1 man.
1 maid.

Observations. The first object that presents itself, is the course of crops into which the farmers throw their lands. The most general system is, a continued feries of corn without the intervention of a fallow, or any other fallow crop than beans: but if a summer fallow is given, which is seldom the case, then to follow it with three crops of wheat, barley, and oats. Too much cannot be said in condemnation of such a system: Beans are an excellent fallow, as managed in Kent: Even about Bowood, they prosess to hand-hoe twice; but this is not general; besides, many crops are broad-cast sown, and not hoed at all; I saw drilled fields, and from the weeds should judge the management to have been exceedingly incomplete: In their course of, 1. Beans. 2. Barley. 3. Clover. 4. Wheat; the cleaness and heart of the land all depends on the farmer straining every nerve to keep the beans like a garden, the earth loose, and perfectly free from weeds; it is for this purpose, and upon these principles, that the Kentish farmers not only hand-hoe with great accuracy, but repeatedly horse-hoe their crops with various shims. In such complete management, no fallow can be better than beans -- with an inferior conduct, none can be worse, except pease. This observation is yet more applicable to another of their courses, 1. Beans. 2. Wheat. 3.Barley. 4.Oats; to which I attributed many fields I saw of very weedy corn. To speak of beans as a fallow under these circumstances is a difficult task; to condemn them would be against the clearest principles; generally to approve them would lead to great abuses: In Kent and part of Essex, nothing can justly be said in opposition to the practice, but in Wiltshire the case is different; good husbandry in most particulars is in its infancy, and the farmers are not at all hurt at weedy crops and exhausted land: were not this the case, we should not see three or four sacks of wheat an acre, in fields, which, thrown into different courses, produce twice as many quarters.

But their systems should be viewed in another light: What are we to think of farms, the greater part of which is grass, and the arable thrown into courses that exclude turnips! In counties where husbandry is well understood, the value, and even necessity of turnips, rises in proportion to the quantity of grass; but these farmers conduct their business on principles so contrary, that large tracts of grass have not the accompaniment of a single acre of turnips, though there is arable land in the farms perfectly adapted to that root; and although sheep form in many the principal part of the live stock. The improvement to be recommended, is to make turnips the universal fallow on all lands that are light enough to produce and admit them to be fed off; these turnips to be well prepared for, and all the manure of the farm given to them. The turnips to be followed by barley, clover, and wheat, and nothing more. On strong lands, their own course of, 1. Beans. 2.Barley. 3.Clover. 4.Wheat, is unexceptionable, but with the proviso of the bean culture being excellent, and kept through out the whole year in the most garden-like culture. This I recommend, supposing they will not come into cabbages, but where there is so much cattle, that vegetable should be the fallow on heavy land; planted on such ridges as will lay the land entirely dry.

At the same time that I am so free in pointing out their errors, I must acknowledge that there are some circumstances in which there are the traces of excellent husbandry among them; their drilling various crops, and sometimes bestowing hand-hoeing on them deserves much praise. I should not apprehend any set of men should experience the effect of this husbandry on a part of their farms, and not be induced to extend it considerably. Another article in which they have also much to commend, is their applying carrots to the food of their horses; this is no great practice yet, but its being known at all is no slight instance of merit. Their hollow draining, and plashing their hedges, are likewise points which deserve much praise.

Sainfoine near the Downs is well known, but by no means carried to the extent it ought to be; the soil is admirably adapted to that grass, yet, where there is one acre of it, there ought to be 500: this is an article of improvement which must come from landlords, for the farmers while they have the Downland for nothing, which is commonly the case, or for 2s. 6d. or 3s. an acre, will never work this improvement easy as it is in large: all downs should be under a course of sainfoine, with no more arable than is necessary for the change: Thus for instance, if the duration of sainfoine is taken at 16 years, then 16 parts of the down should be under that grass, and as many more parts as there are years necessary for tillage before the ground should be sowed with it again; suppose this period 5 years, which with good husbandry would certainly be sufficient: the portions would then be,

10 Sainfoine,
1 Sainfoine, pared and burnt, and under turnips,
1 Barley, or oats,
1 Clover,
1 Wheat,
1 Turnips,
1 Barley, or oats, and with this crop sainfoine sown again,

These are the proportions, whether they are taken as single acres, hundreds, fifties, or twenties: Suppose twenty-seven each, then there would be 270 sainfoine; and it will not be difficult to shew, that such proportions may easily be made in the support of cattle to unite for a profitable husbandry.

One of the great objects of the husbandry here, and the greatest in North Wiltshire, is the daires: Cows are there kept to the exclusion of other cattle, and of corn and all arable crops. Such a conduct one would suppose would indicate a most su perior profit in cows; I shall not venture to contradict in any positive terms, what sensible men assure us is the fact; but as they either cannot, or will not, offer the circumstances upon which they found this conduct, I must take the few facts that have been given me, and by throwing them together, extract as much truth as I am able.

Extraordinary good cows, we are told, without deductions for losses, pay to the amount of 9l. 5s. but they are clearly of opinion, that the average, with the medium of circumstances, do not pay more than 5l. some thought no more than 4l. 10s.: Upon a farm of 200 acres, belonging to ---- Coburn, Esq. at the rent of 300l. fifty cows were kept, and four horses, for carrying the cheese to Reading fair, this almost the only business as every acre is grass. Now it must be apparent to every enlightened person, that this must be a most unprofitable system: Suppose the cows, instead of 5l. paid one with another 6l. or 300l. a year; this is no more than mere rent; and all other expences, with the farmers profit, must come from the other casual articles of a few sheep, a few fat calves, some hay, or I know not what: I was told, that the farmer might make a profit of 50l. a year on the farm; but the mere value of his own labour, with the interest of the price of his 50 cows, would come to much more than 50l.; other instances coincided very much with this, and from the whole I am persuaded, that not a groat of profit is made by these famous dairies. But when the particulars of the intelligence concerning cows is analized, it comes out the same; the summer feed of a cow is 1 ½ acre, and for winter 1 ½ ton, of hay which is an acre more; thus 2 ½ acres are necessary, which, at only 20s. rent, is 21. 10s. to this we must add the dairy maids, implements of the dairy,: interest of money, expences of the team for carrying cheese out, &c. &c. and when these deductions are made, it will not be found that the farmer has a profit in the least adequate to the hazard and trouble. But the right comparison is, with what the farmers of other countries would make upon the same land by practising a different husbandry; it would be tedious to calculate this minutely; but I may safely assert, that where one of these men make a shilling, others would make ten, particularly by ploughing a part of the land for the winter support of those cattle which the grass feeds in summer.

The Earl of Shelburne, though his attention has not been particularly applied to husbandry, yet having kept large tracts of land in his own hands and with very liberal views, his Lordship has planned a system of conduct which cannot fail of having excellent effects upon the husbandry of his extensive estate, and the neighbourhood in general. But first to shew that he does not even talk of farming without the requisite foundation of practice, I shall insert the particulars of his farm, premising that a park does not take up any part of it.

470 acres of grass,
104 ---- arable,
500 ---- plantations,
1074 ---- in all,
30 ---- oats,
23 ---- wheat,
20 ---- beans,
6 ---- barley,
8 ---- clover,
15 ---- turnips,
2 ---- carrots,
51 horses in all, 17 for farm,
15 cows,
2 bulls,
16 fatting oxen,
6 working ditto,
12 heifers,
8 young cattle,
40 sheep,
3 pigs.

His first great object, which ought indeed to be the first with every man of great estate, is planting, this may be seen from the quantity of his woods; great part of which have been planted by himself; and he continues planting 150,000 trees every year: this is a conduct which cannot be praised too much: it is truly noble; and the more so, as every acre, thus consecrated to posterity, yielded a rent of above 20s. an acre. All sorts of trees have been planted; but those which thrive the best are beech; oak, ash, and elm, do well, but for the height of growth, in those he has planted himself; the spruce fir comes near the beech, and some exceed it. His principle is to plant very thick, in order for the trees to draw up each other while young, and then to be thinned out as they grow; which is certainly the best method.

In the culture of his arable land, his plan is to adopt the Norfolk course of, 1. Turnips. 2. Barley. 3. Clover. 4. Wheat.

Sainfoine for the Downs was an improvement which his Lordship had ordered a considerable experiment to be made of; not to discover whether it would succeed then, a fact he well knew, but to ascertain how far it wold be advantageous to the landlord, the farmer, and the public, to change those immense heaths, from sheep-walks to cultivated fields.

But all these improvements are not so deserving attention as the liberal and enlarged principles upon which he attends to husbandry. It is his idea, that a man of large fortune keeping land in his hands with a view only of uniting the profits of the landlord and the farmer, is acting from very poor motives: tives: That he ought to apply to farming either as a mere amusement, or which is better, as a means in which he can be of very great service to the country.

That in the first place he should have his grounds to exhibit to his tenants and others, cultivated in the most masterly manner which the climate and soil will admit of; that they may at all times fee the culture of all those new plants which are recommended to farmers from the fields of gentlemen that feeing the produce, the application, and the effect, they may, by degrees, be induced to make experiments themselves, and choose between objects, once equally unknown to them. That they may see the plants, to which they have always been accustomed, carried to the highest degree of perfection, by new successions of arrangement, new modes of culture and new exertions in maturing From fields thus m managed a farmer must always return wiser thau he came.

In another line, who, says his Lordship, should introduce improvements in the breed of cattle and sheep; in the implements of husbandry; and in various other circumstances? the farmer, who, probably, sees little beyond what he has used and to whom a failure in success would be a heavy loss, or the landlord, who must necessarily have opportunities of seeing such variation and their effects, and to whom losses are an insignificant object?

To all who are fond of garden scenes, in the great stile of Brown's finest works, Bowood will afford considerable amusement. The water scenes form the finest features of the place. For one idea, the imitation of a vast river, Blenheim is superior, but as a lake, this has I think the advantage: The expanse of water is more varied: The accompaniment of hanging woods, varied groves, and cultivated slopes, far richer and more animated. Some scenes are truly Elysian and present, such an assemblage of the richest features of picturesque ground, that I know no place where they may be studied to more advantage.

Leave Bowood;-- about Overton, between the Devizes and Marlbrough, land lets from 10s. to 15s. an acre. Farms are generally large. The usual course is,

  1. Turnips,
  2. Wheat,
  3. Barley,
  4. Clover, hop-trefoile, rye-grass, &c.
  5. Wheat upon three ploughings.

Turnips are all fed on the land by the flocks. They have two systems for turnips, one sown in May, which they eat off in time for wheat; these they hoe once. The other sown upon one ploughing, 4lb. to an acre, on the wheat stubbles for the spring feed of their ewes: They do the fame about Taunton in Somersetshire, and a very good way it is, the turnips yield more food than the weeds in stubble, and the land gets an autumnal ploughing. Wheat y yields, from 2½ to 3½ qrs. Barley, 4 to 5½. Oats, 5 to 6. This, however, is not an universal system, for they do not sow more turnips than they can fold; in their turnip fallow, they destroy the couch by harrowing, then raking it in heaps and burning it: The farm-yard dung, called here pot-dung, is all laid on for wheat; a great blunder, it ought all to go for turnips. They know very well the value of sainfoine, sowing many fields with it. It lasts 15 years, and yields two ton of hay per acre, worth 45s. a ton. Soot is the favourite manure for it; lay 10 bushels an acre. For clover, they use peat, at 7d. a bushel, collected from houses. They also lay coal ashes, 20 bushels an acre, at 4d. but think they breed couch. This is a circumstance, which deserves attention: any manure being apt to bring weeds, is only a proof of its excellence, though usually condemned by the farmers, for that quality. Their soils are very dry; now I have on many occasions remarked, that for wet land these ashes are useless, but yield a great effect on good dry loams.

The flocks in this country are large; and all ewes for breeding, the profit being the lamb and wool; they fold the year through; but at lambing in the farm-yard.

In stocking farms, they reckon 2000l. necessary for one of 500l. a year.

Price of labour, 1s. a day till harvest, then 10s. a week, for six weeks.

Six or seven miles the other side of Marlborough the country is divided chiefly into large farms, from 500 to 2000 acres, the soil a dry stoney loam on chalk, lets from 10s. to 15s. an acre. Their course,

  1. Turnips, or summer fallow,
  2. Wheat, four quarters an acre,
  3. Barley, four quarters,
  4. Oats,
  5. Clover and ray-grass, two years.

Many open fields about Newbury.

Pass that place: They have through all this country watered meadows, concerning which I made enquiries. They mow them but once, owing to spring feeding, but they get from two to three tons an acre, which fells, at 25s. a load, out of the field, and from 40s. to 50s. in the winter: They insisted on its being exceeding good hay.

The low grounds are full of peat; the ashes are so valued, that many waggons come from the distance of 15 or 20 miles for them; the price 4d. a bushel; and 10s. a load of peat for burning: I cannot help condemning all the waggons I saw which are of the fame construction, through both Berkshire and Wiltshire, not more than 10 inches deep, so that 40 bushels are the common load, for four good horses; this is a monstrous defect. The Suffolk waggons, 2 feet deep, 4 wide, and 12 long, the draft of which is also four horses, hold 100 bushels of ashes, nor are the horses overloaded: But all the farming tribe are apt to think the teams can do no more than the custom of the country allots: such is the using six horses in a plough. The loss of the carriage of 60 bushels of ashes in every journey is prodigious. The farmers lay these ashes on grass, sainfoin, clover; and sometimes on pease; 10 bushels are the quantity per acre; and they are found to do best on light dry soils; on stiff land, a larger quantity is laid; the benefit is greatest in a wet season. They find much wood in the peat; I saw the men cutting it, and the peat spade went with ease through much of it; the colour a light reddish brown. Thorough all the tract from Newbury to Reading, no plough moves with less than four horses; though the soil is not heavy; and I observed some with that strength, stirring not more than three inches deep.

At Henley, I was very glad to find that Mrs. Clarke had kept the lucerne, which the late Mr. Clarke sowed; and very much to the credit of this female cultivator, I found it without a weed and in admirable tilth. I may again remark, that this lucerne, which is cut five times in the season, g1ows in one of the finest soils I ever saw.

To Wycomb- about Fawley, land lets, at 20s. an acre. Turnips, sell not uncommonly, at 50s. an acre to feed off. Barley, yields 5 or 6 quarters. Clover, two tons of hay the first mowing, and 1½ the second. Wheat, 3 to 4 quarters. Cows are all suckled in, which they reckon 4s. a week, a good product of a calf. About Marlow, many beech woods. From Wycomb to Ammersham, the country is hilly, the foil a stoney loam on chalk, perfectly dry, and very fine land for sainfoin; yet, but few fields of it.

About Ammersham and to Rickmansworth, the soil consists of the fame dry stoney loams. The course,

  1. Turnips,
  2. Barley,
  3. Clover,
  4. Wheat,
  5. Pease or oats.

Half way between Wycomb and Ammersham, the beech woods end.

About Watford the land is very fine, lets at 20s. an acre; and the crops all good.

I viewed5 Lord Clarendon's farm in this neighbourhood; whose hog husbandry I had heard much of. His lordship keeps not only a very large farm in his hands, but also a considerable water-mill; the bran and pollard arising from which, first suggested the propriety of going largely into hogs. His stock amounts to 144 in all. He has the Berkshire, &c. and the Chinese distinctions; of the former, 40 small, 6 larger, 2 boars, 12 sows. Of the Chinese, 12 sows, 2 boars, 60 pigs. The Berkshire lie weans at 9 weeks; gives them barley-meal and water for a fortnight, and then turns them out to grass. The Chinese wean themselves at 2 or 3 months old. In winter wean none, but fell them from fucking. Begins to wean in March, and have none later than July. What is remarkable, the sows take the boar (especially the Chinese) at three weeks after pigging, yet pigs fuck two months after that.

The litters of the large breed are 7 on an average, and 5 brought up after all hazards. Of the Chinese, the litter is 8 on an average.

The sows and pigs, and the weaned pigs, are fed on barley-meal and pollard, and the sweepings of the mill. They are kept till a year and half before fattening; then fed on barley-meal wetted, then pease dry; but their food changed to make them eat more: 16 or 17 weeks fatting.

In summer the sows, stores, ' have nothing but ray grass and white clover grazing.

The winter food of stores, sows without pigs, &c. turnips or carrots, or potatoes, and some off corn.

Seventy fat hogs made in 4 months, 106 large loads of fine dung.

His lordship's poultry system is remarkable. He found that by keeping them constantly to a yard and its vicinity, the ground became tainted; they declined, and rarely did well. This induced him to change them about the park that they might have fresh ground, and the success shewed that the plan was good.

Sheep Lord Clarendon always folds in the farm yard, and straw to make dung; and finds every reason to be satisfied.with the practice.

About St. Stephen's. half-way from St. Alban's to Watford, the soil is various; generally loams, and dry enough for turnips. Farms, usually, from 100l. to 200l. a year. Rent, 10s. an acre.

Courses are,

1. Turnips, 1. Turnips,
2. Barley, 2. Barley,
3. Clover, 1 year, 3. Clover,
4. Wheat, 4. Wheat,
5. Pease or oats.

They generally dung for turnips, and feed them all off with fatting wethers; when sold, the price varies from 40s. to 4l. an acre. Barley yields from 4 to 8 quarters an acre: a farmer here has this year a 40-acred field 8 quarters through. Last year it yielded a very fine crop of turnips, being dunged, and fed on the land by sheep; after which 2 waggon loads of coal ashes per acre, were harrowed in with the barley feed.

Clover they mow twice for hay, getting from 1½ to 2 load an acre, and second crop as much. Of wheat they get on an average 25 bushels. Of pease 20. Very few cows are kept here. Their sheep system is to buy wethers half fat at Michaelmas, and fell them fat from turnips.

At St. Alban's got into a country I have described on another occasion; returned home to North Mims, near Hatfield.


£ s. d.
All Pembrokeshire, one-third mountain, suppose at 1s. including vales, and two-thirds at 15s. the average may be called 20 miles, at - - 0 10 0
All Carmarthenshire, not one-third. mountain, call it therefore at 3s. two-thirds at 12s. average 30 miles at - - 0 9 0
All Brecknockshire, one-third mountain, at 1s. the rest at 12s. average 30 miles, at - - 0 8 4
The line across Monmouthshire, 20 miles, as no general minutes - - 0 14 0
To Gloucester 28 miles, by the forest of Dean - - 0 5 0
To Burford, 28 miles - - 0 10 0
Devizes to Reading, 56 miles; many watered meadows - - 0 14 0
To Ammersham, 28 miles - - 0 10 0
To Mims, 26 miles - - 0 12 0
--- --- ---
266 miles average 0 10 6
--- --- ---

1 I traveled the same country again in December, 1778, and taking fresh minutes, have drawn up this account from both.

2 Written in 1778.

3 Having brought these minutes into a country I have already described more than once before. I shall make a break in the journal here, and unite it with the minutes of another, I took on a different occasion from Bowood, the seat of the Earl of Shelburne. near Calne in Wiltshire.

4 written in 1773.

5 In 1777.

Arthur Young, Tours in England and Wales, selected from the Annals of Agriculture (London: London School of Economics, 1932)

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