Abstract of Mark Pierce's 1635 survey of Laxton, Nottinghamshire, n.d. [c.1913-1928]

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection consists of one hand-written volume containing a table of details relating to 3,060 plots of land. There are columns for plot number, freeholder's name and tenant's name, and a column headed 'Late Hinde's', with ticks against certain plots of land.

The table appears to be an abstract of details in Mark Pierce's 1635 survey. The compiler of the copy volume has included details for the township of Laxton, and has left space (plots 3,061-3,600) for details for the hamlet of Laxton Moorhouse but has not filled these in.

The column relating to 'Hinde' refers to notes in the original 1635 survey ('late Hinds') against pieces of freehold land which were purchased by Sir William Courten from Mr Augustine Hinde, Esquire (1574-1647), of Moorhouse, shortly after he bought the manor.

Administrative / Biographical History

Laxton in Nottinghamshire is famous for being the last English village to operate the open field system of farming. In 1635 the manor of Laxton and Moorhouse was owned by Sir William Courten (1572-1634), a London merchant, who employed the surveyor Mark Pierce to make a detailed map and survey. The original survey is now held at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, but it was owned until the mid-20th century by Earl Manvers and preserved in the muniment room at Thoresby Hall. The Earls Manvers managed the manor of Laxton from 1640 until 1952, when Gervas Evelyn Pierrepont, 6th Earl Manvers, sold the Laxton estate to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. The estate has been in the hands of the Crown Estate Commissioners since 1981.

The compiler of this copy is unknown. The copy is written into a bound notebook supplied by J. & H. Bell Ltd of Carlton Street, Nottingham, telephone number 198. From comparison with trade directories, these details suggest that the notebook was supplied between 1913 and 1928.


No archival arrangement has been necessary.

Conditions Governing Access

Accessible to all readers.

Other Finding Aids

This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on the description belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements


Conditions Governing Use

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult.

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections

Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Custodial History

The volume was acquired by Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham, in May 2009.

Related Material

Framed print of a tracing of Mark Pierce's 1635 map of Laxton, Nottinghamshire, 20th century (MS 280)

Original Mark Pierce map at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, reference: MS. C17:48 (9)


The map and survey were published in full in C.S. and C.S. Orwin, 'The Open Fields' (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1938)