Five Acre Mead
Five Acre Mead
A part of Preston Lower farm
Five Acre Mead (Parcel 144) was a long narrow, field of Preston Lower Farm. The word 'mead' comes from the Old English 'maed'. Before grass seeds were obtainable this was the only hay land of the community. It usually consisted of land near streams since that was the only kind of land on which hay grew in any quantity, and Five Acre Mead lay between the Old Mill Leat and the brook that ultimately fed Dodham Brook. Five Acre Mead was bisected by the former as it turned south the flow into the latter.
The 1848 Preston Tithe Apportionment described Five Acre Mead as meadow owned by Robert Tucker and occupied by Joseph Roberts. It measured 4a 3r 10p. All eight fields of Lower Farm whose names suggested an acreage such as Three Acre Mead, Four Acres, etc., were actually less than their names would suggest. However this is due to the use of 'Statute' measurements in the Apportionment which were actually smaller that 'Customary' measurements.
To the north Five Acre Mead was bounded by the Old Mill Leat at its western end and by Pookhay Mill (Parcel 143) at its eastern end, by Long Mead (Parcel 136) to the west, the brook to the south and by Three Acre Mead (Parcel 144) to the east.
By the time the 1886 Ordnance Survey was produced (shown below), that part of Five Acre Mead to the east of the Old Mill Leat had been combined with Three Acre Mead to form a larger field.
The aerial photograph of 1927 shows that Five Acre Mead was completely undeveloped but by 1946 the aerial photograph shows that the western end of Five Acre Mead was allotments at this time while the eastern end was occupied by the long gardens of houses on the south side of Preston Grove. These gardens today are occupied by the western end of Cooksons Orchard.
For details on historic land measurement (ie acres, roods and perches) click here.
MAPS & Aerial Photographs
The 1849 Preston Tithe Map. Five Acre Mead is towards bottom right.
The 1849 Preston Tithe Map overlaid on a modern map.
The 1889 Ordnance Survey shows the extensive fields of Lower Farm labelled 'Preston Grove' stretching eastwards. The dotted line across the fields, indicating a footpath, was the line of the later road, also called Preston Grove. By this time that part of Five Acre Mead to the east of the Old Mill Leat had been combined with Three Acre Mead to form the larger field seen here at bottom right below the words 'The Lodge'.
An aerial photograph of 1927, looking southeast. Preston Road runs across lower left and Watercombe Lane is at lower right while Westland's airfield is at top right and relatively newly-built Preston Grove runs up the left of the photograph. Preston Lower Farm is at centre bottom with the two streams containing Five Acre Mead at top centre (the small lighter-coloured field from the hedge cutting across near the top of the photograph is the western half, the eastern half runs off photo at top) running from lower right to top centre.
An aerial photograph of 1946 showing the former Five Acre Mead outlined in red. At this time the western end was being used as allotments while the eastern end was occupied by the gardens of houses on the south side of Preston Grove.