We had a really useful visit to the NRO recently. Our main purpose was to study the Enclosure Map and Award to gain more information on our existing roads and tracks. It took a while to get used to, especially as it had been re-bound in the wrong order after the Record Office fire. Even the archivist was puzzled at first! However, once we got to grips with it we began to learn quite a lot.
We now have a better idea of the layout which was created in 1817 and which saw many sheepwalks and common land disappear. We did find one very surprising feature: the road through our village was not intended to take the route it now does. Instead it was planned for it to follow part of what, today, is a green lane. The route it follows today was intended as private roads to property and part of it was not linked together as it is now. Now we have to discover when this change took place!
As well as the Enclosure map we have copies of earlier estate maps which show the sheepwalks and tracks prior to Enclosure and also the old strip farming field layout. It would appear that Enclosure in Thompson was a source of dispute between two major landowners and there are many accompanying documents which we hope we have time to delve into. Many affidavits exist, taken from villagers for their evidence as to how the land had been used within living memory. We hope these will add to our picture of why certain routes in Thompson became more important and what the purposes of many of them were in the distant past.
It would seem the more we learn the more there is to uncover!