St. Mary’s Abbey to the Berlin Airlift
Originally the land belonged to St. Mary’s Abbey and would have been used for growing arable crops. After the dissolution of the monasteries the land ended up with a family named Robinson.
The area was part of a furlong or field known as ‘Moor Broats’, which was within the Parish of Clifton’s arable fields and were cultivated under the strip farming system in Medieval times. There is evidence from a dispute over the site that the land was originally enclosed (by hedges) in the 1590’s. The current ridge and furrow appearance of the fields is as a result of this. Due to the slight curve of some of the ridged furrows we are able to identify the work as having been done by a plough drawn by oxen. There is also some evidence that part of the site might have still been under arable management into the nineteenth century.
In recent history, the site had been part of the former Clifton Airfield but after its last use in the Berlin Airlift in the late 1940’s, it had returned to nature and become both a local amenity with concrete pathways making for easier access and a wildlife area as lack of cutting allowed scrub to develop.
Further Reading on this page: