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P. 32. "Though this county is extremely barren, both in timber and wood, still there are many local spots, appropriated to the growth of underwood in several parts of it, such as Duncliff in the vale of Blackmoor, Honeycombe wood in the neighbourhood of Sherborne, and many others of a similar nature. The soil is chiefly cold and wet, and the underwood cut at ten or twelve years growth, and produces about five or six pounds an acre for faggots. As to timber, I could wish I had it in my power to be able to describe from my own observation, a greater quantity than I am able to do."
FARMS.—Sizes.-P. 24. "In many parts of Dorset
shire, one man occupies a whole hamlet, parish, or lordship; perhaps from fifteen hundred to two thousand acres, which I fear has been too frequently made, by laying five or six farms together, and thereby striking a fatal blow at the little farmer, who is one of the most useful members of society."
Enormous farms, such as are above described, are doubtlessly enormous evils. But a due proportion of great farms, as those from 200 to 500 acres of culturable land, are assuredly, in the present state of society, of great benefit to the country. Mr. C. it would seem, is a small-farm man. A GRADATION OF FARMS, in regard to size, is, in my judgement, most desirable *.
HOMESTEADS.-P. 31. "The land owner in this county has an advantage over others elsewhere, in the small proportion of buildings, which seems necessary for the farmer's convenience, in managing his land. A small low built house of stone, and covered with slate, situate in a bottom. A barn for wheat, a small one for Lent grain or one barn with two floors, a stable, ox-house, cow-house, and carthouse, constitute every necessary; indeed, in one instance only, they exceed the wants of other tenants, which is in a house for the dairy-man, but this is either carried on, in a part
* In my TREATISE ON LANDED PROPERTY, p. 138, 4to edition, F have fully, and I trust satisfactorily, explained my ideas on this important subject.
a part of the farm-house, or in a cottage set apart for thats purpose, but as it too frequently happens, that the farmiers rents more than one farm, he of course has an eligible ace! commodation for the dairy-man in his power. The farmer's usual method, is to stack his hay on the ground, where he is likely to fodder in the winter, and his corn on stoneorick staddles, in a yard adjoining to the buildings. He is not extravagant in requiring useless or unnecessary ones; a few cottages are generally included in bis bargain.ut 5 m WORKING ANIMALS.-P. 12. "The breed of horses, in this county, is not particularly attended to a slight blood horse is made use of for the field and road, and a very ordinary stile of cart horse, used in agriculture; some cart colts are bred in the vale of Blackmoor, and many others are brought in, either as suckers or yearlings from other counties. Some individuals indeed, have good teams, and are very careful of their horses; but from general observation, I am persuaded, the Dorsetshire farmers, pay, but little at tention to the shape, size, or symmetry of the cart horse. The stallions are chiefly working horses of farmers, and cover mares at half a guinea each for the season, and ans average price for a cart horse at five years old, is sixteen ori seventeen guineas.
"I was glad to find that oxen are often used in agricul ture here, and the breed are of two kinds; those on the western side of the county are chiefly from the red ox of Devonshire, an excellent sort; and the others in the more eastern and northern parts, are a mixture of the Hampshire and Wiltshire, with many crosses of the Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire and North Country beasts."
MANURE Lime.-P, 18. " A great deal of lime is used as a manure, and twenty hogsheads of four bushels each, per acre, is esteemed a good dressing, which costs fourpence halfpenny per bushel; but those farmers who are situate near coast, draw, a great deal of seaweed or kelp t from the shore, and sometimes spread it at once on the ground prepared for wheat, and sometimes mix it with earth and make it into compost, both of these operations have a good effect.
"An extraordinary instance, is well attested by many, respectable people, that some farmers have on a particular occasion, when there has been a drug of fish upon the coast, manured their land with them, which has produced a very florid crop.
"One in particular, is of Mr. Davies, of Swire, who about four years since manured a piece of land for wheat, from a shoal of herrings, which cost him no more than one shilling per load, besides carriage, he scattered them lightly
over the land, sowed it with wheat and ploughed them in, and the crop produced thereby was so rank as to be intirely laid before harvest."
For Sheepfold, see Sheep, ensuing.
ARABLE CROPS.-Produce.-P. 48. "The produce of the county may be thus estimated: 250,000 acres, supposed to be in tillage are divided annually nearly as follows: 35,000 acres of wheat, at 18 bushels to an acre, 78,750 quarters. 75,000 ditto barley, at 30 ditto 281,250 ditto. 187,500 ditto.
50,000 ditto beans, pease, oats and vetches, at 30 ditto, 36,000 ditto fallow and turnips.
53,000 tons. 35,208 stone wt."
53,000 ditto clover, lay and sainfoin, at 1 ton ditto, 1,000 ditto flax and hemp, producing WHEAT.-P. 19. "An average weight for wbeat grown here, is twelve score, which is two hundred and forty pounds weight per sack, or sixty pounds per bushel." (8 gallons,) "Some farmers in the more open parts of the county think eleven score and a half is a better average weight per sack.";
BARLEY.-P. 19. "The growth of barley affords a large. produce. A great deal of malt is made for the internal consumption of the county, particularly in the article of strong beer, which is much used. The malt is generally dried with Welch coals. From ten to fourteen bushels of malt per hogshead of sixty-three gallons, with Farnham hops, makes the beer so much esteemed here, which is kept eighteen months or two years before it is drank; and. in some of the towns, ten or twelve thousand bushels of malt are made annually."
FLAX.-P. 26. "The growth of flax and hemp, and particularly the former, is of great importance in the agriculture of Dorsetshire, and in the neighbourhood of Bridport in particular; and about the village of Bradpole and towards Beminster, the greatest proportion of it is grown."
P. 27. "It is frequently let to a middle man, (between the farmer and the manufacturer) called a flax jobber, who pays the farmer a neat sum of four or five pounds an acre; he manages the crop, finds the seed and labour, and expects nothing from the farmer but ploughing, and the discharge of parochial taxes."
ORCHARDS.-P. 25. "There are a considerable quantity. of orchards in the vale of Blackmoor, and on the Somersetshire and Devonshire side of the county, and the cyder made, is mostly of the Devonshire sorts. It is chiefly used for home consumption, and I heard of no plantations sufficiently extensive, where the grower could sell to other counties, to make any considerable return."
GRASS LANDS.-Chalk Downs.-After discribing the Norfolk, husbandry, and recommending something like it,
on "some rough pastures of the Downs or Ewe Leas, which are now overrun with bushes and furze," Mr. C. observes, with true discrimination, p. 21. "I do not mean, however, to recommend the breaking up of any of the best of the downs, as they are valuable in their present state. The land in Norfolk is of that dry sandy nature, that it will not convert into pasture, and therefore lays down in grass seeds seldom more than two years; but the case is very different in Dorsetshire, where the finest verdure is often found on the tops of the hills, and the land almost every where inclined to become good pasturage." Vale of Blackmoor.-P. 13. "The vale of Blackmoor extends from north to south about nineteen miles from Gillingham and Silton, to Dantish and May Powder; and from east to west, from Compton and Sutton, about fourteen miles, to North Wotton and Long Burton, and contains upwards of one hundred and seventy thousand acres of very rich land, chiefly grazing, dairying, and about one tenth part in arable, with some plantations of orchards."
P. 13. "Some of the land upon the side of this river," (Stour)" is rich enough for an acre and a quarter to carry a full sized Devonshire ox through the summer. Most of the hay in this vale is of an excellent quality, and beasts thrive well through the winter upon it, without any other food."
CATTLE.-Breed.-P. 12. " As the cattle are very much used in dairies in this county, very little attention is paid to the size of the beast, or to shape or colour, but if likely to make a good milker, it seems all that is necessary, and is worth from eight to ten guineas, to come into the dairy. at a proper age."
Fatting Cattle.-P. 13. "The oxen chiefly fed in the county, are of the Devonshire breed, and go when fat to Smithfield market, and are said to be the finest grained meat in the kingdom." These "are mostly fed in the vale of Blackmoor."
"The other cattle grazed here, are either home breds, or heifers, brought from Ringwood and other Hampshire fairs, and when fat, supply the home market, and sometimes are sent to Salisbury."
"There is a shew of cattle and some sheep at Stalbridge, in this vale, every Monday fortnight, through the year, which is the best market for fat cattle in the county, and about one hundred and twenty in number are bought and sold here, one market day with another."
DAIRY-Letting.-P. 14. " The dairies extend all over the county, cow-calves, in general are reared, and bullcalves afford a supply of veal. The management of the dairy, as every where practised in Dorsetshire, is unknown to many other parts of the kingdom. The cows are all let
out by the farmer, to a dairy-man, at a fixed price for each cow, according to the quality of the land and produce of the beast. In some of the poorest parts of the county as low as fifty shillings or three pounds per head, per annum, and in others, as high as six pounds ten shillings, or seven pounds; and in one parish near Beminster, called Broad Windsor, as high as eight pounds; but I believe the general average throughout the county, will be about six pounds for a cow of full growth; four pounds for heifers, and four pounds ten shillings, or five pounds, for three years old. "The usual plan for letting a dairy is this: the farmer finds the dairy-man a certain number of cows for one year," commencing at Candlemas, at a fixed sum agreed on. He feeds, fodders and supports the specific number throughout the year; he finds a house for the dairy-man and his family' to live in, and allows him to keep as many pigs and poultry as he thinks proper, and the keep of a mare to carry out his butter, &c. which by producing a foal yearly, is considered a material advantage to the dairy-man, who perhaps sells it when weaned in November from eight to ten pounds. If the farmer is inclined to let his dairy to another man, he gives the dairy-man notice before All Saint's Day, and by custom the quarter of a year from November to February, is deemed sufficient, and the dairy-man quits the house and gives up his bargain the ensuing Candlemas.
"The dairies in general are inanaged by making all the cream into butter, and from the skimmed milk, an inferior sort of cheese."
SWINE.-P. 14. "The breed of pigs in this county is not. so good in shape, as either the Hampshire, Berkshire, or Hertfordshire sort; they are of a light colour, feed to about nine or ten score on an average for bacon, and are worth about six shillings and sixpence, or seven shillings per score. As there are so many dairies, an improvement in the breed of this animal might be made by the introduction of the sorts before described."
SHEEP.-Number.-P. 7. "The advantage derived from sheep, in the county of Dorset, is very considerable, and it is undoubtedly its greatest object as an agricultural resource; indeed of so much real importance, as to be productive of great national benefit. The number of sheep kept in the county, from the best enquiry and computation I have been able to make, amount to upwards of 800,000; and the number sold annually and sent out of the county, amount to upwards of 150,000."
P. 11. The number of wethers sold, 50,000; the number of ewes, 100,000; the number reared, 450,000; and the home consumption, 200,000."