halesworth

A history of Halesworth, Suffolk, UK, through the ages.

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Volume 2



sheepshearing



Halesworth Manor Extends its Sheep Farming

In the 1370's, the Lord of Halesworth Manor, John de Argentein, decided to move into sheep management and to extend his present flock. He was already using land hitherto rented out because his accounts refer to income from 'grazing in Heyhoo, nothing, (now) grazed by lords sheep', and he built a new sheep shed and extended the sheep fold:-

        Laying elms in the Grange, making lathes 7 days one man         4d a day.         (1.5p a day)
        1 man hired one day covering said building with lathes                4d                   (1.5p)
        2 men, one day throwing clay for said building                            8d                   (3p)
        12 men, one day plastering sheep shed                                     4s.6d              (22p)
        1 thatcher, 8 days thatching said building                                  3s 4d           (16.5p) a day,
        mate                                                                                      2s 3d               (10p) a day.
        Put in partition of sheepfold                                                      42d                  (17p) per day
        Watling of said partition                                                           20d                   (8p)

Looking after the sheep required a good shepherd, for he not only herded the sheep, he also looked after the new born lambs, helped with the shearing and led the sheep on to fresh grazing. So the expenses included:-

        Shepherd                                                                      7s             (35p) a year.
        Butter for salving lord's sheep                                          2s.6d        (12.5p)
        Guarding outsiders sheep staying in fold field                    3s.4d       (17p)
        Gift to Shepherd (for good work)                                          7d       (3p) per annum.

A 13th century book on animal care gives a very useful piece of advice to the shepherd of his day...

        'Let him provide himself with a good barkable dog and lie nightly with his sheep'.

shears



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