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The Technology of Medieval Sheep Farming: Some Evidence from Crawley, Hampshire, 1208-1349

Mark Page
The Agricultural History Review
Vol. 51, No. 2 (2003), pp. 137-154
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40275965
Page Count: 18
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The Technology of Medieval Sheep Farming: Some Evidence from Crawley, Hampshire, 1208-1349
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Abstract

Sheep farming was a profitable business for the bishops of Winchester before the Black Death. Evidence from the manor of Crawley demonstrates that investment in the management of the flock peaked in the early fourteenth century. Elsewhere on the estate, improvements in the provision of sires, housing, feeding, medicaments and the labour supply have been shown to impact favourably upon fertility and mortality rates. However, this was not the case at Crawley. Instead, this paper confirms Stone's view that productivity was determined by conscious decisions taken by demesne managers and argues that their concern in this period was to raise fleece weights.

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