Since Braunton’s very earliest days, when St. Brannock first happened across the beginnings of the settlement we know today, the village has relied heavily on farming.
The Great Field
Braunton’s Great Field is one of its finest assets and, although it has always been prized as an almost miraculously fertile area that ‘teemed with incessant crops’, it is now treasured as one of only two surviving medieval open strip field systems in England.
Such fields were the norm for our ancestors but virtually all were sacrificed in the name of development. The surviving Great Field is special indeed and it is said that to walk on land that has seen such little change for so many years is to walk into the medieval past.
The Great Field Today
The Great Field today is smaller than it used to be but even so covers an area of more than 200 football pitches! It is farmed but a small number of farmers now but began life very differently, with a vast number of landworkers toiling there every day to grow enough food to support their families.