Laxton in north Notts, is unique in being the last remaining three field strip farming system in the country which is still working in the same way as in Mediaeval times and managed by its Court Leet and Jury system. The Court Leet is the last manorial court in the country to retain the powers to determine legal proceedings and levy fines. The farmers, who are tenants of the Crown Estate grow their crops in the open fields in the traditional rotation used before chemicals became available to reduce weeds and pests.
Laxton is recorded as a place of importance in the Domesday Book; was once the centre for the Forest Courts, being visited by King John, and has the best preserved motte and bailey castle in the county.
Guided walks are available to private parties and organised groups by arrangement. The guide, Stuart Rose, is Laxton born and farms one of the fourteen small farms with strips in each of the open fields. He is also a member of the Court and Jury, holding the ancient office of Clerk to the Gaits and Commons.
Walks can be of any duration and can be tailored to the interests and abilities of the group. For enthusiastic and able walkers who are happy to go off road, walks can last several hours and cover around 6 miles. For the less energetic, but still happy to walk off road, a visit to the castle, a tour of the village, a talk and a visit to the Visitor Centre to see the introductory film takes around two hours. For those with limited ability to walk arrangements can be made for a driven tour if booked in advance so that mixed walking abilities can share parts of the visit and each see what they can manage to enjoy. Catering can be provided if booked with the visit.
Many groups book a talk about Laxton at their own premises first and follow up with a walk. There is no charge for walks and talks incur only travel expenses. Farming takes precedence between June and September, so if you are interested, please consider a date between October and May. Further details are available on www.laxtonnotts.org.uk or telephone 07939 228353.