The development of English agriculture in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries was based upon the enclosure of open field and common land, the expansion of productive land as waste and woodland were taken in, the introduction of a number of new crops, changing cropping patterns and the greater numbers of livestock kept. It was also related to a larger and more prosperous market both at home and, increasingly, overseas. Another aspect of this process was a considerable expansion in the volume of carrying capacity which farmers required. Vehicles were needed not only on the farm--and average farm size increased during the period--but also in the movement of produce to market, for sale and shipment. While livestock were marketed on the hoof, vehicles were in demand to shift grain, corn, malt, roots, hay and dairy produce. There were considerable regional variations in the kind of transport employed, partly governed by differences in topography. Thus, in the upland areas of the west and north and in Wales, packhorses were still common and sledges and gambos were extensively used, while in eastern and midland England carts, and later wagons, were the main form of farm transport. Wagons were the most important innovations in agriculture equipment during the early modern period and represented a development which paralleled the changes in farming methods and techniques.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Originally published in Journal of Transport History, 3rd series, vol. III, no. 1 (1982) pp. 35-45.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Ashgate Publishing Company

    110 Cherry Street, Suite 3-1
    Burlington, VT  United States  05401-3818
  • Authors:
    • PORTER, S
  • Publication Date: 1996


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 00794145
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 1859283004
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 2 2000 12:00AM