Some years ago the Heritage Group did a large project on the Old Industries of Barrow .As agriculture has always been important it seems to be a logical next step to find out more about the farms in the village .
The earliest record is of course the Domesday Book commissioned by William the Conqueror so that he could collect the taxes more efficiently. His investigators recorded that the Manor of Barrow was held by Earl Hugh from the King. There were 40 villageers, 13 small holders with 11 ploughs. At the Enclosure in 1760 (see Stephen Joyce Changing Times in Barrow upon Soar, Quorndon, Sileby, Mountsorrel North end). 130 people received plots of land, though many were not able to afford the cost of fencing and sold them to larger land owners.
In 1851 Barrow was still a largely rural village and there were many farms ¡n the area. Agriculture was the second largest employer after framework knitting. There were 24 farmers identified in the 1851 census employing over 100 agricultural workers on 1250 acres around Barrow.
The types of jobs included labourers who worked the fields, cowmen or stockmen who tended cattle, farm boys and girls who had a host of jobs around the farm, plough men who tilled the land using horses to pull the ploughs, and farm bailiffs at the bigger farms.
Overall the numbers employed represented around 6% of Barrow population, second only to framework knitting in importance. However, farming declined steadily from the 1850's as an employer, and by 1911, although there were still 14 farmers they only employed 30 men or just over l% of the population.
The 1973 map of the village shows that there were still 13 farms, so they were still a significant presence in the economy of the village.
It should be noted that farms; their names, ownership and lands often change over time and the details given of the farms are entered as accurate as possible, during the period of our research.
We have traced the history of some of the farms and would be very grateful if anyone could lend us pictures of life on the farms, or tell us stories: anything which would keep the memories alive.
Please get in touch if we have made any mistakes or if you have anything to add.
We would also like to thank those people who have already helped us with the provision of information.