By Rosemary Lynn Hopcroft
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Additional info for Regions, Institutions, and Agrarian Change in European History (Economics, Cognition, and Society)
Similarly, the glebe lands-lands belonging to the church-usually occupied the same relative position in each furlong (Romans 1 94 1 ; Rowley 1 986, 1 0 1 ) . A person given land "toward the sun" had strips in the east or south of each furlong, while a person with land "toward the shade" had strips in the west or north of each furlong. This practice of sun division apparently had religious (or superstitious) significance (Romans 1 94 1 ; G6ransson 1 96 1 , 80- 1 0 1 ; Dodgshon 1 980) . 36 Regions, Institutions, and Agrarian Change The regularity suggests the second process by which the communal open field system may have been implemented-through a major rearrangement of land at a single point in time.
Demesne lands often were physically removed from peasant holdings . Furthermore, usually few or no labor services were required of tenants. In regions of less-communal open fields and enclosures in Eng land and parts of the northern Netherlands, much of the peasantry was free of any kind of feudal obligations, as there was a large proportion of freeholding peasants. Similarly, manorial control was relatively weak in much of the southern Netherlands, Sweden, southern France, and Nor mandy. In these regions manorial dues and services were traditionally light or nonexistent.
This happened early with the population growth of the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries in western Europe and perhaps as late as the six teenth century in northern Russia (Robinson 1 9 32; Blum 1 9 6 1 ) . Popula tion growth also stimulated nucleation of villages at this time. 7 Thus, both the three-course rotation and the nucleated village characteristic of communal open field systems are attrib uted to population growth. Thirsk ( 1 984) puts forward a variation on this argument that comple ments her ecological argument.