In medieval times, land around Braunston would have been farmed by the open field system; individuals were allocated single strips in the three large unfenced fields. The strips were about 220 yards long and about 8 yards wide, and cultivated on a three-year rotation with the third year fallow. Ploughing these strips resulted in the ridge and furrow effect seen in many of the fields around Braunston today. Livestock was grazed on the uncultivated land in the fallow year and on the commons and wastes which surrounded the open fields. The village of Braunston continued as a farming community until comparatively recent times. Indeed, the date stones on some houses are evidence of the building of stone farmhouses in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The rural way of life changed little until the coming of the canals at the end of the 18th century. The turnpike road from London to Chester (now the A45) carried fast coaches and slower wagons. In 1895, a branch line of the London- to- Birmingham railway was completed running from Weedon to Leamington Spa with a station at Braunston.
Canal trade declined steadily with the competition provided by road transport and the railway. Now the canals flourish again with the growth of the leisure industry and the development of Braunston Marina. This tourism brings a flourishing trade to Braunston’s remaining public houses and shops.
Research provided by Dick Herne Braunston History Society (DHBHS)
For more information please see the Braunston History Section