Port Meadow

Oxford, United Kingdom

Port Meadow

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Port Meadow is a large meadow of open common land beside the River Thames to the north and west of Oxford, England.

The meadow is an ancient area of grazing land, still used for horses and cattle, and according to legend has never been ploughed, at least for around 4,000 years. It is said that in return for helping to defend the kingdom against the marauding Danes, the Freemen of Oxford were given the 300 acres (120 ha) of pasture next to the River Thames by Alfred the Great who, legend has it, founded the city in the 10th century (although Alfred actually died in the 9th century). The Freemen's collective right to graze their animals free of charge is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 and has been exercised ever since.

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