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Conclusion

The early modern period spanned over 250 years and although East Meon continued to depend wholly on agriculture, the nature of farming had changed. The Civil War and Restoration introduced new, often absentee, landholders; efficiencies resulted in the enclosure of open fields; new farmsteads were situated among fields now owned by single farmers and farm outbuildings reflected new agricultural technologies and techniques. After the Restoration, the bishops of Winchester were once more lords of the manor(s), but they no longer farmed lands in East Meon and they leased most of their rectorial tithes to the new landholders. Now, the ‘machine age’ was about to bring mass production to England and mechanised farming to the valley.