This former route of the river seems to have been an original course according to this map.
But was this an original single channel of the river?
These answers can be found by using landscape archaeology techniques, and through examination of the other surviving sources.
By the 16th centry there were two channels:
In 1592 these channels would be the cause of a dispute taken all the way to the Star Chamber of Elizabeth I. This was due to damming of the northern channel with a wier by Sir Thomas Stanhope. He even built locks to allow traffic through the more important northern course through a pound lock he constructed in 1577 between the island of Prier Houlte and Shelford. (Salisbury 1982, Revill 1971).
The southern channel at this point was used for powering mills (this dispute and locks will be discussed in a future entry- the locks are the oldest example known on the Trent).
This is backed up by evidence from the earlier Tudor period that shows the route had gone out of use for major river transport by these times:
The Henry VIII Sherwood Forest boundary perambulation states:
The southern route of the Trent was no longer a navigable part of the river by the reign of Henry VIII, and was considered an old course at this time.
Burton Meadow was originally connected to the rest of Burton parish, and this meander must have been cut off at the neck - seperating Burton Meadow from the other fields of Burton at some point after the parishes of Burton and Shelford were formed.
Interestingly the medieval perambulations of Henry III and Edward I make no mention of two courses of the trent.
Why is this?