Word: bears
pLACE-NAME: Barratts Field, in                Ashford Carbonel

Barratts Field was once known as Berewarsfeld, which we know meant ‘the field of the bear-keeper’. This field-name dates back to the middle of the fourteenth century, just after the Black Death, or perhaps even earlier. Even though bears were not native to England in this period, this name tells us that there must have been a bear in Shropshire in the Middle Ages.

Helpful story hints: Who was the bear-keeper, and how did they become knowledgeable about bears? Was the bear-keeper from Shropshire, or from somewhere else? Did the bear have a name? How did the bear come to live in Shropshire? Did the bear like living with the bear-keeper in Shropshire?

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