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1804 Inclosure Act 1804 Inclosure Act

  Field System in place 1804  

1804 Inclosure Act

The influence of the 1804 Inclosure Act on today’s landscape can be seen by comparing the 1804 Parliamentary Inclosure Map of Storridge Common and the area South of the village (Somerset Records Office) with a Google map of the same area today. (Place your cursor on the thumbnail above to overlay the 1804 map)

Although it is clear that a small-scale field system had started to evolve in 1804, Storridge Common and the outlying land remained largely intact. Today, we can see a comprehensive field system covering the entire area, except for the woodlands and Haddon Hill.

Unlike today, the woodland areas in Storridge Wood, Haddon Wood and Swines Cleeve were divided into parallel wood-lots which would have been under the ownership or management of different occupants. This reflects the value attached to woodland as a valuable resource, at that time, for timber and probably as pannage (i.e. turning out domestic pigs in woods or forest to feed on fallen acorns or nuts).

Just about all of the changes to the field system that we see today were brought about in a very short space of time.

If we take a closer look at the landscape around the 13th Century settlement of Upcott (now Redcross Farm), which is on the Western edge of Storridge Common, and compare the 1804 Inclosure Map of that area with the 1841 Tithe Map (Somerset Records Office), we can see that today’s field system was largely in place by that time.

By scrolling down to the three maps below and placing your cursor on either of the 1841 or 2011 maps, you can overlay one on the other and directly compare them.

Taking account of the inevitable inaccuracies and variations in scale of the earlier maps, there is a high degree of correlation between the field system in place in 1841 and today.

Based on an archaeological study by SouthWest Archaeology

1804 Inclosure Act

  Storridge, Haddon and Swine Cleeve as it was in 1804