Enclosure Act 1778
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Our digital library contains a scanned copy of the text of "AN ACT FOR
Dividing and Inclosing the Common or Waste Ground called Brislington, otherwise Bussleton, Common, in the Parish of Brislington, otherwise Bussleton, in the County of Somerset. - 1778." At 24 pages very high resolution images would be impractical so we've made it availble in two file sizes - low resolution (12MB) and high resolution (40MB).
The Act was a legal instrument that terminated the traditional rights of local people freely to access and use the Common land. The land was then divided into portions, and legally enforcable boundaries were created around them (the enclosures). These newly created fields were then put into private ownership. The enclosed Common covered most of Broomhill, and stretched south of Ironmould Lane to Scotland Bottom all the way to Hick's Gate.
Brislington was not alone in having its Common enclosed, it was a nationwide phenomenon that was - and actually remains - profoundly controversial.
Exhibit contributed by Ken Taylor
Text written by Ken Taylor
Photographer: Ken Taylor
Acquisition number: 220609a1