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1792 Enclosure Act


Basford Enclosure was effected this year by a special Act of Parliament. The Duke of Newcastle, the Earl of Chesterfield, and other land owners, obtained by it large accessions to their property, but not a single acre of land was reserved for use of the public, though nearly 1,500 acres had up to this time been enjoyed in common by all inhabitants, either for profit or pleasure.

The commissioners of Woods and Forests demanded a fortieth part of the value of the lands enclosed, and instituted a valuation, not only of Basford, but also of all the Forest lands lying within the bounds of Thoneywood. The return was as follows:

Basford township        1,700 acres, 6s per acre

Gedling                           750 acres, 7s

Lenton and Radford       200 acres, 5s

Lambley                          600 acres, 5s

Woodborough                 440 acres, 7s

Sneinton                            80 acres, 12s

Thus was the nation defrauded of its claim on the enclosure, as well as the parish of its grounds for recreation. The crown got just nine pounds sterling and one-fortieth share of the value of the land on which Mapperley Place, Sherwood, Carrington, and Cavendish villas now stand; while the other claimants received their portions in solid acres. Up to this period the Forest lands, in their wild luxuriance, used to be visited in the summer season by great numbers of the merry-hearted tradesmen and mechanics of Nottingham, with their wives and sweethearts, in what were popularly known as “nutting parties.” They took with them provisions and liquors for the day, and also a fiddler, to whose enlivening strains they danced till evening. These happy sports, which resembled in rural simplicity days of yore, were speedily brought to a close by the rapid march of enclosure.

The site now occupied by the Fishpond Gardens was till this year covered by a lake or sheet of water, attached to the pleasure ground of the Castle. It was partially filled up with the soil brought up from the foundation of the Barracks, and in 1794 the gardens were laid out for cultivation.

Map of the 1792 Enclosure Act covering Sherwood