1801 ENCLOSURE ACT
SOUTH LEVERTON ENCLOSURE ACT OF 1801
The South Leverton Enclosure Act of 1801 was enacted under the general act of enclosure passed by Parliament in 1801, which allowed for any parish in England and Wales to carry out an enclosure if three quarters of the landowners agreed to it.
Basically an enclosure allowed for the redistribution of land in the village so that each landowner had small number of large fields instead of the previous large number of small fields or strips of land. The process was supervised by a Clerk of the Peace and resulted in the modernisation of farming, especially for the big landowners, as well as driving small landowners and farmers on common land off the land altogether. This resulted in rural farm workers having to find work in the towns and mills, which were part of the growing Industrial Revolution.
When the process of enclosure was completed it was bound into two important documents-the map showing the new redistributed land and a bound document of 84 pages detailing the process and calculations of the enclosure.
It was always known in South Leverton that such a document existed but no one was quite sure where it was. It was suspected that it was in Orchard House-now the school-where Mrs Moodie lived. When she died in 1991 it was found in an old trunk and was in a poor state of repair, damp and mouldy, but intact. After some discussion it was taken by myself, as Chairman of South Leverton Parish Council, to the County Council Archives in Nottingham where it was cleaned and repaired and where it is to this day. In return we were given non-fading copies of the map and the bound document. The map is in the small room in the Institute and until recently the document’s whereabouts was not known and a search for it was not successful until Dave Langmead found it in among some old papers and notes in the archives!!
It is intended that the newly formed History Group will make another copy of the document so that it can be studied in more detail and possibly produce a typed up copy, which can then be read more easily.
If anyone has any further information or comments about our Enclosure Act please let me know.
Gordon Muir-Chairman South Leverton Parish Council
Tel 01427 880212 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org