Italics are notes at the bottom of pages
DESCRIPTION OF VILLAGE.
Of the three names Burton, Burton Abbots, and Blackbourton, by which the village has
been or is -known, the first appears to be the original.
As early as Doomsday book we find it described as
Burtone." in the Cartulary of Oseney Abbey," compiled about A.D. 1275-80 it is Burtone.
Referring to the gift of the church, or chapel, to that Abbey, it states that the gift was that
of " Hugonis de Burtone." In other deeds, in the Taxatio Eeclesiastica, of Pope Nicholas
IV. (A.D. 1291), the Testa de Neville, the •Valor Ecelesiasticus (1535) and other good -
authorities it is simply Burtone. And also in the Ancient parish register books Burton is
nearly always given.
The addition of Abbots is of a later date. It arose of course from its connection with the
Abbey of Oseney,- and perhaps also to distinguish it from two other Burtons (or
Bourtons) nor far distant—Burton or Bourton-on-the-Water, and Burton or Bourton-on-
The name of Blackbourton seems to be of still more recent date. The last part of the
name—Bourtonis a corruption of Burton, and the first part may again refer to the
connection with Osepey Abbey, the monks of which were called black monks, on account
of their dress. Although Blackbourton is the name by which the village has been known
for many years, and still is best known in the neighbourhood, it is clear that Burton is the
original and proper name.
The origin of the name may be found in the stream that has its course here, Bur, or burn,
signifying a rivulet, or brook, — of Anglo - Saxon., if not still
' In the possession of the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, Oxford.
earlier, origin—; and ton, signifying town. Hence, the town on or by the brook.
The village is in the S.W. of Oxfordshire, in the hundred of Bampton. It lies half way
between the market towns of Burford and Faringdon (Berks). In the wall running from the
school to the churchyard there is a stone (bearing the broad arrow of the Ordnance
Survey) which marks the half way between these two towns. It is 2 miles west of
Bampton and about 18 miles west of Oxford. The surrounding parishes are five, viz.,
Shilton on the north,
Brize-Norton on the north and east, Bampton on the east, Clanfield on the south and
Alvescot on the west.
According to the Ordnance Survey the acreage of the parish is 2,354 acres 184 yards.
(There are- also 27 acres 11 yards of outlying pasture land on the north bank of the river
Isis, but since 1886. this has been included in the civil parish of Bampton Weald.)
Roughly speaking the parish may be said to extend four miles from north to south ; from
east to west it is very irregular, varying from about half-a-mile in its narrowest part to two
miles in its widest, where a narrow piece runs eastwards towards Bampton.
The northern part of the parish is stone brash with gravel beneath, the southern part a good
loam on the surface and gravel beneath. Consequently the former is not so productive, and
from a scarcity of trees the aspect of the country is bare, but the latter is fertile and well
The southern part of the parish is watered by A clear running stream. It comes within its
boundaries shortly after leaving Tanner's Mill in Alvescot, at the north-west corner of the
Vicarage Farm. Running in a south-east direction it reaches the south-west corner of the
village, where it turns eastward, flowing by the Manor Farm and the Lower Farm into the
parish of Bampton.
During the length of its course it is crossed by four bridges-1. A footbridge on the
pathway from Mill Lane to Alvescot, where an old corn mill stood for some centuries. 2.
Another footbridge connecting Hedges' Lane with the high road to Faringdon. 3. A stone
bridge on the high road from Burford to Faringdon. This has been rebuilt, replacing one of
considerable antiquity. And 4. A bridge on the cart road to the Lower Farm.
Burton Abbots and its neighbourhood possess more of Anglo-Saxon antiquities than
Roman. There is that interesting portion of the village church, the chancel, which
probably at that early period formed the entire building ; and also the font, now in use,
which no doubt stood within its ancient walls. In the neighbourhood Anglo-Saxon
cemeteries have been brought to light.- At Filkins, in 1856, one was discovered on the
north side of the village in what is called " Purbrick's close," and excavations made. At
Broughton Poggs, also in 1856, one was found on a hill about half a mile north of the
village, called " Kinching Knoll," and excavations made. And at Brighthampton in 1857
another cemetery was discovered just 'outside the hamlet on the left of the road leading to
Bampton. While excavating here two instances of cremation were discovered. In the
graves of all three ceme- teries were the usual Anglo-Saxon relics :— Spear heads,
knives, purse guards, buckles, fibulae, beads, &c. Those dug up at Brighthampton are now
preserved in the Ashmolean Museum, at Oxford.*
Archaeclogia xx xvii. There is a full description of the excavations
at Filkins and Broughton Poggs p 140, and at Brighthampton p, 391.
Although this is now a. thing of the past, there are no doubt many living who have seen
this mode of punishment. In Burton Abbots the stocks found
- their last place in the Pound. It is probable that in -former times, when commonly used,
they stood in the usual place, by the village cross —certainly in this case an inconvenient
position and that they were removed
to the Pound. There they remained unused, a reminder of olden punishment, and gradually
In olden time there was a building between the Church and the village inn called " the
College." It was evidently ancient, and at one time had been a residence ; but it fell to ruin
in the latter part of the 18th century, and for some time the lower part. of the outer walls
were utilised fur a cow shed or cart shed by the occupier of the inn. It was in this
condition in 1844, but soon after that it was pulled down, and a part of the ground 011
which it stood together with a small bit of waste land was given by the Duke of
Marlborough as an addition to the churchyard.
Why was this building called " the College ? " Probably it was a building to which
members of Christ Church migrated from Oxford in times of g
Several Colleges (e.g. Magdalen and Brasenose) had such places of refuge where they had
property near at hand.
This is usually regulated by the dedication of the Parish Church. Here the Church is
dedicated in the
name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on the day that commemorated the legend of her
Translation, August 15th. Consequently the feast day is kept on August 15th should that
day fall on a Sunday, and if not , on the first Sunday after the 15th.
Some sixty years ago it was usual for the inhabitants of the village to invite their
neighbouring relations and friends to visit them on the feast-day. They went to church
together in the morning, but the latter part of the day was given up to feasting and
pleasure. There was also an influx of gipsies, pedlars and others who set up booths for the
sale of their wares, &e. The inhabitants of this and neighbouring villages congregated -for
play, with the usual adjunct of drink. The Vicar, the Rev. J. Lupton, took some pains to
put down this revelry which had become a nuisance, and he suc ceeded, for of late years
the feast-day at Bourton has been as quiet as other Sundays.
It was not till the year 1863 that the school was built. Up to that time there had not been
any regular day school. Occasionally a dame school had sprung up, but with that
exception there was no daily instruction, and those parents who- wished that their children
should be educated were obliged to send them to neighbouring village schools. For many
years it had been the great desire of the Vicar (Rev. J. Lupton) to build a school, but
without success ; difficulty and opposition arose in various quarters, so that only in 1863
was this great want supplied.
The Duke of Marlborough gave the site ; a piece of land most conveniently situated in
about the centre of the village, and just opposite the Vicarage. He also gave £50 towards
the building fund, and was always
a liberal contributor to its support. The remainder of the sum required was procured by the
Vicar for the parishioners did not contribute anything.
LIST OF SUBSCRIPTION'S.
Duke of Marlborough... ... 50 0 0
Christ Church, Oxford 50 0 0
Council of Education „ „. 124 0 0
Diocesan Board ... „ 30 0 0
Rev: J. Lupton ( Vicar) 100 0 0
(from Friends) „„ 100 0 0£
454 0 0
.The cost of building, enclosing with walls, &c., was £600, including architect's expenses.
The balance wanting was supplied by the Vicar. The architect was Mr. Gilbert Scott, and
the builder Mr. Job Pettifer, of Bampton.
By the trust deed of the school the site is granted to the Minister and Churchwardens of
the parish and their successors for ever, " to be appropriated and used as and for a school
for the education of children and adults or children only of the labouring, manufacturing,
and other poorer classes in the parish." The terms of the deed are in accordance with the.
usual form used by the National Society, and provide for Government Inspection.
The allotments are situated on the north side of the Alvescot road, in a 13 acre field
belonging to the Vicar. They were first introduced in this parish in the autumn of 1844, by
the Rev. 3. Lupton. Forty - six lots were laid out ;--.23 of 1 rood each ; 19 of 24 poles
each ; and 4 of smaller size. (The remainder of the field, 3a. 2r. 3p., was not divided into
small holdings but held as a whole.) They were let at the rate of 50s. per acre.
At that time there were no allotments for the poor except in the parish of Bampton. The
farmers did not. regard this new scheme with approval the_ labourers did, and all the land
:was -quickly let. - The cultivation generally was good, the rents punctually paid, and it
was a great success.
As you enter the village by the Clanfield road there is a neat detached house standing
above the road and facing it. This was built by a Mr. John Cox about a century ago, and
was sold by his heirs in 1849 to Mr. Knapp, of Clanfield.
The next is a. house standing a little north-east. On the Ordnance Map it is marked as "
High House," but it never seems to have been known by that name in the village. It is old,
having on its front a stone
inscribed LT.S the initials being, of course, those of
the builder. This also became the property of Mr. John Cox, and passed from his family to
a Mr. David Hern.
The "Horse and Groom," the little village inn, lies on the west side of the high road from
Burford to Faring-don. On the front of the house are two stones, one bearing apparently
the figure of a bucket, and the other
The latter stone marks, of course, the 'date of -the house. Over the doorway is a large
stone carved with instruments of war—a coat of mail, or chain armour, surmounted by a
helmet, banners.and arrows on either side, and shields, sword, .&c. below. One of the
shields bears the Hungerford crest, the .garb .and
,sickles. This stone was brought from the ruinous old mansion of Bourton Place, and was
placed here by a Mr. Beesley, who at that time lived in this house.
For many years this house belonged to the Dukes of Marlborough ; but in 1894 it, with
other of their property in this parish, was sold, and was purchased by Messrs. Clinch, of
Witney, brewers, for the sum of £500.
Ten cottages in the parish belong to the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church. Six are semi-
detached model cottages, described below ; two are formed out of what was built for a
lodging house ; one lies off the Bampton road, between the site of the old cross and the
Manor Farm ; and one on the road to Alvescot. The last was built many years ago by a
very industrious and, saving man, a labourer, named Stephen Rouse., He built it on the
waste, hedged in some more land east and west, which he made into a garden, and there
built a small barn. Doubtless this was an encroachment ; but at the same time it was an
evidence of his industry and thrift ; an .I he always held it with a certain pride as " his
own." A few years before his death he sold it to the Dean and Chapter, whose land it
adjoined He lived on the proceeds of the sale as long as he could, but eventually died in
house, Witney, at an advanced age. Four stone-built cottages now belonging to Mr.
Baston, were formerly the property of the Duke of Marlborough, but were sold in 1894 for
The :model, cottages which form so great an ornament to the village, were erected shortly
after 1860 by Christ Church. They are six in number, built in semi-detached
style (two together) of white stone with blue slate roofs. The cottages are as commodious
inside as they are ornamental outside. Each one contains a sitting-room, kitchen, and
wash-house, &c., downstairs ; and three bedrooms upstairs. The kitchens are fitted up
with dressers, and fire-stove with side oven ; and in each wash-house is a copper. These
cottages are occupied by labourers working on the Christ Church property.
At the same time that these cottages were erected the Chapter also built a model lodging-
house for young men. It stood in the same line as the cottages, the front portion being the
superintendent's residence, and the back the lodging-house. The latter contained
accommodation for eight single men, who are each provided with a separate bedroom,
containing an iron bedstead and bedding. All ablutions were performed in a wash-house
downstairs. On the ground floor was a common sitting-room, kitchen, pantries, wash-
&c., and two bedrooms ; the other six bedrooms are above.. In each was a fireplace but no
stove, a moveable one being provided to be used when required. The lodging-house
communicated with the superintendent's cottage, but had its own separate entrances, both
back and front. The superintendents had charge of the lodging-house, kept it in order,
cooked and washed for its inmates, &e. A large garden was attached where each might
have his own plot of ground. [This lodging-house did not answer the purpose for Which it
was erected, and has been divided into two separate cottages.]
In the large field behind the Church and bordering on. Mill Lane are ruins to which some
interest attaches, as in former times there stood here the old " Poor House."
The old Poor Law Act of 1601 provided that workhouses, " convenient houses of
dwelling," should be erected on the waste or common land, at the general charge of the
parish, or hundred or county, for infirm and impotent people, or for those for whom work
was provided by the parish.
It was no doubt under this Act that this Poor House for the parish of Burton Abbots was
established. Although there is n.o positive proof that this was the original building used
for that purpose, yet it is a fair presumption, for before it fell to ruin it possessed un-
mistakeable features of antiquity. It also seems likely , that here the provision of the
Act of Parliament as to building a poor house on the waste or common land was not
carried out, but this building being considered con-
venient for this purpose was made use of, and rented from the- Hungerford family, ow
whose estate it was situated. Whether it had been one house or two does not appear; but it
had -the appearance of being two houses, one of them of fair size, larger than a cottage.
- It was built of stone; a piece of garden ground ran all round it, and the whole was
enclosed by a low stone wall.
Nearly all the land in the parish is contained in the following farms, the remainder being
in small holdings :-
1. Rock Farm.
3. Lower Farm or Mill Farm.
4. The Manor Farm.
5. The Moat Farm.
6. The Glebe.
Rock Farm.—On this farm near its western boundary and lying on the north side of
the road from Broadwell to Brizenorton -is the parcel of land apportioned by the
Enclosure Act "for the publick stone, mortar, and gravel pits, from which supplies were to
be obtained not only for the repair of the roads in the parish, but also by the proprietors in
the parish and their tenants " for their own necessary uses.
Up to the time of the Enclosure, 1770, all this was open land. Since then it has been
divided into fields, hedged, ditched, &c., the roads made, and no doubt considerably
increased in value.
This farm was sold by the Duke of Marlborough (the land composing it having been
allotted to the third duke by the Enclosure Act) by auction in 1894 to
Thomas Arkell, Esq., of Swindon, for £5,450. There are six six cottages attached to this
Elmwood Farm belongs to the Duke -of Marlborough. The house was built in 1858
at a cost of .about £7,000. The farm has been commonly called
. " The Model Farm " from the excellence of all its buildings.
The Mill Farm also belongs to the Duke of Marlborough. It has an important adjunct
in the water-mill.
The Manor Farm.—The Reformation brought with it a change in the ownership of
the Manor of Burton Abbots. In 1539 the greater monasteries were .suppressed, among
them the Abbey of Oseney, and its revenues and property became the King's. When the
see of Oxford was created in 1546, the last Abbot of Oseney, Robert King, was made
Bishop, and the estates formerly belonging to the Abbey of Oseney were transferred to
Henry VDUs new foundation of Christ Church, by letters patent of December 11th, 1546.
With that House it remains to the present day.
By the Enclosure Act of 1770 the Manor Farm':-"Was considerably increased in extent.
At that time the
Dean and Chapter of Christ Church had 195 acres lying " intermixed and dispersed over
the whole fields and waste ground§ in small parcels," besides 120 acres granted out by-
copy of Court Roll to different persons for ore, two or three lives. To them also belonged
the Rectorial tithes within the parish, and the rights of common on the lands to be
enclosed, &e. In lieu of all these they received 389a. 3r. 11p. all lying together, as at the
present day. The College had then leased their Manor and the Rectorial tithes, with all
other rights, to the Duke of Marlborough and by him it was again sub-let.
Manor Farm. —Up to about the middle of the 14th century it had been customary for
the great lank. owners and religious houses to cultivate their own lands with their own
capital, under the management of a bailiff. The Abbot of Oseney cultivated r'his farm at
Burton Abbot in this manner. From an indenture in the Bodleian. Library, dated -Monday,
the feast of Michaelmas, 28 Ed. III. (A.D. 1354), we learn that John Cok, the bailiff, was
removed from his office, and Nicholas le Herdman appointed in his place. A list of the
farm stock delivered to Nicholas le Herdman, follows and also an account of the debts due
to the Abbot and Convent. The indenture is considerably mutilated, but so far as it can be
read the following is the list of the farm stock.:—The keys of the Manor, 2 cart horses, 4
farm horses, 3 foals, 13 oxen, one bull, 8 cows, calves, heifers, flocks of sheep, poultry,
farm implements, furniture, and domestic utensils. Among the sums of money owing we
find that Walter Childelove owed 3s. 6d., John Hobbus 21d., John Laurence 3s., Richard
Hoccus 3s., Edmund Atte Car 43s. 3d., the Vicar of Bourton 13s., William Benet 2s. 6d.,
Collector of the Tithe of Norton ..., Collector of Bampton ..., Collector of Dokelynton 3s.,
Collector of Bour-
ton 5s., Collector of Kencote 3s., Walter Benneye 13d. Some of the above are marked as
partly or fully paid *
The Black Death of 1348 brought about an alteration in the method of g
farmin, and it became the custom to let the farms with the farmstock to a tenant, who
became the cultivator at his own risk. This had in many cases became a necessity. The
Black Death had so reduced the number of labourers that labour became scarce, and the
rate of wages high. In spite of the " Statute of Labourers " and other efforts made by
landowners to procure cheaper labour, they. were unsuccessful. Labour remained scarce
and high in price. For many years it was a struggle between landlords and labourers. But
the old system was doomed. Gradually the landlords gave up the cultivation of their own
lands and let them to tenants. The Abbot and convent of Oseney were obliged to conform
to the pressure of the times. -- There is an.indenture in the Bodleian Library dated Easter,
30 Hen. VI. (A.D. 1452), by which they let their Manor of Bourton, near Bampton, to
Thomas Long, farmer, and with it the farm stock. As this indenture also is much mutilated
it is impossible to read the particulars 'of the lease ; but the farm stock would have to be
delivered up at the end of the time in good condition: or payment made to the amount at
which it was valued when the lease commenced. On the back of the indenture the list of
farm stock is given :-6 oxen,
2 plough shares, 7 keys of the Manor, kitchen implements, 1 cock, 5 hens, 5 capons, one
gander, 5 geese,
3 images of the Virgin Mary, (" Mariolae ") the crop of - all the lands to the value of 46s.
From another indenture (No. 316) we learn that the Abbot and Convent of Oseney let their
Oseney Charters, No. 311, Bodleian Library. t Oseney Charters, No. 315, Bodleian
Andrew Meyse, of Bourton near Bampton, his wife Joan, and their son Robert in 1504.
The particulars given are as follows. They let their Manor with lands, meadows, pastures,
&c., thereto belong- ing, with all customary works not before rated, and also their rectory
of Burton with all tithes of grain and hay thereto belonging, with an annual pension of
15s. to be received from the Vicars of Bampton. The said Andrew, Joan and Robert were
to hold the same for 21 years, paying annually to the Abbot and Convent of Oseney 6
marks for the Manor, and 9 (?) marks for the rectory, tithes, and pension. Also the said
Andrew, Joan and Robert were to have the care and sustenance of 280 sheep belonging to
the Abbot and Convent ; and each_ year they were to receive one sheep, called the "
Cullier," after shearing. They (the tenants) should also receive a yearly rent of 13s. 4d.
from a virgate of land in Clanfield, should keep the houses, &c., of the Manor in repair.
This indenture is dated at the Chapter House, Oseney; on the Vigil of AR .Saints,
Moat Farm.--This is a portion of the estate of the Hungerfords, and that part which
was sold to the Duke of Marlborough in 1812 by Captain George Elers.
After the ruinous old family mansion was pulled down, the " poor miserable 50 acres," as
Captain George Elers described it, was let for farming purposes. It lies in the west part of
Of late years it has been reduced in extent, and DOW numbers about 35 acres chiefly
good pasture land. When the railway was made in 1870 it cut the most northern piece of
land (Moat Coppice) in two, and for the convenience of agriculture the northern portion,
Ga. Or. 37p., was added to Elmwood Farm, also in the possession of the Duke of
Marlborough. At various
times two small pieces of pasture ( Hedges Lane Ground,
3r. 25p., and Edmunds Close, 2r. 26p., or Arch Ground) lying between Hedges Lane on
the north and the road to Faringdon on the south and another piece of pasture (Yateman's
Close) 3a. lr. 34p., lying south of the Vicarage were made over to Christ Church, Oxford,
by exchange. The homestead lies in the south-west corner of the farm. It stands on high
ground, and on its west side are the remains of a moat, which has given the name to the
farm. This property was offered for sale by the Duke of Marlborough in 1894, with other
properties already mentioned, and was purchased by Mr. Henry Akers, the then tenant, for
£800. It is a freehold.
The Vicarage Farm.—Like other farms in the parish this assumed its present
compact form at the time of the Enclosure (A.D. 1771). Up to that time the chief income
of the Vicar had been derived from tithe in kind, and other rights, the amount of land
belonging to the Vicarage being very small, some 12 or 13 acres lying in the open fields
in addition to the Home Close. By the Enclosure award he received 121. Or. 37p., all
lying together on the west side of the parish.
The farm is bounded on the north and east by the Shill brook ; on the south by the road to
Alvescot, and on the west by Alvescot parish. The land is chiefly arable ; the soil
generally good, and some part of it especially adapted for the cultivation of barley.
After this land was awarded to the Vicar it remained an open space, undivided and
without hedges or ditches (excepting on its boundaries) for some years. When the Rev. J.
Lupton succeeded to the benefice he at once commenced improvements. The land was
divided into fields, hedges planted, ditches made, gates set up, &c., and in 1831 the
existing barn built.
In 1870 the East Gloucestershire railway was carried across the farm, and the Company
took la. 3r. 37p. The money received (,£427) was chiefly expended in the erection of new.
farm buildings ; the old ones, mostly of a temporary kind, giving way to substantial stone
ones at a cost of £391, and the remainder of the money was deposited in Queen Anne's
Bounty Office, of which the interest is paid yearly to the Vicar.
Some years ago, in the recollection of many residents in the village, there was a very
pleasant footway from the west side of the churchyard to the old mill. Leaving the
churchyard it ran westward to about the middle of the hedge on the south side of Church
Close, where was a gate. By this gate was a magnificent elm, the most perfect in shape
and the most beautiful among the many fine trees in the village. One would have thought
its beauty would have saved it from destruction, but when at one time the Duke of
Marlborough felled large quantities of timber on his estates here this noble tree was
ruthlessly destroyed. Thence the path ran across Church Close in a north-west direction to
a fine old orchard (Nursery Orchard), at the end of which was an ancient garden wall of
Bourton Place covered with ivy, portions of which still remain. Then you passed under a
plain stone archway to the ground in which the old mansion stood, and, crossing that
northward, the path led out into Mill Lane, just opposite the ancient Mill. This pathway
was closed during the tenancy of Mr. John Cox. No doubt it was an encroachment that
grew up after the destruction of the old mansion, and therefore had no legal existence. At
the same time the closing of it deprived many of a very pleasant walk.
The enclosure of the common fields took place in Oxfordshire later than in many counties.
But when it once began it went on at a rapid rate. In the first 40 years of George III. no
less than 34 Enclosure Acts were passed for this county alone. Arthur Young states " more
land has been enclosed since I first travelled in it, which is about 40 years ago, I conceive,
than any county in England." He regarded enclosure with favour. To his mind it was " the
capital improvement of the county."" No doubt it was a benefit to agriculture generally,
but this affected the landlord and his tenant more particularly, and not the labourer, who
lost thereby not only his plot of ground, but also his rights of common. This was so at
Burton Abbots, and no compensation whatever was given him. Well might people
comment on the very different treatment received by the man who stole the goose from
the common, and the man who stole the common from the goose.
At Burton Abbotts 1,636 acres of land were enclosed ; a greater quantity than in any of
the neighbouring parishes. The Act by which this was accomplished is
- entitled " An Act for dividing and inclosing certain open and common Fields, Common
Pastures, Common Meadows, and Commonable Grounds in the Parish of Blackbourton in
the County of Oxford, 1770."
The estimated amount of land to be enclosed was 411/2 yard lands or 1,215 acres,
belonging at that time as follows :—
* View of the Agriculture of Oxfordshire, 1809. p. 87. Writing of Alvescot he says :—
Alvescot has been enclosed eight years, and very greatly improved, though the farmers
are not the best to be found. A farm of £100 a year while open, is now £300 a year, and
cheap. The Vicarage was from £150 to £200 ; now above £600 a year The produce
of the parish is certainly trebled."—p. 91.
29i yard lands (892 1/2 acres) belonging to the Duke of Marlborough in fee simple.
10 yard lands (315 acres) belonging to the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, Oxford,
and then leased to the Duke of Marlborough. Of this about 4 yard lands (120 acres) were
granted out by copy of Court Roll to different persons for one, two, or three lives.3/4
yard land (224 acres) belonging to Miss Edmunds.
1/2 yard land (15 acres) belonging to the Vicar.
All the particulars of the allotments made to the several owners are of course specified in
the award which was inrolled at the office of the Clerk of the Peace for the County, at
Oxford, and bears date May 3rd, 1771. One Thomas Walker was then Clerk of the Peace.
It is worthy of notice that the Act of Inclosure estimates the amount of land to be inclosed
at " 41 yard lands and a half or thereabouts," yet according to the Award the allotments
made amounted to 2,031a. Or. 20p., thus :—
A. R. P.
Dean and Chapter of Christ Church 389 0 14
The Vicar ......... .... . 151 0 07
The Duke of Marlborough - ... . .... 1302 2 -6
Smaller owners 218 1 13
2031 0 20
There is therefore this difference
Lands allotted 2031 0 20
Estimated lands 1245 0 0
786 0 20
Was it that these 786 acres were waste land, unowned —unclaimed ? and that the afore
named proprietors were put in possession of it ? -
The Enclosure was undoubtedly a great benefit to the owners and occupiers of the land
Ancient system of strips of land, small in quantity
And scattered over the fields, however well it may have been in the days when nearly
every man had his plot of ground, was not convenient for farming in -modern times, and
the cost of cultivation must have !been greater. The first noticeable benefit to the owners
was in the amount of rent. Just after the enclosure, in 1774 there had been a valuation of
land at Burton :Abbotts, amounting – to 1s 6d. or 2s. per acre ; but when Arthur Young
made his survey of Oxfordshire thirty-five years afterwards it had risen to 14s. per acre.