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 (2011) - see below.
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.
In 1804, 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. The close up maps below, on the right, show the landscape around the 13th Century settlement of Upcott (now Redcross Farm), which is on the Western edge of Storridge Common. The 1804 Inclosure Map of that area shows the field system starting to evolve around Upcott, and the 1841 Tithe Map (Somerset Records Office) of the same area shows a field system that is largely in place when compared with today’s field system.
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.