Whose land is it anyway? How parliamentary enclosure shaped the landscape of the Calder Valley: Sheila Graham
Sunday, 6 April 2014
When Sheila Graham commenced her research on the impact of the 1814/15 Enclosure Acts in Stansfield and Ovenden over five years ago one of her aims was to try to gauge the impact of the enclosures on the people as well as the landscape. Despite the most meticulous studies her talk to the Hebden Bridge Local History Society demonstrated the ominous silence from those who were at the bottom of the economic pile. The landscape with its walls and access roads we can see and in some cases travel through every day.
The records of those who did well out of the enclosures (lawyers and surveyors not surprisingly) are still accessible and indeed the whole process was demonstrated to be transparent and remarkably above board. But whilst it is difficult to object to the altruistic activity that led to the private construction of schools it's a fine balancing act to lose your grazing rights and gain a non-conformist chapel. And whilst the new enclosure roads could improve communications, they could, in the slump that followed the Napoleonic Wars, be simply a highway for the economically impoverished to trudge down to the industrial squalor developing in the valley bottoms.
Make your own judgement when Sheila's book with the working title "Neither worth the time nor expense of taking in?" is published by the society later this year.
Details from the Local History website
Previously, on the HebWeb
Calder Valley Buildings of the Seventeenth Century: the craftsmen and their patrons Read more (27 Jan)See Small Ads (12 March)
Some thoughts on historic buildings and their repairs by Alan Gardner
Local History talk on Witchcraft in the Upper Calder Valley: As make-believe witches come knocking on our doors John Billingsley, folklorist and author of many books on the subject, told members of the Local History Society that to our ancestors witchcraft was very real indeed. More info (27 Oct)
Local History talk on Mytholmroyd's Moderna: Joan Laprell spoke to the Hebden Bridge Local History Society where she recalled the village within a village that was the Moderna Blanket Factory in Mytholmroyd, where she worked for ten years. More info (12 Oct)
Local History talk on maps: The first meeting of the new season of lectures for the Hebden Bridge Local History Society was launched by Tony Morris speaking about the history of maps and map-making as well as cartographic crime. More info (30 Sept)
Bridge Mill: History on our doorstep. Justine Wyatt, with the support of the mill's current owner David Fletcher, has uncovered more of the story of the building, and gave a fascinating talk to the Hebden Bridge Local History Society. Read more (3 April)
Working from home in 1825; Working from home is not a new concept, Malcolm Heywood told members of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society. William Greenwood's described his several different occupations. Read more (20 March)
The Grave of Robin Hood: mysterious goings-on in Calderdale. Kai Roberts told the local history society about Robin Hood in Calderdale and especially the monument known as Robin Hood’s Grave. Read more (11 March)
Todmorden Weavers and the Great War. Alan Fowler, former lecturer in Economic and Social History, told a meeting of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society that the local Weavers’ Association had 4000 members at its peak. Read more (19 Feb)
Untold Stories: A glimpse into the lives of local people - Tony Wright has for the past ten years been collecting personal life stories on film and audio tape. Read more (18 Jan)
City in the Hills - Corinne McDonald and Ann Kilbey told a meeting of the Local History Society of Dawson City, the building of the Walshaw Dean Reservoirs and the publication of a new book. Read more (16 Dec)
Clubhouses: self help and co-operation - A small row of houses in Old Town, called Clubhouses, encapsulates some of the history and spirit of the Calder Valley explains Julie Cockburn. (30 October 2012)
Small Town Saturday Night - The story of a love affair with rock 'n roll at its peak in the 1950s and 60s from speaker Trevor Simpson.
The world of Cornelius Ashworth, speaker Alan Petford, Local History talk of 10 October 2012