Inclosure Act 1773

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The Inclosure Act 1773[1]
Long titleAn Act for the better Cultivation, Improvement, and Regulation of the Common Arable Fields, Wastes, and Commons of Pasture in this Kingdom.
Citation13 Geo 3. c. 81
Territorial extentGreat Britain
Royal assent1773
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Inclosure Act 1773 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from

The Inclosure Act 1773 (13 Geo 3. c. 81) (also known as the Enclosure Act 1773) is an Act of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Great Britain, passed during the reign of George III. The Act is still in force in the United Kingdom. It created a law that enabled enclosure of land, at the same time removing the right of commoners' access. [2]


The Act required the procedure to start with a petition delivered to Parliament signed by the landowner, tithe holders and a majority of people affected. The petition then went through the stages of a bill with a committee meeting to hear any objections. The petition would then go through to Royal Assent after passing through both Houses of Parliament. Commissioners would then visit the area and distribute the land accordingly.[3]

The powers granted in the Inclosure Act were often abused by landowners: the preliminary meetings where enclosure was discussed, intended to be held in public, were often made in the presence of only the local landowners. They regularly chose their own solicitors, surveyors and Commissioners to decide on each case. In 1774, Parliament added an amendment to the Act under the Standing Orders that every petition for enclosure had to be affixed to the door of the local church for three consecutive Sundays in August or September.[3]

The Act eventually limited the amount of traffic on culverted paths as they often fell within land that was to be enclosed. This often meant that traffic eventually stopped going along certain routes such as the culverted path next to Shit Brook in Much Wenlock.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ This short title was conferred by the Short Titles Act 1896, section 1 and the first schedule.
  2. ^ "The Global Land Grab: The New Enclosures". The Wealth of the Commons. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  3. ^ a b "English Farming: Chapter XI". Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  4. ^ RPS Consultants. "Archaeological desk based assessment" (PDF). Bridgnorth DC. Retrieved 1 May 2013.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Introduction: Much Wenlock town culvert". Shropshire County Council. 2003. Archived from the original on 23 April 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013.

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