Once the Somerset Heritage Centre re-opened, I visited to look at the 1833 Enclosure Ledger. A superb leather bound large book which gives the details of the enclosure of the common lands in Milverton which were Heathfield by Bindon, Cleanmoor, Weekmoor and Heathfield near Oake; over 200 acres of land.
This is a fascinating record of not only the owners of the land, but of the old carriageways which are now today our footpaths with Rights of Way. I now know that in 1833 Thomas Buckler Lethbridge together with Henry Spurway were the Lords of the Manor. As such they qualified to be compensated for the loss of land called Soil in the 1832 Act.
The commissioner appointed to assess the compensation and oversee the recording of the carriageways etc was Young Sturge who was a Quaker and related by marriage to the Young family of Milverton hence his Christian name being Young. His family Sturge from Bristol, were land surveyors originally undertaking the surveys for the Enclosure Act and later the Tithe Apportionments.
The Surveyors Institution which became the RICS was founded in 1868 by 20 members of the Land Survey Club (founded in 1834) whose membership was primarily agriculture based on the work of the Enclosure and Tithes Commutation. William Sturge became President in 1878.
You can browse the online catalogue of the Somerset Heritage Centre and each entry will give you a brief description of the document. Anyone can do this online and to visit in person, you need to register for free and take along proof of address to the SHC in Norton Fitzwarren. Visiting is by appointment only at the moment .
I hope you enjoyed a summary of some of my research during these these last few months. I am hoping that Peter Hutchinson will tell us more of his project on the bench ends in Milverton Church. I know we all enjoyed our look at them back in March just before the first lockdown. Wasn’t it lovely to sit and chat afterwards over a nice cup of tea and cake!!
Those were the days….
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