The Allotments Project

Coordinator: Jacqueline Cooper

This project is an extension of the work published by Dr Jeremy Burchardt The allotment movement in England, 1793-1873. The objective was to produce a comprehensive database of allotments and other forms of popular landholdings within the date parameters for the benefit of local, family and community historians.

Members have collected data on a systematic basis throughout the United Kingdom on a county basis with the aim of identifying as many allotments as possible, and for each site, to record key information including parish, county, date of record, date site established, name and status of landlord, number of plots, acreage, rent plus any other recorded information.

An important new book, published with the generous assistance of the Marc Fitch Fund and the outcome of work by members of the Family & Community Historical Research Society, has changed the way historians will look at 19th century allotments.

This book offers important new evidence about the history of 19th century allotments, and shows how deeply embedded they were in rural society. Based on a nationwide research project, Breaking New Ground reveals that allotments were numerous and widespread, cherished not only by agricultural labourers, but also by tradesmen, artisans and industrial workers. They were not just a means of alleviating poverty, but a major institution of Victorian village life.

The fifteen chapters include detailed local studies of how allotments developed all over England - in East Anglia, the West Country, southern England, the Midlands and elsewhere. Aspects of allotment history, little explored before, come under the spotlight: the moral dimension of allotment rules, the link between allotments and riots, the intervention of paternalistic employers and the people's desire for allotments to replace lost rights of common. Allotments Historical Data Collection - Companion CD is included in the purchase price and is a containing a database of over 3,000 allotment sites, by far the most comprehensive yet published, and nearly 1,000 allotment tenants, that will be of particular interest to local and family historians. The CD ROM contains the following data. Combined Allotments Database in Microsoft Access (TM) format; Combined Allotments Database in Microsoft ExcelTM format; Allotments Rules spreadsheet; Allotments Tenants spreadsheet; List of Allotment Societies (PDF); Field Codes (PDF)

Items can be bought from the FACHRS shop.