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Symposium: New work on enclosure in Britain, c. 1700-1850

Symposium: New work on enclosure in Britain, c. 1700-1850

When: Friday, 26 May 2023, 10:30am-4pm (in-person only)
Where: Room G10, Henley Business School, Whiteknights Campus, University of Reading
Attendance is free
Registration is required
Early registration is encouraged, as spaces are limited (please fill in the form below)
Deadline to register: Sunday, 21 May 2023


Enclosure is a fundamental process. It is both a simplification of property ownership and a reorganisation of the landscape. Most land in Britain – the uplands apart – has gone through some form of enclosure at some time but the date at which it took place, and the institutional forms that enclosure took, vary enormously from place to place.

Enclosure as a process has largely come to an end. Our understanding of the institutional and legal forms it took, the motives which drove enclosure and its consequences – actual and perceived – are far from perfect. At this meeting we present five papers which give a sense of the state of enclosure studies in Britain at this time and the challenges which remain for historians.


10.30 ​Coffee and registration

10.45​ Welcome (Professor Richard Hoyle)

11.00​ Paper One: The motives for parliamentary enclosure (Dr. David Brown)

11.45​ Paper Two: The surveys of enclosure of 1800-01 (Professor Richard Hoyle)

12.30​ Lunch

13.30 ​Paper Three: ‘The result never quite equalled the promise’: risk, reward, and reclamation on Exmoor, 1840-1897’ (Professor Henry French)

14.15​ Paper Four: Agrarian reform in a lowland Scottish barony: evolutionary or structural change? (Iain Kirkman)

15.00​ Paper Five: Encroachment: a form of illicit enclosure? (Professor Carl Griffin)

15.45 Concluding comments and discussion (Professor Mark Casson)


26th May 2023
10:30 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


HBS Seminar Room G10