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Tanworth in Arden 1857 Inclosure Award Trust

The Inclosure Acts were a series of Acts of Parliament that empowered enclosure of open fields and common land in England and Wales, creating legal property rights to land that was previously held in common.

A single inclosure award might well cover numerous parcels of land and set out differing purposes and restrictions on use (e.g. for pasture; as allotments for growing vegetables/crops) for some parcels as compared to others, as well as e.g. setting out roads and ways for the use of persons interested in the land

Thus, under an inclosure award land might become held in trust by the ‘church wardens and overseers of the poor’ for exercise and recreation purposes. Over time, such land may often have come into the ownership of local authorities given the reduced role of the Church; and given rearrangements of local government over time, may not even be in the hands of Parish or Community councils as at the present day, but may now be held by County Councils or unitary authorities which are rather more remote from the locations in question.

In the 1850s Mr John Holbeche, a land surveyor, was appointed to Inclose the “Earls Wood and Shirley Heath Commons and other land in the parish of Tanworth. In 1857 his report was accepted and the Tanworth in Arden Inclosure Award came about.

( See Local history section for more information on this)

Until 1894 the parish was run by the parochial council The Church Council. The local government act of 1894 changed all that and produced the Local Parish Council elected by local people. Most of the work of the overseer for the poor and the liability for the poor was transferred away from the parochial council to the new Parish Councils and so they also became the trustees of the Inclosure award.

Present day the 1857 Inclosure award Trust is administered by the trustees and the Clerk of the local Parish Council. The Clerk also acts as Treasurer.

All Parish Councillors are trustees and all trustees must be Parish Councillors. Although councillors are also Trustees, when meeting as the Trust they must act in its interests not that of the PC.

The councillors apply for dispensation to in respect of all dealings with the 1857 Inclosure Award Trust to enable them to take part in any related discussions and decisions for the trust

Land at present administered by the Trust

  • Allotments –The Common
  • Land Springbrook Lane and field next to 133 The Common –where the stables are based
  • Land next to 133 The Common Earlswood
  • Field Umberslade Road- let for grazing