Tithe Map

The first map to give a detailed picture of Swanshurst Quarter is the Field Drawing Sheet of the Ordnance Survey to a scale of 2 ins to 1 mile, drawn about 1820; but it is suspect in its field-bounds and hard to read.

The First Edition of the One-Inch Map (published c.1837) is clearer and more useful, though still not without errors. Map 9 is derived from it; commons have been added from the 1843 Tithe Map of Yardley, a finely-detailed map which shows every hedgeline, track, and building. It is of great value to the historical geographer. The accompanying Schedule lists the name of every close; few of these are of historical or topographical interest, however, as they chiefly relate to the farms to which they belong. Newly-enclosed pieces had been given number sequences different from surrounding ones, so that their identification is easy.

At a meeting in 1832 at the Bull's Head the principal landowners of the parish decided to seek enclosure of the remaining open fields (200 acres in Church End and Greet Quarters) and commons (650 acres, mostly in our Quarter, comprising Showell Green, Wake Green, Greet Common, Swanshurst Slade, Billesley and Sarehole Commons, and Yardley Wood). Piecemeal enclosure at the edges had reduced all these. A Bill was passed in '33, and the land was eventually shared among the promoters and those few others who had documentary proof of their rights to common; the land was sold to the promoters of the Bill, who then paid the money back to themselves, thus recouping the cost of the Parliamentary process.

Nearly all the commons were thus acquired by the Taylors, two members of which family then owned half (1368 acres) of the whole Quarter. See Map 10. The land was duly hedged and ditched in regular quadrilateral closes. A piece of land 4 acres in extent was designated as a gravel pit and deeply quarried for some sixty years of road-mending; it is still there filled with trees, beside Wake Green Road opposite Gracewell Lane. Two pieces of land were set aside as allotments for the poor, off Springfield Lane and Stoney Lane.

Map 8 shows the roads which were improved to give Map 10. 1843 Land Ownership standards following enclosure.