Rambling through Enclosure

Rambling through Enclosure

Rambling through Enclosure

Excursion 1

It is a peculiar thing to start a job while in the midst of a national lockdown. I find an unsettling strangeness in never having physically entered my place of work and virtual introductions to colleagues - their faces looming in and out of focus on my computer screen as each speaks in turn. As with most of the population, my world has shrunk to the confines of my domestic domain. At a moment when the shared resource of our public health is under threat from the Covid-19 virus, we have been enclosed by government guidelines telling us to ‘Stay at Home’.  Like many working parents, I start to juggle the accommodation of home working with homeschooling - my sphere is corralled further as I relocate my computer to a bedroom in search of working ‘space’.


 STAY AT HOME times three © Copyright Jaggery, from geograph.org.uk/p/6437309. Produced under a creative commons license.

As the artist-researcher on the ‘future’ strand of Wastes and Strays, I hope to engage communities around our four case study sites in creative explorations of their future visions for urban commons. My initial instinct is to get to the know the lay of the land; to invite local residents to guide me along a ramble, on foot and in word, so that I can come into contact with each common and each commoner’s know-how. I want to convivially walk and listen - to stories accompanied by blackcap warbles and flight path whines, to trails of thought infused with the fragrant petrichor of rain-drenched soil, to common knowledge shared along trodden paths of tarmac shock, gravel bounce and tussock spring. Listening is characteristic of my creative practice, my attentiveness, however, stretches beyond the oral-aural conversation to an engagement with all the physical senses. It is an approach grounded in my understanding that embodied listening is both a corporeal and social practice that recognises we, the human, as well as the non-human, are always in relation. In the collaborative events I generate participants might find themselves journeying through trails of moving, reminiscence and story, making with materials, writing and performance. The shifting between different forms of creative expression aim to foster exploration from different points of view. Instead, I sit grazing on digital images of the four commons’ landscapes and vicariously imagine bodily encounters at a distance. I sink into historical accounts unearthed by my fellow research associates.  Immersed in the past; my attention snags on correlations with the present. Not surprisingly, my awarenesses are lured towards other instances of constraint, when barriers were erected to curtail the everyday activities of working people. In other words, my thoughts turn to enclosure.

Fences. Photograph by Siobhan O’Neill

 Although our four case study commons were all touched by the second wave of enclosure in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the extent of incursion varied in each case. In Brighton, the common of Brighthelmstone was mostly overlaid by the piecemeal encroachment of the town, as open plain transformed into formal gardens and built facilities for the burgeoning seaside health resort. Whereas, the robust defence of rights of pasture made by the freemen of Newcastle ostensibly preserved the town’s common lands against the processes of ‘improvement’. The division and privatisation of common lands in England was arguably carried out in the name of increasing productivity. For urban commons, however, the notion of improvement extended towards ambitions to ‘tidy up’ and regulate open public space and to assuage the increased need for urban housing. All the same, enclosure was not simply a matter of inserting spatial boundaries within the landscape, of redefining legal definitions of property or economic rationalisation. Enclosure expropriated commoners from the land and in so doing, dismantled common people’s way of life. 

By Langley Bush I roam but the bush hath left its hill;

On Cowper Green I stray - ‘tis a desert strange and chill - 

And spreading Lea Close Oak ere decay had penned its will 

To the axe of the spoiler and self interest fell a prey; 

And Crossberry Way and old Round oak’s narrow lane 

With its hollow trees like pulpits I shall never see again. 

Enclosure like a Bonaparte let not a thing remain, 

It levelled every bush and tree and levelled every hill 

And hung the moles for traitors - though the brook is running still,

It runs a naked brook cold and chill.

Remembrances by John Clare[1]

Contemporary discourse on common property has redefined the commons to be viewed as not merely a noun but a verb as well. Historian Peter Linebaugh introduced the term ‘commoning’ in his book The Magna Carta Manifesto (2008), to depict the social practices through which shared resources are generated into a commons. As Linebaugh explains, “commoners think first not of title deeds, but of human deeds: how will this land be tilled? Does it require manuring? What grows there? They begin to explore. You might call it a natural attitude”. [2] Commoners physically interact with the land, it is through corporeal action that the common is collectively produced and maintained. Moreover, Linebaugh stretches this thinking further, for he wants us to understand that commoning is neither bodily action nor shared resource, but rather, it occurs in their inter-relation. Commons are embedded in the processes of labour that emerge in correspondence to a singular environment, whether field or upland, forest or coast. England’s commons, then, were lands infused with subsistence activities; where people foraged, pastured their animals, collected wood, quarried stone and gravel, as well as hunted and fished. Commons were also sites where customary traditions, festivities and recreational activities took place. It follows, then, that the enclosure and privatisation of common lands and the extinguishment of common rights manifestly deracinated existing ways of life. Barring ordinary people from the commons dispossessed them from their communal routines, customs and labour practices based in an economy of diversified resources. As an artist who works with the body and performance, I find myself drawn to consider the changes in embodied practices and customs that were tied up in this transformation of land ownership and usage.


Brighton. A Bird’s-eye View from the Preston Road by D Havell, 1819

 © Society of Brighton Print Collectors. Produced under a creative commons license.

In an earlier blog entry, fellow research associate, Sarah Collins, analysed a series of historical images depicting the gradual remodelling of the Steine in Brighton.[3] Viewing the illustrations, I too was attracted to the reflections of hybridity in spatial and embodied materialities. In the 1797 image On the Steine, Brighton, East Sussex by John Southerby, I can see how the town’s mariners would have landed their catches and hauled up their fishing boats in close proximity to the diverted eyes of bibliophiles in the library and the arrested ears of audiophiles tuned into a musical ensemble.[4] The engraving A Bird’s-eye View from the Preston Road by D Havell (viewed above) illustrates labourers cutting and binding up what to my untrained eye looks like sheaths of wheat. Brighthelmston Common here operated an open-field system in which individually owned strips of land were interspersed across the common. Once the crop was harvested, the land would have been opened up for pasturage.  Reference to ‘hempshares’ indicates that hemp would have been cultivated on strips; flax too was propagated. In this way, the commons provided the resources for rope-making and linen sail production in support of the local fishing industry. Mid-field in the picture, lines of laundry arc across the grassland between the streets, depicting the common custom of hanging out washing. In this case, domestic cloth but traditional use could also refer to the commercial, to the hand-loom weaver stretching out a woollen piece or the mariner drying fishing nets, as seen further down the valley upon the Steine. The images help to convey how rights of use manifest in bodily action, in the activities of sowing and reaping, of laying out and mending nets, of fingers twisting fibres into cord. 


 Beauties of Brighton Beach by Alfred Crowquill, 1825

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

In J. A. Erredge’s history of Brighton, he marks the changing occupation upon the Steine, from “the depository of the materials of the aborigines, for fishing,” to “the place of rendezvous for the nobility and gentry, the beaux and belles delighting to promenade there, expend their small talk, and listen to the strains of military bands.”[5] As the seaside health resort developed through the enclosure of common land to publicly managed pleasure grounds, so the mixed function of this public space gave way to genteel leisure pursuits of the urban elites. The word ‘aborigines’, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary means, “the earliest known inhabitants of a particular country”.[6] The mariners, then, are situated as the ‘earliest known inhabitants’, possibly in contrast to the leisure resort visitors, who as ‘newcomers’ gradually colonised the town. I wonder whether the mariners might not have wielded their antecedent claim to forestall the developments of the visitor attraction investors? Indeed, J. G. Bishop, another Victorian chronicler of Brighton, assigns the term “auncient custom” to describe the fishermen’s usage of the Steine,[7] evoking some sense of substance in the durability of tradition. In other instances of anti-enclosure resistance, commoners did argue judicial legitimacy based upon having exercised their common rights for ‘time immemorial’. The legal defence presented by the Pockthorpe Committee against the city of Norwich’s enclosure of Mousehold Heath (1880-83) is a case in point. The ascription of ‘time immemorial’ indicates how the longevity of customary practices, stretching back beyond individual living memory into collective remembrance, gave a sense of immutability. It also, I believe, correlates with the understanding of commoning as an iterative process, produced and reproduced through the interactions between indigenous inhabitant and inhabited place.  It is this sense that seems to inflect Linebaugh’s assertion that commoning is independent of “the temporality of the law and state”. Although he situates the protection of customary commons practices in the Charter of the Forests of 1217 (the lesser-known counterpart to the Magna Carta), he goes on to contend that the Magna Carta “does not list rights”, but rather, “grants perpetuities”.[8] Here, he invokes a temporal elasticity, in which practices of common can be seen to be rooted in the past and propagating the future. In the struggle against changing common rights of use, commoners, like Brighton’s mariners, aimed to both preserve their past-present customs and safeguard their present-future means of self-support. In similar vein, I suggest, the Wastes and Strays research project aims to open up an understanding of the past-present narratives of our four case study commons to enable citizens and researchers to co-generate multifaceted definitions of the present-future of the urban common. 


From 1773, however, the future of the Steine lay in the hands of the Town Commissioners. Writing in Pleasure Gardens in Georgian and Regency Seaside Resorts: Brighton 1750-1840, Sue Berry notes that despite popular resistance from the town’s fishermen, the Steine was enclosed in 1776.[9] Ostensibly, she argues, because many of the new commissioners held investments in leisure facilities and acted in their private interests. The following ‘improvement’ of the Steine encompassed levelling the ground, laying new turf and the creation of footpaths to facilitate a more genteel perambulation. Trees and shrubs were planted, both as ornament and as shelter from sun, wind and salt. Sections of land were corralled by wooden fence or iron railing. The seasonal stream was channelled to a sewer. Visitor residences, including the palatial Royal Pavilion, were constructed to circumscribe the Steine; thus, cementing its edges.[10] The extent of these ‘improvements’ represents a significant level of construction, and I might surmise that a sum of Erredge’s ‘aborigines’ supplied the necessary labour. It is difficult to measure the effect of the loss suffered by labourers, mariner or agricultural worker, of common right means to supplement their wages. Certainly, the labouring-classes socio-economic position would have determined the need for some workers to become enclosers; paid to fence off land and plant hedges. Accordingly, I imagine the same economic pressures that provoked the town’s fishermen to contest the changing use of the Stein might potentially have entangled them in the physical acts of its enclosure.


The intertwining relational trails between the labouring classes and the enclosure movement drew me to wander into the work of John Clare, both as labouring commoner and poet of the natural world. In truth, the diversion occurred by happenstance; my egress was inspired by a turn in homeschooling towards the Romantic poets. It is not to say, however, that the “peasant”[11] poet’s nightingale or fallen elm made an appearance next to Wordsworth’s daffodils or Blake’s lamb in the Year 7 curriculum. John Clare has been characterised as ‘the poet of the environmental crisis’,[12] for his work is seen to critique both the capitalist subjugation of the natural world in the enclosures of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the resultant environmental degradation seen today. Living through the enclosures of his native Helpston in Northamptonshire in the 1810s, Clare acts as a valuable witness to the ecological consequences. Just as the term ecology defines the relations and relationships between organism and environment, so Clare understands the mutuality between commoner and commons. Accordingly, his enclosure elegies speak of social and environmental collapse in the devastation wrought coevally on the natural landscape and on the rural labourer’s way of life.



John Clare statue in the grounds of his birthplace 

© Copyright  Peter Turner, from geograph.org.uk/p/5098264. Produced under a creative commons license.

Enclosure came and trampled on the grave

Of labourer’s rights and left the poor a slave;

And memory’s pride, ere want to wealth did bow,

Is both the shadow and the substance now… 

Thus, with the poor, scared freedom bade good bye

 And much they feel it in the smothered sigh,

 And birds and trees and flowers without a name

 All sighed when lawless law’s enclosure came;

 And dreams of plunder in such rebel schemes

 Have found too truly that they were but dreams.

 The Moors by John Clare[13]

For Clare, the consolidation of arable land, felling of trees, diverting of streams and laying of new roads resulted in irreversible damage to the local flora and fauna and dispossessed commoners’ of their social customs and independent livelihoods. However, Clare’s recourse to work as a manual labourer in enclosure gangs and as a lime-burner[14] appears to unsettle his anti-enclosure protest. Clearly, the social and economic reordering that emerged through enclosure was messy and paradoxical. Waged employment in the processes of ‘improvement’ did offer temporary amelioration from the effects of economic depression. Here, I notice analogous threads weaving through the narratives of Helpston, facing an agricultural depression, Brighton, encountering a decline in the fishing industry and Norwich, grappling with a downturn in the worsted trade. Clare, a landless labourer who’s family consistently faced penury, had no option but to take casual work when available. Writing in John Clare: Nature, Criticism and History, Simon Kovesi astutely notes; “a choice is a product of socio-economic power, and he (Clare) had none”.[15] I equally perceive the unexpected labours of enclosure in our pandemic present and potential future. Parents have adopted the role of teacher, extending both their working hours and areas of expertise in support of their children’s education. Considering the subtleties of poetic interpretation, it is perhaps not surprising that I was pulled into a parallel learning of critical analysis alongside my daughter. Workers have been tasked with quickly absorbing new modes of job-related communication, mastering new software in its execution, from conference calling to editing video presentations. Manufacturing labourers have modified their processes to produce PEE and medical equipment, so enabling a craft distillery to make sanitiser, a flooring manufacturer to produce parts for protective shields, a trench coat factory to fabricate non-surgical gowns and masks for patients.[16] Further parallels might be drawn in the way our current lockdown enclosure could transform working practices of the future. The apparent success of labourers’ adaptation to home working has led some employers to question the necessity of paying high rental charges for city centre office space. Although there are potential benefits, a reduction in commuting could increase workers time with family and decrease pollution, the socio-economic position of workers facing a new economic depression could also lead to an acceptance of inappropriate working conditions and social isolation. 

It is, however, Clare’s ability to write from lived experience that weights his poetics to explore the common peoples’ alienation from the environment and the attendant damage done to the common land. This position is most poignantly struck in the poem, The Lament of Swordy Well, when Clare humanises nature by giving a tract of enclosed land, not simply a human voice but the voice of a labourer on poor relief.

Alas, dependence, thou’rt a brute

Want only understands;

His feelings wither branch and root

That falls in parish hands.

The muck that clouts the ploughman’s shoe,

The moss that hides the stone,

Now I’m become the parish due,

Is more than I can own.

The Lament of Swordy Well by John Clare.[17]

In the poem, Clare deftly blends the land’s experience of enclosure with the experience of hardship suffered by a labourer dependent upon parish aid. At the time, enclosure and poor relief were both perceived by the authorities in terms of ‘improvement’, where one aimed to maximise agricultural productivity, the other promoted industrious and utile labour. In contrast, Clare characterised both as conjoined forms of exploitation. Exploitation founded in enclosure’s restructuring of natural resources and human labour as commodities subject to the fluctuations of the market economy.

Stepping back from Clare but maintaining his discerning eye, I notice in Erredge that paupers in Brighton were employed in “scavenging, cleansing, and watering the streets”.[18] In this employ, the bodies of the poor were harnessed up to “muck-trucks” to haul away equine manure and tied with ropes to “barrel-constructed water-carts” to wash down the roadways. In this way, Brighton’s ‘indigenous’ labourers may well have been conscripted to maintain the roads and pathways, which had been newly carved across the common. It is difficult for modern sensibilities to imagine the physical effort of such labours but, suffice to say, Erredge likens it to the heavy work undertaken by convicts in a government prison. Eventually, he records, the parish officers were “shamed out” of this system of exploiting those “whose only crime was poverty”. Only to substitute it with another “health-destroying” activity, the wheeling of shingle and sand from the beach to the workhouse in barrows. This, I reflect, is more akin to a physical task we might be able to recreate, although I wonder to what extent public participants would engage in such an action simply for an ‘authentic’ experience of the past. The workhouse - steeped in “dread” for Clare’s ‘Swordy Well’ pauper, functioned as a routine threat meted out to the “able-bodied” who failed to observe a commitment to industrious labour. The drudgery acted as a deterrent. Another drudge that coevally exploited Brighton’s natural coastal resources and workhouse labour was the collecting and crushing of oyster-shells in large iron mortars. Oyster shell was used in the construction of footpaths in the parks and, like burnt lime, as a fertiliser for the land. It was a material bound up with the privatisation and ‘improvement’ of the commons, both in arable land and in pleasure garden. In accord with Clare’s double-bind, then, Brighton’s out of work labourers became ensnared in the entanglement of enclosure, performing the physical tasks of a landscape transformation that ostensibly excluded them the land and its subsistence usufructs, which Linebaugh reminds us are the “goods or usages required for well-being”.[19]


 Oyster Shells. Photograph by Siobhan O’Neill

It is a recurrent narrative. It resounds in Norwich, when Mousehold Heath was similarly transformed into a public park by the city corporation in the 1880s. Through the local Act of Enclosure (1883), the inhabitants of neighbouring Pockthorpe lost the mutually informing common rights and economic independence that manifested in their local monopoly of gravel extraction and brick-making. Once again, out of work labourers, dependent upon the city’s unemployment fund, were compelled to supply the physical toil that advanced the landscaping of the Heath. Writing in The Battle of Mousehold Heath, Neil MacMaster observes that over three hundred and fifty unemployed men on poor relief were taken on as manual labourers for the task.[20] The extent of unemployment here points back to the unsustainable consequences of enclosure for the people who inhabited the commons, who became subject to the uncertainties of the waged labour market. Charged with the load of taking away the “roughness of various places”, the hired hands prepared the ground for the materialisation of the landscape architect’s plans. As human tools of enclosure they cleared land plots for turfing and tree-planting, excavated soil and banked it up for a new road, and poignantly, they broke down the edges of old gravel pits and filled up the holes.[21] In other words, the labourers dismantled the remnants of the industry, which had, in some instances, sustained their independent livelihoods. Enclosure induced a profound change in commoners’ relationship with the environment; although here the common transformed to public park, the broader ‘public’ were largely not involved in the management the land as commoners had previously been. 

In an attempt to imagine the physical action implicated in grinding mollusc shell with pestle and mortar, I detour, via a visual flashback, to the BBC One living history television series 24 Hours in the Past. The programme, as the marketing tagline promoted it, saw “six celebrities travel back in time to the relentless graft of Victorian Britain”.[22] Produced as an immersive experience, the performers spent ninety-six hours in a recreation of working-class industrial life, moving each day to a different form of labour and heritage location. Following the decline in their fortunes, the final episode saw the team arrive in The Workhouse, a National Trust property in Southwell. It was here, enclosed in the workhouse yard, that I recall actor Alistair McGowan, striking a heavy metal rod into a wooden mortar to crush chunks of bone. I remember how he physically struggled with the task, failing to complete even half of the expected quota. He spoke of the pressure ricocheting through the joints of his wrist with each thud of the staff. I was interested in the way the physical simulation seemed to put him in touch with an embodied experience of the past, actualising a bodily movement that has extensively disappeared from contemporary life.

I am aware, however, that living history, whether in the form of a television production or an immersive museum exhibit, can be problematic. In accord with broader critiques of the ‘heritage industry’, 24 Hours in the Past could be accused of presenting an overly simplified and commodified version of the past, from a historical narrative that might more accurately be seen as exploitative and unstable. On the one hand, the production amplified the voices of a typically under-represented working-class existence and certainly did not shirk away from representing the dirt, toil and hardship. On the other hand, the celebrity status of the participants and the immersive reality television format corroded ‘authenticity’ and manifested working-class life as “spectacle”. Nonetheless, I am still piqued by the sense of embodiment in the recreation of bone-crushing in a conserved Southwell workhouse. I notice how interpretation emerges out of the bodily action, as the “expert” historical commentary develops in response to McGowan’s reflections of the physical strain he experiences. So, historian Ruth Goodman, explains that for skilled labourers (potters, desk clerks, actors) the physical work of the workhouse “could destroy the tools of the trade, the hands”, and as a result, labourers would be unable to return to their trades even when work became available.[23] There is a reciprocity in the sense-making, here; it arises through the encounter between the ‘participant’, the material remnants of the past and the knowledge of the Victorian specialist. By fostering a playful and visceral engagement with historical narratives, performance can help nudge participants towards a consideration of the embodied and relational aspects of past worlds. There is potential here for our urban commons research to engage performance as a means to engender embodied ways of knowing. In this way, the recreation of commonplace activities that typically go unheeded may stretch understanding beyond the easily articulable.

Getting in touch with the past, I suggest, evokes a mutuality and I hear how McGowan is touched back with affect by his corporeal encounter with workhouse labour. Struck by the “awful” task of “thumping” bone, he goes on to question whether “mental illness and depression” would have been an issue for workhouse inmates. The thought reverberates within the past-present connection, recognising how his present self would have been overstretched in this past world. As he concluded, “I always try to see a way out, but boy that would have really”, he signalled to his head alluding to a prospective detrimental impact on his mind. I note his use of gesture, here, to convey what seemingly words cannot.[24] If I listen to the resonances of McGowan’s insight within my past-present ramblings on enclosure, I might attend to the deterioration in John Clare’s mental health, as his life progressed further away from the unmitigated relationship with the natural world of his youth. Clare’s poetry was also born out of immersion, it emanated from the proximity of open access, from daily wanderings across heath and common. His depictions of the natural landscape are absorbed, saturated with the minute detail of sight, sound, smell and texture, conveyors of an intimacy available through a commoner’s know-how. When the enclosure of Clare’s parish recast his right to roam as trespass the loss of the world he knew was intensely felt. It is a reminder that commoning is deeply affective; as commons emerge through relationship, so it shapes both human and other-than-human ‘subjects’. Clare’s subjectivity, then, was woven through with threads of the commons and his alienation from the landscape, in restricted access and its physical transformation, helped to prompt an unravelling of his self-recognition.

Into the nothingness of scar and noise, -

Into the living sea of waking dreams,

Where there is neither sense of life or joys,

But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;

'I Am’ by John Clare[25]

The correspondence between mental wellbeing and access to nature equally reverberates within our present lockdown. Enclosed citizens across the country have turned to neighbourhood green spaces as a place for exercise, recreation and relief. Certainly, as I venture abroad to walk along playing field and canal bank, the opportunity to view an open horizon lifts the dreariness levied by working within the confines to my domestic pen.


Walking the Blue Line[26]

 Photograph by Siobhan O’Neill

As I increasingly skirt around the proximal bodies of other citizens I surmise a renewed interest in utilizing semi-natural spaces within the urban environment, with potentially significant impact for the future of urban commons. The bodily doings of recreation in urban common sites is something I will return to in the next Wastes and Strays blog. For now, as lockdown measures start to ease I look forward to immersing myself in the sonority, aroma and texture of our sites, hopefully in the socially distanced accompaniment of some local commoners.


Dr Siobhan O'Neill

[1] John Clare. Remembrances in John Clare. 1997. Ed. R. K. R. Thornton. London: Everyman. pp. 68-69.

[2] Peter Linebaugh. 2008. The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 45.

[3] Sarah Collins, Changing visualisations of the Steine, Victorian Gardens and the Level (March 2020) is available on this website as a blogpost.

[4] John Southerby(1797) On the Steine, Brighton, East Sussex. Accessed April 27, 2020, https://research.ncl.ac.uk/wastesandstrays/wastesandstraysblog/.

[5] J. A. Erredge. 1862. History of Brighthelmston or Brighton as I View it and others Knew it, with a Chronological Table of Local Events.  Brighton: E. Lewis. p. 194. Accessed June 6, 2020, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/50551/50551-h/50551-h.htm#page62

[6] OED Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed June 26, 2020, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/243055

[7] J. G. Bishop. 1892. A Peep Into the Past: Brighton in the Olden Time, with Glances at the Present. Accessed July 9, 2020, https://archive.org/details/apeepintopastbr00bishgoog/page/n165/mode/2up )

[8] Peter Linebaugh. 2008. The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All. Berkeley: University of California Press, p. 45.

[9] Sue Berry (2000) ‘Pleasure Gardens in Georgian and Regency Seaside Resorts: Brighton 1750-1840’ in Garden History, Vol.28, No.2, p. 224.

[10] Ibid.

[11] John Clare’s first book, Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery, was published in 1820. On the title page Clare was presented as “A Northamptonshire Peasant”. The image was accessed in John Clare – Delphi Poets Series. 2013. Hastings: Delphi Publishing.

[12] George Monbiot used this description in the title of his article, ‘John Clare, the poet of the environmental crisis – 200 years ago’, which was published in The Guardian on July 9, 2012. Accessed July 2, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jul/09/john-clare-poetry

[13] John Clare. The Mores in John Clare. 1997. Ed. R. K. R. Thornton. London: Everyman. pp. 87- 89.

[14] Burnt lime or quicklime was used as a fertilizer on agricultural land to improve the quality of the soil. The 18th and 19th centuries saw an increase in the number of lime-kilns across England driven by the second wave of enclosures.

[15] Simon Kovesi. 2017. John Clare: Nature, Criticism and History. Oxford: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 19

[16] Jonny Williamson. ‘Every UK manufacturer Helping to produce PPE and equipment for NHS workers’ in The Manufacturer. Posted 16 Apr 2020. Accessed Aug 5, 2020, https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/every-uk-manufacturers-helping-to-produce-ppe-and-equipment-for-nhs-workers/)

[17] John Clare, The Lament of Swordy Well. in John Clare. 1997. Ed. R. K. R. Thornton. London: Everyman. pp. 82.

[18] J. A. Erredge. 1862. History of Brighthelmston or Brighton as I View it and others Knew it, with a Chronological Table of Local Events.  Brighton: E. Lewis. p. 60.

[19] Peter Linebaugh. 2008. The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 8.

[20] Neil MacMaster, (1990) ‘The Battle of Mousehold Heath 1857-1884: “Popular Politics” and the Victorian Public Park’ Past & Present 127. pp.117-154.

[21] Ibid.

[22] 24 Hours in the Past, BBC One listing broadcast 2015, accessed https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05t5l7t

[23] 24 Hours in the Past, 21:00 19/05/2015, BBC1 London, 60 mins. Accessed July 15, 2020 https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/0A0A1CB8?bcast=115666974

[24] Ibid.

[25] John Clare. ‘I Am’ in John Clare. 1997. Ed. R. K. R. Thornton. London: Everyman. p. 90.

[26] The blue line marks a one-mile path around the Douglas Eyre Sports Centre playing field. It is part of the Green Hearts project that aims to encourage local people to exercise. More information on the project can be found at https://www.lpff.org.uk/green-hearts/.