Common Grazing in the Northern English Uplands, 1800-1965: A History of National Policy and Local Practice with Special Attention to the Case of Cumbria

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An examination of how traditional commons management systems were maintained, altered, or abandoned in the modern period. This book contains five black and white photographs.


“. . . provides valuable empirical scholarship against which the theoretical approaches of scholars such as Garrett Hardin and Elinor Ostrom can be evaluated.” – Prof. Christopher P. Rodgers, Newcastle University

“. . . a work that will interest not only historians but those seeking modern solutions to the problem of how to engage communities in local democracy and management plans. It shows how ‘commons’ were never ‘common property’ of all comer, but places where individuals had defined and often complex rights of use.” - Prof. Chris Smout, St Andrews University

“. . . manages to be scholarly and demanding while presenting an accessible and compelling account of a period for which much of the commons vanish from the historical view. It is also national in argument but local in its precise historical account—a difficult combination to make successfully. . . . A central part of its undoubted importance is to direct our attention away from the classic period and landscapes of enclosure—that is away from the lowlands, the south and the midlands in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, to the uplands of the north and west in the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries. . . . By adding the crucial upland dimension to this argument we are given a much fuller and far more interesting account then the one that currently dominates.” - Prof. Alun Howkins, University of Sussex

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
Foreword by Professor Christopher P. Rodgers
Part I: The Commons in Cultural Context
1. From Enclosure to Preservation, c.1800-1900
2. ‘The Problem of Common Land’, c.1900-1965
Part II: The Upland Commons of Cambria
3. Manor Courts in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Continuation and Crisis
4. Indigenous Management Institutions: Parishes and Commoners’ Associations
5. Statutory Management Institutions: Regulated Pastures and Commons
Archival Sources
Select Bibliography

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