Bagthorpe Isolation Hospital

“Heathfield Hospital”

The Enclosure Act

The Enclose Act simply meant: - “The extinction of common rights where people held over farm land and commons of the parish, the abolition of the scattered holdings in the open fields and reallocation of holdings in compact blocks, accompanied usually by the physical separation of the newly created fields and closes by the erection of fences, hedges or stone walls. Thereafter, the lands so enclosed were held ‘in severity’ that is, they were reserved for the sole use of the individual owners or their tenants.”

As a consequence of the Enclosure Act, in 1792 the Enclosure Commissioners of Basford, Nottingham were formed with the sole purpose of enclosing Basford and its surrounding areas. However it wasn’t until 1797 that the actual enclosure took place, which is where the story of the City Hospital really begins. It was in that year that 131 acres of land between the present day Hucknall Road and Arnold Road was allotted, in lieu of Tithes to the Reverend Robert Stanser, the Vicar of Basford, and 40 acres of land between Edwards Land and Sunrise Hill to the Ranger of Thorneywood, Lord Stanhope, the Earl of Chesterfield. Those that were also to benefit by the enclosure were Henry Cavendish, the Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme who lived at the time in the Ducal Palace the Nottingham Castle. It was he who also owned the present day Park Estate, an estate he founded in 1674 which he used as his hunting grounds.

As an example of the enclosure act and its effects of the surrounding area, in page 43 of G. E. Mingay’s Book ‘Parliamentary Enclosure in England, it says: - Nottingham is an interesting example of an important industrial city whose expansion was severely limited by the enclosure act. The Duke of Newcastle’s hunting park to the west, the marshy nature of the land bordering the Trent to the South, and the small dairymen who held land to the east. This ‘cow-acracy,’ as they were called, found their business so profitable that they long resisted blandishments to sell. As a consequence Nottingham, from being a pleasant market town, became one of the most congested of the industrial cities.

To give a further example and to quote from the 1792 Act for the Enclosure of Basford and in particular from the section concerning the ‘Allotments of Glebe Lands,’ it is quoted as saying: -

“That the said Commissioners shall sell out and allot unto and for the said Henry Cavendish, his Heirs and Assigns such Parcel or Parcels of Land as shall in their Judgement be full Satisfaction and Compensation for his Glebe Lands as are unenclosed, and Common Right, within the said parish, and shall also let out and allot unto the said Robert Stanser and his Successors, Vicars as aforesaid, such Parcel or Parcels of Land as in their judgement shall be full satisfaction and Compensation for his Glebe Lands as are unenclosed, and likewise for his Right of Common as afore said

Enclosure Act of Basford 1797

Land Lot 163. Vicar of Basford, Rev. Robert Stanser for Tithes

Finally as a consequence of the 1797 Enclosure of Basford the area became subject to landowner rights of way. The present day Valley Road was after the enclosure act a public right of way, or rather a public footpath, which extended from Daybrook to Basford. It was to remain as a footpath until the early 1930’s when it was developed into a road. Also, the land which now occupies the Sherwood Housing Estate and Her Majesties Prison on Perry Road was land which once belonged to the Duke of Newcastle. The Sherwood Housing Estate was developed as a cons4quence of the 1919 Housing Town and Planning Act, an act which was the embryo of today’s urban sprawl.

South view of the City Hospital during World War 1 before the development of Valley Road and the Sherwood Housing estate.

To return to the land owned by the Vicar of Basford. It wasn’t until 1883 that an interest was shown by the Nottingham Corporation Health Committee, when a decision was made to relocate the Garden Hospital at the bottom of Woodborough Road in Nottingham to Bagthorpe and the land belonging to the Vicar of Basford. Altogether, for the right to develop the land the Nottingham Corporation, Health Committee 2 years to purchase the land with a further 7 years on top of that before the Bagthorpe Isolation Hospital was opened on the 15th July, 1892.

The location of the “Garden Hospital,” 1881, This hospital or isolation unit built between 1871 & 1872 in answer to a small pox epidemic in which there was 500 recorded cases

Bagthorpe Isilation Hospital