Enclosure of the allotment land
1832 is an important date in the history of the site. This is when Charles James Blomfield, the Bishop of London, ensured the enclosure of the land for use as allotments. The original paperwork is in the London Metropolitan Archive. It is a little difficult to read - hence the question marks below. But, we think this is the best transcription available:
"I Charles James Bishop of London as Lord of the Manor of Ealing, otherwise Zealing in the County of Middlesex, do hereby consent, in so far as by law I may or can, to the Enclosure of All that piece or Parcel of Waste or Common Land or Ground called Ealing Dean Common within the said Manor containing twenty Acres two Roods and sixteen perches or thereabouts according to the plan hereunder(?) arranged(?), in order that the same may be occupied solely in Allotments of not more than one Rood to each person, by poor Parishioners of the said Parish of Ealing to be appointed by a Committee of Management, of whom the Vicar for the time being, always to be on.
The Bishop tells us that each person should be allocated no more than one Rood - which is about a quarter of an acre or 10,890 sq ft, approximately 1,011 sq metres. Today we only rent out half-plots to newcomers - around 6m x 15m = 90 sq m.
The Bishop's letter also mentions that the plots should go to "poor Parishoners' which seem like a Christian and altruistic thing to do. However, he may have had other motives, according to Blomfield's biographer Malcolm Johnson. "The Bishop thought that the Church should provide rival attractions, such as mens clubs, and his Ealing allotments laid out in 1832 were an attempt to substitute his beloved gardening for drinking as a pastime."