Plot holders from 1833-1836
The earliest date that plots were rented out was March 1833. The original book of tenancy agreements is kept in the London Metropolitan Archives. The allotments were divided into North, West and East: North being the area which is now Dean Gardens; West being the main area of allotments on the other side of Northfield Avenue, now housing estates; and East is the now-named Northfields Allotments.
The plots to the East
The plots were originally 20 poles in size, which is double that of a full plot today. This was the standard size for a plot in the 1800’s. There were 49 plots on the East side, starting with No.1 in the south near Occupation Road and running up to No.49 at the northern end by Mattock Lane. These plots are believed to have run the full width of the allotment with no long path running down the centre. There was a pond in the bottom corner where plot 146 is located and a pond in the top right corner where plot 241 is today. The wide path that runs across the middle of the allotments was initially turned into a plot numbered 25. Within a year or two it was returned to a pathway and called the “Road to Humphries field” which gave access to the fields Mrs Humphries rented to the east of the allotments, where Loveday Road is now.
My plot 198 was originally numbered No.28 East in 1833 and the first plot holder listed was a Mr John Caves (sometimes spelt without the ’s’). He was 70 years old when he took on the plot on 22nd March 1833 and was recorded in 1841 as a labourer, living at Haven Lane just north of Haven Green. John Caves was born in 1762 and married Elizabeth Rayner in St. Mary’s Church in 1795. They both signed the marriage register with a cross showing that they were unable to write their names.
In 1835 John Caves was accused of stealing crops but it was later realised that it was his son William Caves who had plot East 11 who had stolen the cabbages, the details of the minutes recording the issue are as follows:
Ealing Dec 5th 1835
Mr James Hemmings, Mr Thos. Meacock, Mr James Strudwick, Mr CL Allen.
John Cave appeared to show cause why he should not be dispossessed of his allotment for trespassing on Messer and Rook’s allotments & it appearing that he was summonsed by mistake instead of his son William Cave holding lot 11 in the East Side but that it was evident Wm Cave had knowledge of the charge intended to be brought against him of his attendance being required to answer the same the Committee Resolved to hear the evidence presented by Police Sergeant Ed Whitnall as agreed to at the last meeting of the general committee who stated as follows
“Thos. James told me he saw Wm Cave cut four heads of cabbage off the allotment of Charles Messer and attempt to hide them, that Thos. James took them off the ground and carried them to the owner.
Mrs Major also told me she saw Wm Cave take a quantity of cabbage plants off James Rooks ground and plant them in his own.”
Mr Hemmings confirmed the Police Sergeant’s statement he having seen Thomas Jones & Mrs Major & they made the same statement as that delivered by Sergeant Whitnell.
Resolved that William Cave be dispossessed of his allotment and that proper notice be given to him to quit the same within 3 days.
John Caves continued cultivating his allotment until, at the age of 80, he gave it up in 1843. He died three years later aged 84 and was buried at St Mary’s, Ealing, on 30th Aug 1846.
We have edited the 1832 map of Ealing Dean common to show the plot holders names from 1833-1836. You may be able to see the names of the plot holders who had your current plot?