In 1815, immediately after the Napoleonic Wars, the Hornsey Enclosure Act extinguished the common rights and turned the Waste into pieces of private property. The Enclosure Map4 shows how the land was divided up, the number of each plot and, where there is room, the areas in acres roods and perches. A Schedule accompanying the map gives all details and the names of the lessees. often the same plot shapes can be followed right up to today.


A detail from the 1815 Enclosure Map of Fortis Green.4superscript

Several houses were built along Fords Green soon after 1815. We have already considered Salvin's two houses, which were built in an Italianate style, while others were Gothic Revival.

Various conveyances and assigmnents which tell the stories of the sites are full of interest and their extraordinary language is worth quoting. A typical lease of this period said:-

'The Court Baron of the Right Honorable and Reverend Father in God William by Divine permission Lord Bishop of London at the aforesaid Manor held at the House known as the Gatehouse at Highgate 31st October 1816 before Thomas Dickens Esq Steward of the Manor.

Whereas the commissioners named by a certain Act of Parliament passed 17 June 1816 Did award and allot into the devises of Josias Lister Esq. deceased, late one of the copyhold or Customary Tenants of the said Manor --- and so we also Award into the Devises of Josias Lister Esquire deceased All that allotment of Waste land containing 3 roods and 16 perches e;opyhold on Fords Green bounded on the South East by Fords Green and North West by Coldfall Wood. William Lister and Thomas Andrews prayed to be admitted to the said allotment of land and premise --- at the yearly rent of sixpence payable on the Feast Day of St Michael and such services as the said Copyhold Tenants are wont to perform.'

The houses must have been built fairly soon after 1815 as a vellum indenture, dated 2 August 1822, records the lease of one of them for one year to Mr J.P. Woolley. The drawing on another indenture dated 1901, reproduced here, shows three houses built on lot 62 to which I have added measurements. Their combined areas total 3 roods 15 perches, which compares very accurately with the 3 roods 16 perches on the 1815 map. The various indentures and conveyances each add some extra detail, either describing a house, or explaining how it was owned. In 1865, for example, 'the dwelling house and premises, with the Chaise House, Stabling and gardens, together with the spring water pump jointly with the occupier for the time being of the adjoining premises, were assigned for 21 years at an annual rent of £45.' By 1880 the rent had become £71, and by 1902, £85. A very modest inflation compared to modern times.

 

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4 London Metropolitan Archive.

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