The Town Hill Enclosure Act of 1762

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The following pages are a copy of the original 1762 Enclosure Act which transformed the Town Hill in the centre of Swansea. This document is important for a number of reasons:

  • It dates from the classic period of Parliamentary Enclosure which transformed much of the British landscape at the end of the eighteenth century. 

  • It is one of the few surviving documents that give us a definite picture about early Swansea landscape.

  • It gives a fascinating insight into the workings of the early town when the Burgesses would decide on civil matters in a very closed and undemocratic manner. 

  • It contains (we are reliably informed!) the longest and most comprehensive mines and minerals clause ever seen in a Welsh land document. Put simply, the person who drew this document up was unaware of the actual value of the coal seams under the hill but was determined to ensure that any profit to be gained from any coal mining at any time in the future would be strictly controlled. This is the most perfect example of shrewd 'futureproofing' that we have ever seen in a local land document. 

There will be a more comprehensive article on Swansea's Enclosure Act in a forthcoming issue of the web. Meanwhile heres the original Act for those that wanted the real thing.

More about Swansea's Acts of Parliament

 

 

The View for Sunday October 15 2000

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