9.   The nineteenth century - enclosure

Stebbing Shaw’s county history of 1801 says that Tettenhall then contained 7,551 acres of enclosed land (of which 250 acres were woodland) and 1000 acres of "wasteland". The population was about 2,000 and there were 332 houses.

These 2,000 people would have been spread over the whole of this large parish; but at this time there were very few people in Tettenhall Wood - a large stretch of land running from where Tettenhall College now stands to where the Mount Hotel now stands. This was part of the waste, which was not necessarily barren and useless land but simply land which had not been included in the open fields, and on which villagers could pasture their animals and, usually, take firewood or almost anything else that was useful. But Tettenhall Wood was, in fact, a fairly bare common, not a tree in sight, but only a few gorse and broom bushes. (It is said that Wolverhampton's first horse races took place on it).

Wood Road, Tettenhall Wood, laid out under the enclosure Act, and soon lined with gentlemen's residences.

By 1806, and probably well before then, all of the open fields in Tettenhall had been enclosed, turning all the old vast fields of strip cultivation into individually owned, smaller, fenced off, fields of the type we are familiar with today. There is no trace of any enclosure legislation covering Tettenhall (or any nearby area) and doubtless all this enclosure had been carried out by agreement between the Lords of the Manors and anyone else with a legal interest in the land. There is one exception: in the case of Tettenhall Wood it seems that such an agreement was not forthcoming and legislation was resorted to. The common was parcelled out, and new roads, such as Wood Road and Mount Road, were made. The last vestiges of the medieval farming system had been removed.

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