By: Blonde One
Copyright Ordnance Survey
A new area has been explored lately by the Two Blondes And we discovered lots of lovely interesting things. Our recent stay in Brockenhurst for the Ordnance Survey get together of #GetOutside Champions included a morning’s walk in a small section of the New Forest. Although we didn’t need to, we couldn’t resist keeping an eye on our own map and were fascinated to discover multiple ‘inclosures’. We had no idea why they were inclosures rather than enclosures.
A quick internet search informed me that the forest was originally used for producing wood for the Royal Navy and the process of enclosing (note: not inclosing) common land for this purpose dates back as far as 1698. The trees were originally beech and oak although conifer is more common now.
What I couldn’t find was why inclosure. So I can only assume that it’s a regional variation in dialect … unless you know different!
I have had the same conflict in my mind. I always say enclosure but all the maps say inclosure. I can only assume that because ‘inclosures’ were enclosed after the Tree Growing Act of 1483 at a time when spelling was variable and largely governed by how it was spoken that ‘inclosure’ was written down by an official and it has persisted to the present day. If anything, then, the dialect was probably of the governing class of the day. That is not an authoritative answer, just my guess.
How fantastic that there was a ‘Tree Growing Act’. Dialect differences make the English language so much more interesting!
In the lexicon of the New Forest an inclosure is an interference with the common rights on the Forest, granted by statute for the purpose of timber growing. An enclosure is an process which extinguishes those rights. See Tubbs also Stagg also Reeves