Commons Stories

 

What is a ‘Commons Story’?

A Commons Story is a brief history of a common which can include local knowledge and research, reminiscences, personal testimonies, photographs etc.  It can be contributed by commoners, local historians, community groups and/or anyone with an interest in their local common, and they can work singly or in groups.  It can be of the contributor’s own design, take the form of a short statement or longer essay, or it can be based on one of our Historical Questionnaires.  It can be as brief or as detailed as the contributor wishes – even a little information helps to reveal the rich and varied history of common land in England and Wales.

Horses on Bomby Green, Bampton, Cumbria, 1970 (photo: Bowman family, copyright BDLHS)
Horses on Bomby Green, Bampton, Cumbria, 1970 (photo: Bowman family, copyright BDLHS)

Why submit a story?

Local communities hold a substantial body of memory and knowledge regarding the use and management of their common lands, particularly covering the twentieth century – a period of great social and environmental change.  Few of these vital local memories have ever been recorded and they are in danger of being lost.  Sending us a Commons Story helps to preserve local knowledge and a distinctive ‘common’ culture for the future, and helps us to increase wider public understanding of common land in England and Wales.

How to Submit

For information on how to create and submit a Story for your common, please see the Toolkit and Questionnaire pages, or get in touch via our Contact page.

 

COMMONS STORIES:

BAMPTON COMMONS, CUMBRIA

DITCHLING COMMON, EAST SUSSEX

FRENSHAM COMMON, SURREY

GRINTON PARISH COMMONS, SWALEDALE, NORTH YORKSHIRE

SUDBURY COMMONS, SUFFOLK

 

Other sites:

Many commons, commoners and conservators have their own dedicated webpages, with histories, contacts and other information.  Our online directory lists over 30 such cases: Common Land on the Web.

Case studies and local histories of individual commons in Cumbria, North Yorkshire, Norfolk and Powys can also be found on our archive pages, as these formed part of our Contested Common Land Project (2007-2010). To find out more please follow this link: Case Studies.