The Greens

Common Land

The Population

The village is possibly the conflation of three villages or hamlets which may have existed as entities 1000 years ago. Lockerley, as it is presently known, is the main village and has two centres about 1.5km apart Lockerley Green situates the shop and Butts Green the village hall. The area of the village known as Lockerley Green seems to have existed at some period in the middle ages as its own village or hamlet. Finally Holbury with its mill would have been the third component.  Go to Top

The Greens of Lockerley

1892map lock 01

 These days the village is based around four main greens which are dedicated as common land. The topic of common land dates back well before the Norman Conquest as William, by all accounts, was not the most generous of men descended as he was from Norse stock (hence norman or norse-man) and he would not have been given to acceding access to land such as the New Forest to commoners unless the right had been well established before his arrival. There is a passage in the laws of King Ine dating in the eara 688 to 694 AD which suggests that open fields (incidentally the origin of the name of Sherfield and of Shirley in Southampton) were common meadows and pastures in Wessex.  Go to Top

Common Land and Greens

The book The Common Lands of England and Wales by L Dudley Stamp and W G Hoskins (Collins, 1963) is based on a review of common land, including village greens, carried out by Dr Tavener for the UK government in 1957 (published 1958). It provides a detailed review of common lands and the law relating to it.

Common land is land which, though owned, provides the right of free access and prevents the owner from erecting any structure, fence or building.

The four greens identified in the reference are Lockerly [sic] Green (approx 6.5Ha), Butts Green (1.54Ha), Top Green (4.5Ha) and Critchalls [sic] Green (3Ha) and, in the reference, are noted in Tavener's review as "controlled for use by residents of the parish". Lockerley Green is owned by the Parish Council, Butts Green has been gifted to the Parish Council, Top Green is owned by a local farming family, Critchells Green is owned by the same familiy but has been leased long term in order enable the management of access which should inhibit its use as a summer camp and waste ground for travelling persons.

The original four greens have been joined by the declaration of the green in Oval road as a green space - common land - following satisfactory negotiations between Aster and the parish council to whom will fall the responsibility of its management.

One curious space - it is a quite small area perhaps not more than 2500 sqm or 0.25Ha - is known (very) locally as Tote (Hill) Green. It is located on the border of the current Lockerley parish at the junction of Tote Hill and the road to Sherfield English and it may also be known as North common. Pendle Green is not a common land area despite its name.  Go to Top