Oxted & District History Society - Talk
Oxted & District History Society

John Tolley, assisted by his son, Ian, gave an illustrated lecture to the Oxted & District History Society on ‘An Enclosure of the Waste at Limpsfield’.

Tenants of the Manor of Limpsfield traditionally enjoyed rights on the Waste or Common at Limpsfield.  These rights enabled tenants to graze animals, collect wood, fodder and animal bedding and make ends meet.  Without them, tenants could end up as paupers, a burden on the Parish ratepayers and even in the Limpsfield Workhouse.  The status quo was threatened when, as a result of the extravagance of Marmaduke Gresham, the assets of the Manor had to be sold off after his death in 1742 to pay his debts.  The Limpsfield Commoners’ rights were diluted as a result and their grievances aired at a meeting at ‘The Bull’.

Although the Gresham fortunes were restored as a result of the marriage of the Gresham heiress to William Leveson-Gower in 1804, the rights of the Commoners were still under threat.  At a meeting at the ‘Lord Rodney’ in 1846, 17 members of the Limpsfield minor gentry resolved to attempt to enclose Limpsfield Common.  However the proposal failed and Limpsfield Common was eventually passed to the National Trust in 1972.


An Enclosure of the Waste at Limpsfield