The Lomonds Commonty Allocation of 1818

The 1815 Act of Parliament was passed to divide the communal land of the Lomond hills and allot precisely defined plots to claimants. This map accompanies the document “Dividing the Commonty of the Lomonds of Falkland”. It details exactly who got what. (use the mouse and browser zoom settings to see more detail)

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The supporting narative to the map is enclosed here Dividing the Commonty of the Lomonds of Falkland. The crown appointed Sir William Rae, advocate to undertake the exercise and was conducted between 1815/18.  This PDF file is text searchable.

The document details that 2578 acres of land spanning East and West Lomond and divided into 83 plots. The “new” owners would appear to have been obliged to pay rates amounting to £745 and 10 shillings in 1818/19. This sum equates to £44600 per annum in 2017 money (according to http://www.moneysorter.co.uk/). In fact the majority of the claimants also owned adjacent land but co-owned the commonty with their immediate neighbours. The Act of 1815 formalised ownership and thus created value for the Crown by creating an obligation to pay rates on the land.

The land allocations were delineated on the hills with stones like this one. About half of them (134) remain according to the “Living Lomonds” project (see bottom document).

 

The size of plots vary enormously with a concentration of small strip plots to the south of Falkland village.

In an article (http://neilslegalstuff.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/1695-and-all-that-dividing-commons.html), the author notes “….commonties were owned jointly by neighbouring landowners. [ The term commoner is misleading as the land was jointly owned by existing land owners]. [Owners] owned their commonty as adjuncts to their estates rather as the owners of flats in a tenement own the back green in common. [The Legislation created] a procedure whereby any co-owner could apply for a commonty to be physically divided such that, after the division, each would have exclusive ownership of a discrete portion of it. Landowners already owned commonties and the Act merely rearranged their rights in them.”

The above refers to an Act of 1695. So “take up” in the Lomonds was evidently slow. A more detailed explanation of the the Falkland commonty and its “privatisation” can be found via this link http://www.livinglomonds.org.uk/media/6763/wr-1818-boundary-stone-report.pdf  which also explains the context of the 1815 Act.