An allotment is an area of land used for growing fruit, herbs, flowers and vegetables, and in some cases the keeping of rabbits, hens or bees.
The origin of allotments in England can be traced back to Anglo-Saxon times, although the basis of modern allotments has its roots in the 19th century, when land was set aside for labourers and the poor to grow food.
After the First World War this right was extended to all and in 1925 the Allotments Act established statutory areas of land for cultivation, which local authorities were not permitted to sell off without government consent.
Allotment holders are required to sign a tenancy agreement with the landlord, usually an allotment society, outlining such things as the rent payable, activities that can take place, erection of sheds etc., and general behaviour expected of allotment tenants.
From an allotment tenancy agreement dated 1846 in Husbands Bosworth parish : "Every occupier is expected to attend divine service on Sundays; and any occupier who digs potatoes or otherwise works his land on Sunday shall immediately forfeit same."
Sutton Mandeville Allotments - History
In 1932, the Reverend Walter, Rector of All Saints, Sutton Mandeville gifted an area of Glebe (Church) Land to the Parish to be used as allotments for the benefit of the parishioners of Sutton Mandeville and adjoining parishes. The historical origins and usage of this area of flat land, which stretches from the cemetery to opposite Townsend, is unclear and today the allotments are only a small proportion of the whole.
The allotments are administered as the Walter Allotments Charity by three trustees, Jack Deverell, Antony Firth and David Willis, all residents of Sutton Mandeville. Further details can be found on the Charity Commission website. Charity Commission Number 260567.
There are ten allotment plots for rent, each one roughly 10 x 5 yards. These can be further subdivided into half plots. The rent per annum (2022) is £25 per plot (half plot £12.50) - payable in January each year.
Currently there is 100% occupancy.
The outgoings for Sutton Mandeville Allotments are approximately £280 per annum, which includes insurance and water rates (there is a tap on site). Income is the rent from the plots and from some land outside the allotment enclosure.
The soil is fertile and friable and has a sunny south easterly aspect. The plots are surrounded by deer fencing and is presently, as it has been for some time, rabbit free.
Above all it is a wonderfully peaceful location, backed by trees, which is greatly enjoyed by those who cultivate their plots.
For those who don’t know, the allotments are located on Sutton Hill approximately 100 yards uphill from the post box. They can be reached by taking the track that leads to the cemetery.
*All enquiries to Jack Deverell 07899 793069
Further information about allotments: National Allotment Society