A disappearing landscape: the heathlands of the Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire borders 1750-1914

Dr Alan Crosby
8 March 2016

Alan is, among many other things, editor of The Local Historian, the quarterly journal of the British Association for Local History.

Between the late 18th and mid-20th centuries a unique and highly distinctive landscape, covering 100,000 acres and only 25 miles from London, almost completely disappeared. The heaths and commons of West Surrey, North Hampshire and East Berkshire fell victim to enclosure, urbanisation, the land hunger of the military, the building of great institutions, and the natural process of woodland encroachment. Hardly a voice was raised in protest - indeed, most commentators welcomed the transformation. This extraordinary story explains how one of the poorest parts of Georgian England now has some of the most expensive real estate on the planet.

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