I have had an allotment in several locations for over 40 years. Apart from cultivating them, I developed an interest in the history of allotments and of growing. This page provides access to various items that I have penned over the years.
A Brief History of Allotments starts with the setup in feudal England in the late Saxon and early Norman period; tells of the gradual disappearance of land for villagers to cultivate; outlines the slow appearance of allotments from 1770; and tracks their history through to the present day.
A Brief History of Cultivation in England prior to the Allotment Movement starts with Neolithic Man around 4000BCE. It progresses chronologically up to the time of the Tudors and the Stuarts before it switches to addressing individual subjects, starting with Market Gardening.
A History of Sunningdale Allotments in Berkshire. It dates back to the late 1870s. Set up by the local vicar, Rev. William Raffles Flint (nephew of Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore), it eventually became the responsibility of Sunningdale Parish Council in 1896.
Links to the histories of UK allotment sites. I started to collect the links to the histories of individual sites around 2008. Some are quite detailed while the majority tend to be what I call brief, potted histories. I review the links at least once a year, usually around autumn time, and update them as appropriate. I will gratefully receive any new links and add them to the list.
A reasonable amount of interest has been generated by this scanned copy of an advisory handbook for running allotments which was produced by the National Association of Parish Councils in 1951 to help councils manage allotment sites. It was one of a range of publications that were produced for parish councils around that time.
New to an Allotment. Some years back I persuaded twelve plot holders on our site to discuss their experiences. I collated the information in the form of two documents. New to an Allotment aims to provide some (hopefully) useful information to new plot holders who have little experience of growing on an allotment.
Approaches to Cultivation is the second document. There is no set way to grow crops. Different plot holders employ different techniques, e.g. some dig, others do not. This article outlines different approaches. It makes no attempt to recommend one method over another.
FAQs from plot holders. Various questions come up from time to time on growing individual crops or coping with specific pests / diseases. They are mostly asked by new(ish) plot holders, but not always. Additional items are therefore periodically added to this topic.
Blog from the 2010 growing season. Probably against my better judgement, I produced this blog. It covers the twelve month period from December 2009 through to November 2010 on a month by month basis, detailing warts and all.
Miscellaneous Items. Garden Recipes primarily covers homemade sprays et cetera for those who do not wish to use chemicals when tackling pests and diseases. Harriet Roach, a former plot holder, wrote up her first year experiences on her plot some years ago. Finally, here is a list of hopefully useful links.
Other Allotment Wittering
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in the World of Allotments. I originally penned my views on allotments in 2011. A slightly revised version was produced in 2018.
Allotments: Their History and Cultivation. These are slides (22MB pdf file) from a presentation that I gave to the Sunningdale and District Gardening Association in February 2016. It includes several drawings that were taken from The Allotment Chronicles, written by Steve Poole and published by Silver Link Publishing in 2006.