'A garden to every cottage': cottage gardens and the nineteenth-century agricultural labourer

Tankard, D. (2019) 'A garden to every cottage': cottage gardens and the nineteenth-century agricultural labourer. Agricultural History Review, 67 (2). ISSN 0002-1490

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This article considers the economic, social and moral value attached to the gardens of agricultural labourers from c.1830 to c.1910. Its focus is southern England, with a particular emphasis on Sussex. The allotment movement gained a new impetus in the wake of the Swing Riots of 1830 but the spread of allotments across the country was extremely uneven. In Sussex they were never widespread and labourers were generally forced to rely on their gardens to help provision the household. However, garden size varied widely, with some cottages having very small gardens, and some having none at all. To encourage productive gardening agricultural and horticultural societies held annual shows, awarding cash prizes for ‘best cultivated garden’ and ‘best vegetables’, with entrants being examined for their moral probity and domestic management. For labourers, economic necessity was balanced by an enjoyment of aesthetic gardening. Flower gardens, usually located at the front, allowed labourers to display their respectability and social worth.

Publication Type: Articles
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Arts and Humanities > History
Depositing User: Danae Tankard
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2019 13:56
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2022 00:10
URI: https://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/4915

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