History - Did you know?

OLDEST LONDON ALLOTMENT - This is the oldest existing allotment in London. It was created as an allotment in November 1832. The first plot holders signed the tenancy agreement from 22nd March 1833 onwards. In around 1830 it is  believed by Dr. Burchardt, the historian that there were around 100 allotments in England.

EARLY APPEARANCE - In 1832 Northfields would have looked very different from today. There were very few houses around North field lane (as it was know) A lot of early plot holders came from Brentford. In 1800 the surrounding fields were all arable land which would have been used for growing crops, there were Meadow fields where Walpole park is now situated. There would have been a road side ditch that ran down Northfield Avenue culminating in a pond which was located where plot 146B is now. The image above is from 1894 but is very likely to be similar to how the allotment and surrounding area looked like in 1832.

PLOT SIZES - The original size of the plots were 20 poles. This is twice the size of an existing “Full” plot and believed to run the full width of the allotment therefore there was no centre path running up the allotment. This was a standard size for plots in the 1800’s. By 1910 the standard size had become a  ten pole plot.

ORIGINAL NAME - This allotment was originally known as Ealing Dean Common Allotments after the fact that it was previously a common. Local people had to sign a agreement to give up their right to use the land in the creation of the allotment deeds. The name was changed by Pathways to Northfield allotments in around 1992.

MAIN CROPS - The two most popular crops grown in allotments in the mid 1800’s were Potatoes followed by Wheat. It is believed that around half of allotment land was put down to potatoes, the remainder consisting mainly of wheat and barley.

EAST, WEST, NORTH SIDES – The allotment was originally larger and on both sides of Northfield Avenue. This side was known as the “East” side. While the area west of Northfield Avenue was known as the “West” and where Dean Gardens is now was known as the “North”. The Allotments to the west were compulsory purchased by Ealing Council in the mid 1970’s. The north section was accuired Ealing Local board as Pleasure gardens in 1910. Haslemere allotments were purchased and created to house plot holders who lost their plots to the Dean Gardens development.