The Garden Guide

Book: London Parks and Gardens, 1907
Chapter: Chapter 8 Commons and Open Spaces

Select Committee on Open Spaces

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The report of the Select Committee on Open Spaces in 1865 pointed out in the same way, that although the right to these common lands had been enjoyed from time immemorial, the rights were vague as far as the public at large were concerned. They were probably limited to a certain defined area or body of persons, as the inhabitants of a parish, and it was doubtful if the custom would hold good at law for such a large place as London. Thousands of people from all parts of London trampling over a common was a very different thing to the free use of it by the parishioners. This report led to the passing of the Metropolitan Commons Act of 1866. Both before and after this Act there were several others for the maintenance and regulation of the commons and all the parks, gardens, and open spaces too numerous to mention (See "Chitty's Statutes," by J. M. Lely, under "Metropolis.").