Lammas lands were lands that were privately owned but over which, by virtue of earlier feudal traditions, common grazing rights were exercised each year between Lammas Day (1st August Old Style, 12 August New Style - after 1752) and Lady Day (25 March). In Southampton from the 17th to the 19th centuries this was the status of the three common fields East and West Marlands and Houndwell, and also of Hoglands and the Saltmarsh. However, in Southampton the date common grazing rights were re-established after the private owners had brought in their crops was Michaelmas (29 September) "by long-established custom whose origins had been lost from sight" (Corporation Journals 18 February 1831, p 54.) Under the 1844 Marsh Improvement Act the council was empowered to drain and develop the Saltmarsh (the area around the old Terminus Station), and in return for the loss of common rights, the council agreed to turn the other Lammas Lands into public spaces for the use of the town’s inhabitants.


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