The two northerly common fields of medieval Southampton were known as East and West Marlands. They were named from their contiguity to the medieval hospital of St. Mary Magdalen, Marlands being a corruption of Magdalene. The area of East Marlands is now covered by Andrews' and Palmerston Parks and West Marlands by Watts Park and the Civic Centre complex and adjacent streets. These common lands, originally called the East and West Garstons (a name which persisted into the late 13th century), were known as Lammas Lands because the crops had to be harvested on Lammas Day, 1 August. Under the 1844 Marsh Improvement Act the council was empowered to drain and develop another area of common land, the Saltmarsh (the area around the old Terminus Station). In return for the loss of common rights, the council agreed to turn the other Lammas Lands into public parks for the use of the town’s inhabitants.


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