This is the author's final draft of the article published as Landscape History, 2007, 29, pp.21-33 and archived with permission.Between 1220 and 1349 groups of people destroyed enclosure banks, hedges and fences in defence of their common rights. Many law suits were provoked by encroachments on common pastures. This reflected the importance of an enclosure movement which had its main impact in wooded, upland or wetland landscapes. It led to large areas being taken out of common use, and a growing proportion of land being controlled by individuals. The beneficiaries of enclosure included the lords of manors, but also landholders below the gentry. The opponents of the movement had some success in preserving areas of common pasture
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