. From the 16th century onwards the economy of open fields and common lands had started
With the rise in the price of wool, rich farmers wanted to expand wool production to earn
profits. They wanted to improve their sheep breeds and ensure good feed for them. They
wanted to do this by controlling large areas of land in compact blocks to allow improved
breeding. Division and enclosing of common land started. Hedges were built around holdings
to separate one's property from others.
Another factor was the new demand for grain. This happened in the 18th century. Land was
being enclosed for grain production. English population expanded rapidly during the time. In
addition, England during this time was industrialising. More and more people began to move
to urban areas. They had to buy foodgrains from the markets.
Enclosures were required to make long-term investments on land and plan crop rotations to
improve the soil.
These enclosures also allowed the richer landlords to expand land under their control and
produce more for the market.