Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries

There is little recorded history about Winfrith in the Tudor period, so we pass on the the 17th Century.

In 1641, when the Welds bought the de Newburgh estate, the population of Winfrith Newburgh numbered 60. The majority were aged between 11 and 50, with only 11 children under the age of ten and one person over seventy years of age.

The common lands of Winfrith, available for use by one and all, were finally enclosed by Act of Parliament in 1768. The Weld estate ended up with the largest share of the parish lands, with only 565 acres out of about 2800 remaining as common land – virtually all on the poor lands of the heath. At the other end of the scale 53 cottagers in Winfrith ended up with just eleven acres between them.

Map of centre of village mid 18 c

Centre of the Village in the mid 18th Century. The crossroads is where the Village Stores are now


The result of the enclosures was that villages like Winfrith Newburgh became suppliers of labourers to the large farmers and estate owners. In good times this gave villagers a subsistence wage, but with the coming of the Napoleonic Wars prices soared and farmers had to pay relief to supplement the inadequate earnings of their labourers. This led in Winfrith to the reading of the Riot Act.

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