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Marlborough Common

Marlborough common exists at the heart of the settlement.

In 1194 the burgesses of Marlborough paid 10s yearly to rent a pasture from the King, who was lord of the borough. In King John’s reign the burgesses gave up that pasture in exchange for Marlborough Common, for which they paid the same rent. Byelaws passed in 1577 decreed that each burgess could keep no more than two cows or bullocks there; and they were to pay 8d yearly to the mayor for each animal. The mayor paid the costs of keeping a common bull until 1836 when the costs were met from the borough fund. In 1836 rights of pasturage on Marlborough Common were extended to all the inhabitants of Marlborough. The bull could be hired for 8d to service a commoner’s cattle until the custom ceased in 1904.

The common was levelled and reseeded in 1958, and is now used chiefly for grazing and recreation.           

Content derived from research undertaken as part of the Victoria County History project