Wormwood Scrubs Act 1879

Wormwood Scrubs Act 1879

Wormwood Scrubs Act 1879

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The Wormwood Scrubs Act 1879 is a British public act passed by Parliament to lay down the conditions under which Wormwood Scrubs in west London was to be owned by the British Army. It is a local Act of Parliament.

135 acres of land known as Wormwood Scrubs was bought by the War Office (now the Ministry of Defence) in 1879 to "create a metropolitan exercising ground in pursuance of the Military Forces Localisation Act 1872"All quotations taken from Wormwood Scrubs Act 1879, held by the House of Commons Library. The purchase was designed to ensure that a sufficiently large area of land was usable for military training close to the centre of the expanding London metropolis.

Despite military ownership which continues to this day, in the 1879 Act Parliament placed the new public-owned land of Wormwood Scrubs in the care of the Metropolitan Board of Works to ensure that alongside military training, the land could be given over to "the perpetual use thereof by the inhabitants of the metropolis for exercise and recreation". This gave the Board of Works and its successors the ability to maintain and improve the land, although any such scheme must be referred to the War Office or its successors for approval. If approval can not be agreed, then there is a mechanism in the Act to allow both parties to appoint adjudicators and for any such decision to be umpired. It also prevents the Army from building any...
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