Circuit Lane Gate
It is quite clear that dogs are not allowed here.
The character of this site is determined by the number of structures that the tenants have erected. There are not just sheds, but many small greenhouses.
This site is behind the houses on Circuit Lane, Southcote Lane and Fawley Road. It first appears on maps in 1960. Circuit Lane is an old road sloping gently down past Southcote Manor to the Kennet. Most of the houses round here were not built until the 1950s. Before that there were allotments close by on the Bath Road in 1932 and several small gravel pits are shown in the area on 1932 and 1910 maps (1).
On the opposite side of the Bath Road to the north of the site is Prospect Park. Prospect Park has been owned by Reading Borough Council since 1902 (2). During the war, a large area was taken over for use as allotments as part of the “Dig for Victory” campaign. Statistics from 1948, show that there were 274 plots, with 245 tenants. The difference of 29, being made up by plots unsuitable because of trees or being used for air raid shelters (3). At this time, Prospect Park Allotment Association ceased and the park returned to normal use (4). The park is the biggest in Reading and home to Reading Borough Council Parks Department.
View across the site
This is one of Southcote’s three allotment sites, five times bigger than Ashampstead Road and two-thirds the size of Lower Southcote.
|No. of plots: (5)
|Full plot equivalent: (5)
|Date allotments established:
|Date taken on by Council:
||gravel pits / open land
(1) Southcote Local Studies Pack, compiled by Alan Hankin. Reading Library, Local Studies Collection.
(2) Prospect Park Management Plan. http://www.reading.gov.uk/leisureandvisitors/ParksandOpenSpaces/ProspectPark/prospect-park-management-plans. Accessed 2.11.12.
(3) Allotments and Smallholdings committee minutes 19 April 1948. R/AC1/3/98. (BRO)
(4) Garden Notes. Reading Horticultural Federation. January 1950. Reading Library, Local Studies Collection.
(5) November 2008 Report to the Green City and Open Spaces Forum, 19 November 2008. Allotment Provision and Plan Update. Director of Environment Culture and Sport.
(6) Reading Borough Council 2005 Allotment Plan.
PDF version 29 Circuit Lane
© Evelyn Williams 2012