Growing Resilience: Allotments For The Unemployed In 1930s Britain

Author(s): Hannah Connelly

Year: 2018


In the late 1920s the Society of Friends began an innovative scheme providing unemployed people with allotment gardens, enabling them to provide for their families by growing fruit and vegetables. Allotment sites are ever changing, reworked by later plotholders or destroyed by redevelopment, however, it is possible to research the archaeology of the Allotments for the Unemployed scheme through annual reports. Using photographs of allotments included in the reports I will discuss boundaries and huts, integral elements of an allotment, to show that the scheme was not only concerned with food production but also the health and well-being of the unemployed plotholders.

Allotments promote strong individuality but the architecture of allotments can also be developed to encourage co-operation, sharing skills and socialising. Using the scheme’s material culture I will argue that it created a paradox of independence and community, crucial for the health of the unemployed during the Great Depression.

Cite this Record

Growing Resilience: Allotments For The Unemployed In 1930s Britain. Hannah Connelly. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441828)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -8.158; min lat: 49.955 ; max long: 1.749; max lat: 60.722 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 479