Generally speaking, enclosures were the fencing or hedging off areas of land for private use that had once been available for common use. Sometimes the enclosing was done by general agreement between the landlord and the tenants who rented the land for farming and the community which used the land for common grazing. But sometimes the land was enclosed without consultation which was where the trouble and controversy of the practice arose. At its worst, enclosures forced tenant farmers off their land and removed the commons where a village would graze their animals, which sometimes caused entire villages to disappear. The practice was especially hard on the Midlands in counties such as Leicestershire and Warwickshire.

Just a couple of incidents regarding enclosure in Tudor times - In 1489 and act was passed against conversion to pasture and the pulling down of houses out of fear that it would increase vagrancy and reduce grain production, but the act was not enforced.. One of the chief demands of Kett’s Rebellion in 1549 was for rich landlords to stop overstocking the common lands and to stop enclosing common lands for their own use, which was often to raise sheep for wool and mutton, which was quite profitable.