Bailrigg, in the early 19th century
The landscape altered dramatically after 1809 when Joshua Hinde created rectangular fields of pasture on the former moor.
Hinde (1761-1825) was part of large Lancastrian slave-trading family, he sold cargoes of enslaved people landed by English slave ships in the West-Indies, worked as the manager of a sugar plantation in Grenada, and invested in a slave ship with his cousins. The wealth Hinde acquired through the slavery business enabled him to enclose former moorland and turn Bailrigg into a private agricultural estate.
While the University has no direct connection to the Hinde family, it is important to acknowledge the history of the ownership of the land on which the campus now sits, and since 2020 staff and students have been working with Lancaster Black History Group to acknowledge this history.
The fields were likely subject to paring, burning, re-seeding and field drainage to improve their quality. This was done at the height of the Napoleonic wars, so Hinde probably aimed to improve the land in order to increase food production during a time of shortages and high prices.
By 1833, the land had been developed extensively, largely through the plantation of a shelterbelt of woodland on top of the hill which would become the west side of the new campus.