Friday, 22 November 2013

Explore Your Archive: Tithe Maps



Tithe maps are a fantastic resource for people doing local history. Maps are always fascinating as they draw you in and are so visual. In this case the tithe maps are often the first details maps for certain places and goes alongside details for each field, making them especially valuable, and very popular with our customers. They were drawn up in the 1840s as part of the process to do away with the annual tithe which was paid. Each piece of land affected had to be named, described, and the owner and tenant listed. The map was produced alongside this to help identify and place each of these plots, and this is what the numbers for each field mean.

Manuscript maps, such as tithe maps, had to mapped, created and drawn by hand, and a team would go out to walk and measure each parish. There were often no previous maps to help them, and of course it was before the assistance of aerial or satellite photography. Therefore it was a massive amount of work and very expensive. When I use the maps I always think about the people who would be out in all weathers surveying the fields, or measuring them with chains (22 yards).

Tithe maps are available on CD in the self service area of Explore the Past on level 2 in The Hive. The apportionments are on microfilm nearby. Some have been digitised in conjunction with local societies, and are available atwww.worcestershiremaps.org.uk<http://www.worcestershiremaps.org.uk>

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