Tithe map of Droylsden near Manchester (catalogue reference: IR 30/18/106)

15 January 2013

Detailed descriptions for nearly 12,000 tithe maps of England and Wales from the 1840s are now available online, offering a greater insight into local history. 

Tithe maps

Tithe maps can reveal a wealth of information about people, places and landmarks in Victorian times, including where famous individuals such as William Wordsworth lived. Village smithies, old turnpike roads, druidic altars and menageries are shown on the maps, as well as cotton mills and the first railways.

Rose Mitchell, Maps Specialist at The National Archives, said: 'The maps show the landscape at a time of great change, with industrialisation and urbanisation, but in some places little altered from the scene we see today.'

Academic collaboration

Academics at Exeter University gave The National Archives access to data from their research on the tithe surveys in the 1990s, which underlay their published catalogue The Tithe Maps of England and Wales. This collaboration enabled us to make detailed descriptions available online through Discovery, The National Archives' online catalogue.  

Oliver Morley, Chief Executive Officer and Keeper of The National Archives, said: 'We are pleased that, thanks to this academic partnership, we have been able to provide an important resource for the archives sector across England and Wales, and the public who want to access this data to learn more about their local area.'

Explore records on a map

The enhanced catalogue descriptions have been geo-referenced by The National Archives and can also be accessed through our clickable maps tool, Collections on a Map.

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