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Valuation Office Field Books & Maps (Land & Property)

Nature of Source

Records generated from the valuation of all land and property in the England, Wales and Scotland over one acre as of 30th April 1909. The valuation was carried out under the Finance Act (1909-1910), under the authority of the Valuation Office of the Board of Inland Revenue. The project was brought in under the then chancellor of the exchequer Lloyd George as part of a plan to tax increases in land values measured from the initial purchase to the sale or transfer. Business premises are also included in the survey and also properties that fell below the tax threshold. Freehold owners were recorded but also some leaseholders. The records might include common and waste land.

For the purposes of the survey, England and Wales were divided into 14 divisions with 118 Valuation Districts which were sub-divided into Income Tax Parishes (IPP). Each property was given a unique hereditament or property number. The main records consist of Field Books and Valuation Maps. Each property was identified on a large-scale plan by the assessment or hereditament number and the information collected was then entered into field books. The records include tenure details and a description of the property or land. The books are listed county by county and alphabetically by owner. Certain information was extracted from the Field Books and entered into Forms 37 with a copy sent to the owner. Surviving Forms 37 can be found in County Record Offices. The Valuation Books, sometimes referred to as Domesday Books, were created at the beginning of the survey and contain similar information as the field books and can also help find the hereditament number. The Valuation books are mostly found in County Record Offices.

The records are somewhat complicated to use. Firstly locate the map from one of the 118 valuation districts. Secondly obtain the hereditament or property number and finally locate the field book. Without the hereditament number it is difficult to identify the field book entry. Some maps are very large scale and detailed. Some field books may contain a number of parishes as districts were arranged by Income Tax Parishes (ITP).

Also consider the National Farm Survey taken between 1941 and 1943 which includes large farms and also smallholdings. The records are held at TNA in series MAF 73 and MAF 32. For more information, see the following publication:

Short, Brian & Watkins, Charles & Foot, William & Kinsman, Phil. The National Farm Survey, 1941-43: State Surveillance and the Countryside in England and Wales in the Second World War: CABI Publishing, 1999

Where Found

The National Archives (IR 58, Valuation Office: Field Books; IR 124/1 to IR 135/9, Valuation Office: Finance Act 1910, Record Sheet Plans; IR 121/1, Valuation Office: Finance Act 1910, Record Sheet Plans: London Region: Merton District; IR 121/22, Valuation Office: Finance Act 1910, Record Sheet Plans: London Region: Westminster 2 District)
County Record Offices (Working plans and maps, valuation books and Form 37s)
National Records of Scotland (The National Records of Scotland was created on 1 April 2011 by the amalgamation of the National Archives of Scotland [NAS] and General Register Office for Scotland [GROS])
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI)
National Archives of Ireland

Period Covered

1910 - 1920

Genealogical Value

Field Books
Name and address of property/land owner and tenants. Description and situation of property and how property was being used, often with detailed inspection notes which could include date when built, number of rooms or structure of property and sometimes a sketch. Nature of ownership and the property's rateable and market value and details of former sales.
Maps
Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 sheets. Useful for house histories.
Valuation Books
Names of occupiers and owners, address and description of property, valuation of property.
Form 37
Name of occupier; description, extent and situation of property.

Further References

Beech, Geraldine & Mitchell, Rose. Maps for Family and Local History: Records of the Tithe, Valuation Office and National Farm Surveys of England and Wales, 1836-1943, The National Archives, 2004 (preview available from Google Books)

 

Masters, Charles. Essential Maps for Family Historians: Countryside Books, 2009

 

Short, Brian & Reed, Mick. Landownership and Society in Edwardian England and Wales: University of Sussex, 1987

 


TNA Research Guide: Valuation Office survey: land value and ownership 1910-1915

Websites

http://yourarchives.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php?title=How_to_search_the_Valuation_Office_records (TNA Your Archives guide: How to search the Valuation Office records)
www.badsey.net/history/vsn3.pdf (How the Valuation Survey was carried out)
www.badsey.net/history/vsabout.htm (What was the Valuation Office Survey and why was it undertaken?)
www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/England_Land_and_Property,_Part_2#Valuation_Office_1910 (FamilySearch Research Wiki: England Land and Property, Part 2)
www.cornwall.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=14649 (Board of Inland Revenue Land Valuation)
www.sheffield.gov.uk/libraries/archives-and-local-studies/collections/land-valuation-records (Sheffield Libraries Archives and Information: Land Valuation Plans and ‘Domesday’ Books)

Online Databases

www.ancestry.co.uk (London Land Tax Valuations, 1910; West Yorkshire Tax Valuation, 1910)
http://labs.nationalarchives.gov.uk/wordpress (Valuation Office Map Finder: Catalogue containing descriptions of nearly 50,000 Valuation Office Survey maps of England and Wales from 1910 to 1915. Once a map has been identified it can be ordered without having to visit The National Archives)
www.glos1909survey.org.uk (Lloyd George Survey of Land Values: Gloucestershire. This project aims to transcribe and analyse for Gloucestershire the survey of land values carried out as a result of the 'People's Budget' of 1909. The database of Gloucestershire properties, their occupiers and owners that results from the project will be published here)