Maps

County map collections of Brecknockshire, Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire from the 16th, 17th, 18th and early 19th Centuries are kept by the three County Museums.  Largely pre-dating the Ordnance Survey of 1791, these are engraved maps which can be quite detailed.  (Anyone interested in the history of maps of this date is recommended to read Antique Maps of Wales by John Booth.)

The County Museums may also hold maps of Turnpike Trust Roads dating from the second half of the 18th Century.

Maps at the County Archives Office

Estate Maps

Maps showing the holdings of a particular landowner, which can be manors, parks or even just fields.  Mostly dating from the 18th and 19th Centuries, they were not official maps and are not always reliable.

Enclosure Maps

The CAO has original enclosure maps for the whole of Powys (c1790s- 1860s),  An enclosure map shows the plan for how large fields which had continued more or less unchanged since the middle ages (comprising various strips of land cultivated by different farmers and the common or waste-lands) were to be brought together in a more efficient pattern for each farmer to manage.  In some cases this had already been done, but where farmers did not agree The Enclosure Act of 1760 compelled them to do so.  Surveyors were appointed to redistribute the arrangement of fields and common land.  Enclosure maps come in two sections: there is a map showing each field, and an award of common grazing land, which indicates the name of each field, its size, who owned it before the enclosure award, and the name of the new owner.  Most enclosure maps do not show the pre-existing field systems, and are patchy in their coverage, as they were only drawn up for areas where the old field systems and commons existed.

Enclosure maps form part of the Quarter Sessions Records.

Deposited Plans of Public Undertakings (c1792-Early 20th Century)

When a canal or railway was planned, a detailed map of the proposed route had to be sent to the Quarter Sessions of the county concerned, so that the public could view it in good time.  Not all the proposed ventures came to completion.  The maps are very informative, giving names of owners of land along the route and showing locks, tunnels, etc.  But they only cover narrow strips along the routes of the venture.

Deposited plans of public undertakings form part of the Quarter Sessions Records.

Tithe Maps

Section of the tithe map for Bleddfa
Section of the tithe map for Bleddfa

The CAO has obtained photocopies of all the tithe maps and schedules for Powys (c1830s-1840s) from the National Library of Wales.  Nearly every parish in Powys has a tithe map and apportionment drawn up under the Tithe Commission  Act of 1836, the purpose of which was to convert yearly tithes paid in kind to the vicar or rector into monetary amounts.  The tithe maps and apportionments can provide names of owners and occupiers, the name of the property (if any), the amount of the tithe payable, acreages, and sometimes land use (pasture, arable, meadow, etc.) and field names.  However properties which did not pay tithes will be omitted, and in some cases a tithe map will not exist because the tithes had already been commuted to fixed money payments before the 1836 Act.

Our holdings of copies of tithe maps can be viewed as P/X/9

Ordnance Survey Maps

1 in OS map
1 in OS map

 The CAO holds O.S. maps in the following scales for Brecknockshire, Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire.  No edition is complete in its coverage for all these counties, but a comprehensive index is available in the search room. 

1": Mile:  First edition from the 1830s, revised in the 1870s, incomplete coverage.  The sheet numbers for Powys are 42-60..  The later series c1880s to 1912 is likewise incomplete, the sheet numbers for Powys are 151-232.

2": Mile:  Photocopies from the National Library of Wales of  the first edition working drawings from 1809 to 1836 the full set exists.

6" : Mile:  The First edition from the 1880s (very few examples).  Second editions from the early 1900s (good coverage).  Provisional editions based on the second edition, but with revisions in 1938 and 1948/49 (fair coverage).  The numbered series are sub-divided into NW, NE, SW and SE sheets. 

25" : Mile:  First editions of 1887 are very few.  The second editions of the early 1900's form the major part of this collection, including those used for land valuation purposes.  Coverage of Brecknockshire is patchy, there is better coverage of Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire, but still many are at present missing. 

Finance Act 1910

When David Lloyd George proposed to introduce a Land Tax in 1910, the second edition 25" scale maps were used to compile registers of land ownership.  Although the tax was not implemented the paperwork was completed and the resultant  "Doomsday Books" reveal the names of landowners, property owners and occupiers, together with the acreages and details used for the assesment of tax.  The CAO has the marked-up OS 25" scale maps, but the map series is incomplete.  All the maps for Breconshire  have been lost, and there are gaps in the series for Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire, but the land valuation registers for all three counties survive at the CAO.  Some of the gaps in Radnorshire can be filled by the 6" scale maps.  A full set of the 25" maps and the master series of Finance Act books are held at the Public Record Office, Kew.

Our holdings of Finance Act registers can be viewed here.

Indexes

The County Archives Office has card indexes indicating which maps are available for each parish, and on which sheet of the OS 6" scale series the village which gives the parish its name can be found.  There exist two maps indicating the ancient parish boundaries, which are very useful, as not all of the old boundaries correspond to the modern parishes, particularly in the border areas, where for example certain Shropshire parishes straddled the border into Montgomeryshire.  Parish and some other records refer to the old boundaries

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Related Pages

Powys Museums