Tithe Maps and Apportionments
The tithe maps and apportionments are an important source of information about the history and topography of a parish. They provide details of land ownership and occupation, and the type of cultivation of the land, and are often the earliest complete maps of parishes. They were produced in order to assess the tithe payable in cash to the parish church for the support of the church and its clergy. This tithe had been paid in kind until The Commutation Act was passed in 1836, when it was agreed that this should be converted to a monetary payment.
A survey of the whole of England and Wales was undertaken in the decade or so after 1836, to establish the boundaries of each parish, and assess the amount of tithe due for each parcel of land within it. This resulted in the survey of all tithe-able land in each parish, the production of a map covering the whole parish and a reference book (apportionment) identifying each plot of land. Note that in a few cases, no tithe map was made for the parish, because the land within it was not subject to tithes.
A list of the tithe dates, surveyors and scales can be downloaded here: Tithe dates and surveyors.
The hard copy maps are held at the Devon Heritage Centre.
If you wish to obtain a copy, or reproduce any of the images in any form (online or in a hard copy publication) you will need to seek permission from the Devon Archives and Local Studies Service. Reproduction charges will apply; please see website for list of current charges.
Exeter, St Mary Steps
The tithe apportionments are in the form of downloadable PDF files, which can be viewed online or downloaded. These have been prepared from the digital copies of the tithe apportionments supplied to Devon Heritage Centre by the National Archives for the Tithe Maps Online project.
NB: It has been noted that some pdf files do not display correctly in some versions of Safari and Apple OS. If this occurs try viewing the file using another browser.
Tithe Apportionment Transcriptions
A project to transcribe all of Devon’s 500+ tithe apportionments and make them accessible online started in 2011 and has now been completed. Although efforts have been made to check the accuracy of the transcriptions, there may be some errors due to the difficulty of reading some of the original material, and it always best to consult the images of the original apportionments to check the names of individuals and places. The transcription is in the form of both pdf and csv files which can be viewed online or downloaded.
The Tithe map may display off-centre and very small, so you may need to scroll down the page and zoom in.
Tithe information can also be seen on the Environment Viewer. You can select ‘Tithe mosaic’ as a basemap, and tick the ‘Tithe polygons’ layer for individual plots of land. To see the apportionment for each plot, click on the map then click through the right arrows on the popups. Please read the disclaimer thoroughly as it contains important information about the Tithe and other data.