Fact-finding fun at your fingertips! Exploring Gloucestershire with Know Your Place…
Great news for researchers! Know Your Place West of England now offers free online access to an impressive array of maps and linked information for Gloucestershire. In addition to the historic Ordnance Survey, you can now see for the first time excellent digital images of earlier maps preserved at Gloucestershire Archives.
Our tithe and enclosure maps were uploaded to KYP just before Christmas and now there’s even more.
Interested in Gloucester? You can browse the 1780 survey by Hall and Pinnell, the earliest detailed plan of the city. It includes the names of streets, shows buildings, layout of gardens, trees, hedges, lines of fortification, and land surrounding the city such as Kingsholm Close, Barton Hill and Llanthony Priory (GA catalogue reference for the original plan is GL65.51(3)). As with all maps on KYP, you can compare two side by side, so try viewing the 1780 plan alongside the 1852 plan of Gloucester made for the Local Board of Health in 1852 (GA ref GBR/L10/1/2):
KYP screen grab shows Gloucester in 1780 on the left, and 1852 on the right. You can drag the vertical line backwards and forwards to reveal more or less of each map.
Is Cheltenham more your area of interest? Then you’ll enjoy dipping into the 1855 ‘Old Town Survey’. This large-scale plan was drawn up for the Improvement Commissioners (predecessors of Cheltenham Borough Council). Surveyor Henry Dangerfield reported that it would cover over 1,100 acres and some 6,500 houses and would show water courses and sewers. It cost just over £1,215. The amount of detail makes it a fascinating record. The original sheets were still being used regularly for reference by the Borough Engineer into the 1990s (GA ref CBR/B2/9/5/1).
Other maps available show the towns of Tewkesbury, 1825 (GA ref TBR/A18/1), Stroud, 1835 (GA ref D1180/10/40) and the township of East Dean, 1856 (GA ref DA40/560).
For the Forest of Dean, you can see details for 5 areas or ‘walks’ mapped in 1834 for a report on the issue of squatters and others who had established themselves on Crown lands in the Forest over a long period of years. The Walks (Worcester, Parkend, Blakeney Littledean and Ruardean) are colour-coded to show different types of property, encroachments and enclosures (GA ref Q/RGf/1/4-8).
Screen grab shows the KYP spyglass feature. You can use this as a virtual window through one layer - in this case the first edition Ordnance Survey - to reveal an earlier hand-drawn map of a Forest Walk.
And for the southern area of Gloucestershire there are three plans made in 1835 by the Court of Sewers. The Court of Sewers was responsible for maintaining river courses and drainage in the southern part of what was then within the county of Gloucestershire (the ‘Lower Level’). The plans straddle modern county boundaries, covering the parishes of Shirehampton, Kings Weston, Lawrence Weston, Stowick, Compton Greenfield, Redwick and Northwick, Tockington, Almondsbury, Olveston, Aust, Elberton, Littleton, Oldbury, Rockhampton, Hill, Ham and parts of Hinton and Hamfallow, Slimbridge, Awre, Arlingham, Westbury on Severn, Moreton Valence, Standish, Longney and Haresfield (GA ref D272/9/1-3).
But KYP is not just maps. The ‘Information Layers’ hold masses of linked archaeological data from the County Council’s historic environment record. And everyone can contribute to the ‘community’ layer. Hundreds of images have been added to this layer so far by groups and individuals. It’s really easy to share your photos and other information this way - just follow the step by step guide at http://www.kypwest.org.uk/map-top-tips/preparing-records-community-layer/.
First edition OS for Cheltenham with green symbols marking the ‘Community Layer’
Click on a symbol and an image and description pops up. Here you can see a contribution from the Jet Age Museum collection:
The website at http://www.kypwest.org.uk has top tips to help you make the most of the whole resource so it’s always worth starting there first.
We hope you enjoy discovering and sharing more about Your Place!