A guide to records of the district Valuation Offices after 1910.
The Finance Act of 1910 legislated for a new duty on land and required a detailed survey of the whole country to determine the value of the land and the duty payable. The Valuation Office was set up by the Inland Revenue in 1910 (1911 for Scotland) to carry out the work of the survey, with district offices around the country.
Originally there were four valuation offices covering Derbyshire: Chesterfield, Derby, High Peak (which also covered parts of Cheshire which are now in Greater Manchester) and Matlock.
By 1979, the districts were:
- Chesterfield – covering by Chesterfield Borough, North East District and Bolsover District local authority areas
- Derby – covering Derby City, Erewash Borough and South Derbyshire District
- West Derbyshire – covering High Peak Borough, West Derbyshire District and Amber Valley District
Duties on land values, 1910
Four series of documents were created for or by the Board of Inland Revenue Valuation Offices as a result of the provisions of the 1910 Act concerning duties on land values:
- The valuation precis (or “Domesday Book“): prepared by the Inspector of Taxes. They contain entries for each property, known as a hereditament, giving basic information for the valuation of the property: the valuation assessment number, map reference, owner, occupier, situation, description, and extent. In cases where there are unexplained gaps in the hereditament numbers, this has been caused by the numbers having been pre-selected, regardless of the actual quantity required.
- The “form 37 land“: contain information extracted from the Domesday book, arranged in a different format
- The field book: prepared by the district offices, and contain all the information found in the precis with additional detailed descriptions of the premises
- The terrier map: at a scale of 25 inches to the mile, based on Ordnance Survey maps (usually the second edition) and are marked up with each hereditament number.
In addition to the above, the valuation offices created working sheet maps. These were produced at an intermediate stage of the survey, and the information from them was then transferred to the terrier maps.
The Domesday books and working sheet maps were transferred to Derbyshire Record Office in 1979, along with some of the “forms 37 land” for those cases where the Domesday book does not survive or is held elsewhere. The terrier maps and the field books have all been retained by The National Archives (TNA) for permanent preservation and are held at Kew (reference IR 58).
Together the maps and books provide a unique snapshot, of property ownership around the time of World War One. All maps and associated books can be found under reference D595 – we tend to refer to the records as Land Values maps and schedules as that was the name of the tax.
After all this work, the 1910 land value tax was abolished following the 1920 Finance Act.
Using the records
The best way to use the records depends on what you are trying to find. They are particularly popular with house historians who are trying to find out who owned and occupied the property just prior to the outbreak of the First World War. In this case, you should use the map first and identify the hereditament number which can then be found in the relevant Domesday Book.
As the working sheet maps were drawn onto existing Ordnance Survey maps, the Ordnance Survey county series map reference should be used to order the correct map. The grid reference number can be checked on site in the search room, or by using The National Archives Valuation Office Map Finder – The National Archives Catalogue Reference (see X below) can only be used to order the terrier map at TNA. To order the working sheet at the record office, use the Ordnance Survey reference, with the prefix D595/LV/ – e.g. D595/LV/50.6.
The best way to find the relevant Domesday Book is to search the catalogue using reference D595/* and entering the parish name in the AnyText field:
To identify the property owned or occupied by a particular person or people, you should start with the Domesday Books and identify the hereditament numbers to then find on the map. The main difficulty with this is that the numbers are not applied numerically on the maps, and it is not always obvious (particularly for the larger towns) which map numbers will appear on.
Other records of the District Valuation Offices
- Derby (ref: D2138) – provisional valuation forms and amendment forms and associated documents c1911-1916
- Chesterfield (ref: D3010) – Valuation lists, 1956 and 1963 with direction sheets 1956-1963
- West Derbyshire (ref: D3643) – selected valuation lists 1948-1975, with some earlier Ordnance Survey maps marked up to show valuation information