A guide to other detailed records and tips for specific types of building.
If you are new to researching the history of a building try our getting started guide first. There are also more complex records available for discovering the history of property and land, including:
- Estate records: including rentals and terriers which can be used to identify tenants
- Manorial records: primarily court rolls/books containing information about land tenure and changes in ownership and occupation.
Sources for standards of living, i.e. wealth of owners/occupiers
- Wills and probate inventories listing goods and chattels in the house
- Medieval and early modern Inquisitions Post Mortem are held at The National Archives and provide evidence of land ownership, inheritance and transfer
- Tax returns, including land tax assessments for 1780-1832 (available on microfilm in Local Studies) and The Derbyshire Hearth tax returns (published 1982).
- For some farms business records may have been deposited, check the online catalogue to see what is available.
- Surveys of farms were undertaken during both World Wars. The records of the WW2 National Farm Survey are held at The National Archives. During WW1 surveys were undertaken by local War Agricultural Committees, and only a small number of records survive, including for the Ilkeston (reference D331/1/21).
For Anglican parishes, glebe terriers provide a written survey or inventory of the church’s property in the parish, e.g. the rectory or vicarage, fields and the church itself. They may contain the names of tenants and the holders of adjoining lands, information on cultivated land, or how the income from tithes was calculated and collected. Most terriers are held under reference D2360/1, but some are in parish or estate collections – search the online catalogue for the place name and the word glebe.
Some Diocese of Derby archive collections will also include information about church property, for example the Diocesan Registers (reference D4633/2) give details of consecrations, mortgages, sequestrations and licences. Records of Queen Anne’s bounty at The National Archives may also include useful information about Anglican churches and parish property.
Under the Toleration Act of 1688 dissenting congregations were obliged to register their places of worship with the bishop, archdeacon or justices of the peace. From 1812, registrations were retained by both authorities. The returns to the justices are held under reference Q/RR/12 and Q/RR/13.
Search the online catalogue for records relating to a particular school – we recommend searching the Title field using the name of the school – if you’re not sure about the school name or if it might have changed, try searching just for the word school and the town/village name:
For most school buildings it is also worth checking the records of the relevant School Board. There are also architects plans for many schools that were built in the 19th and 20th century, click here for a full list from the county and borough architects.
Licensing registers between 1753 and 1827 can be found under Q/RA/1. There are no registers available between 1827 and about 1870. Thereafter, the registers were maintained by the local magistrates at the Petty Sessions courts to 1974. Click here for a full list of the Petty Sessions archive collections.
Goad maps are detailed rolled street maps showing individual buildings with their uses, for example shop names. Available in the Local Studies Library for Alfreton, Ashbourne, Bakewell, Belper, Buxton, Chesterfield, Derby, Glossop, Heanor, Ilkeston, Long Eaton, Matlock, Ripley, and Swadlincote.
Trade (and later telephone) directories survive from the mid-19th century, usually listing prominent landowners, officials and residents, with a commercial section arranged by surname and by trade, although not everyone is included. Original and microfiche copies of Derbyshire directories are available in the Local Studies Library, as are published town guides for the 19th and 20th centuries.
See the Looking for Organisations guidance for tips on searching for archives relating to specific businesses and industries.
For County Council buildings contact County Property. Check the online catalogue for records relating to the authority that owns/owned the building in question – see also Looking for Organisations guidance.
For buildings associated with late 18th to early 20th century public works such as canals, railways, roads, gas and waterworks see deposited maps and plans under reference Q/RP.
The Department of Environment Lists of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest can be consulted in the Local Studies Library or online via the National Heritage List for England. Each listing gives a precise location, historical information and full architectural details of the site.
Also available in Local Studies are Derbyshire County Council Planning Department’s Listed Buildings record cards which often include a photograph.
Always search the online catalogue and the onsite indexes for other sources. The following publications (and many more) are available in the Local Studies Library
- Nick Barratt (2006) Tracing the History of your House
- Anthony Adolph (2006) Collins Tracing your Home’s History
- Pamela Cunnington (1980) How old is your house?
- Colin and O-Ian Style (2006) House Histories for Beginners