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Talking Tithes Maps (History Section)
Tue. 17 November 2020 at 2:00 pm
A talk and discussion led by Derek Smithers, Chairman DA History Section.
“Tithe maps and apportionments are an important source of information about the history and topography of a parish.” DCC
All will be welcome, whether already familiar with these maps or a beginner.
Littleham Parish – tithe cottage. Photo: Derek Smithers
Report on the talk
Due to the current covid 19 restrictions, Derek Smithers, Chair of the History section, gave his fascinating and extremely interesting talk on Tithe Maps to members via the Zoom platform.
The presentation began by providing a background to tithe maps and their related apportionments. “Tithe maps and apportionments are an important source of information about the history and topography of a parish.” Devon has 500 parishes and many narrow roads and lanes that can make identifying current locations difficult.
Devon County Council’s website has digitalised tithe maps and live use of the website was made to provide information on several practical examples of how the tithe maps system can be used.
The tithe maps relating to the parishes of Topsham, Clyst Hydon, Bickleigh, and Huntsham were used to illustrate their use and how they can be a valuable tool in locating current buildings and roads. The tithe maps of Bickleigh and Huntsham showed that the current offices of the DA were, in the 1840s, owned by the Rev. Dr Edward Troyte.
The Rev. Dr Edward Troyte enjoyed a sporting life of fox hunting and cock fighting at the expense of land management which meant that the Huntsham estate was in an extreme state of neglect and decay with a scarcely habitable Tudor mansion and a severely dilapidated church just a few yards away. All of which the Rev. Dr. Troyte felt obliged to leave back to the Acland family upon his death in 1852, presumably because it was Acland money which was used to purchase the estate in 1760.
Derek also gave reference to where other relevant information could be gleaned, for example White’s Directory gave the names of residents and farmers whose homes and fields were identified on the tithe maps.
The presentations were followed by a question and answer session which produced some interesting comments and viewpoints.