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Tithes were payments in kind made to the Parish by the Parishioners and were basically taxes. Generally it was a percentage of the crops, animals or vegetables etc. that were produced by a person.

During the dissolution of the monestaries (1536-1541) by Henry VIII things changed and these tithes became payable to the new landowners who had inherited the land during this process.

As time progressed, these payments became made in money rather than kind. Enclosure of land, particularly towards the end of the 18th century, further changed the payment of tithes. Enclosure is where previously open land for common use of all became fenced off and assigned to individual owners, see The Land for more details.

There are two records that may or may not have details of use to your research. Firstly the Enclosure Maps which range from the 18th to the 19th centuries, make sure you also refer to the Schedule that goes with these maps which provides the key to all the numbers. Secondly is the Tithe Map which date from the 1840's, again you need to read the schedule with this map.

There is one other source which is the 1910 Valuation, this comes in two parts, the map where the property will have a red number handwritten on it. You can then use this number firstly to look in the Valuation Book that goes with that map and this should be in your local archive centre. This will give you some basic information about the owner and the property. Secondly you will have to visit Kew and using the same number you can refer to the main book which has full details, as these details were supplied by the owner they can be from a sparse description to a full inventory of the property. You can search the catalogue on line to find the book reference you need, the field books are referenced under IR58 there are over 95 thousand volumes.

There is further information on tithes at the National Archive

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