From the Anglo Saxon period, the local church was entitled to one tenth of the local produce - known as the tithe. However, in 1836, a process was established which allowed tithes to be converted to money payments.
Tithe Maps and the Lists of Field Names in a Parish (Tithe Apportionment List)
In order to asses the value of land of England, large and accurate maps showing all the land in the parish were drawn. Each map was accompanied by a list called the 'Tithe Apportionment List' which listed the owner, occupier and a description of the land in the parish including individual fields often with field names.
Whats in a Field Name?
The names of the fields recorded in the Tithe Apportionment Lists have been invaluable to Field Archaeologists because they often suggest the presence of not only ancient sites and settlements but also have been known to indicate that location of ancient hoard findspots!
For example, did you know that the name 'Black' in the name of a field (eg Blacklands) often means that a Roman industrial site was once on that field! In fact the part of the Roman settlement at Stretton Grandison in Herefordshire was found on a field called Blacklands. Further, the Roman fort in the Golden Valley, Herefordshire is on Blackbush Farm.
These field names are recorded in the Tithe Apportionment Lists which can be ordered from us for £10.