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1909/10 Valuation Records

These records provide a description of each property at around 1910 - 1915, particularly useful if your family lived in a house that has since been demolished and does not feature in the local history book photos.

The original records are held at The National Archives, Kew and survive for most of the UK. Thanks to Mark Herber for describing these records in his excellent 'Ancestral Trails'.

I have included a number of extracts in the Property pages, but ofen have more material: if you are interested in a particular property then please contact me, I will email what I have.

The following notes give some more information about

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The Finance Act

The valuation records arise from The Finance (1909-1910) Act, which provided for the levy and collection of a duty on the increase in value of all land in the UK. The Act required each district to value each plot of land and this work was completed by the Autumn of 1915.

The exercise resulted in the creation of a number of records, of which two key ones have been used in this web site:

  • Plans based on the 1894 OS Maps
  • Field Books

Other records were also created, see for a more detailed information leaflet from The National Archives.

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Plans based on the 1894 OS Maps

1894 Ordnance Survey maps were used, each plot of land being given a unique (to the map) reference number which was written on the map. Brentford High Street is split across two maps, one covering the western section, a second covers the eastern end and Kew.

The western section is on map reference XX.4 and has TNA ref IR 121/13/5.

The eastern section is on a map reference XX1.1. I have not been able to find this map at TNA: I have found a map covering the same area but with the Surrey property references added, not those for Brentford which is in Middlesex. Fortunately it is not essential to have the map, it just speeds up locating the correct field books.

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Field Books

One or more field books was compiled for each district: Old Brentford has 36 field books, New Brentford has 6, each containing details of up to 100 plots. If you are searching for details of a particular road, by finding it on the annotated OS Map you can tell which property reference numbers you are interested in and use TNA indexes to order the relevant field books.

Each field book is about A5 size and each plot is described using 4 pre-printed pages. The level of detail varies from one valuer to another and includes

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Some of the more colourful descriptions

The character of the valuer was often apparent. Some entries are clearly written and contain much detail; others look casually and quickly turned out; in some cases the description suggests the valuer had had enough of the exercise. A few examples:
  • Large square brick and slate building...formerly a chapel. Balcony round entire building inside...Approached from the High Street only by a passage (no. 234A)
  • bakehouse at rear with 9 bushel oven (no. 281)
  • vaults run under the gardens of 308 - 312 (High Street) inclusive and used by brewers - with exit in Lee Yard (no. 312)
  • small shop with iron spiral staircase to first floor being only way up (no. 218)
  • consisting of 2 small blocks of rooms, each block containing on the top floor 2 rooms and on the ground floor 2 rooms, the ground floor rooms have a coal cupboard each (St George;s Almshouses at no. 6)
  • as a wharf considerable dredging would have to be done & repairs carried out as only shallow draught & to go under a low bridge to get to canal (no. 189)
  • premises pulled down for rebuilding, understand they were condemned by Local Authorities some months back (no. 177)
  • cellar (often waterlogged) (no. 173)
  • has bath on first floor which however has no water service (no. 153)
  • disused cemetery, completely buried in. Old brick mortuary chapel standing (rear of St Lawrence's churchyard)
  • Ruinous washhouse with yard beyond & WC...Empty & dilapidated. Condemned. (no. 135)
  • old and dilapidated and about to be demolished (no. 406)
  • expended on premises since death of owner on 26/9/1910: 150 (no. 345)
  • probably about 300 years old (no. 334)
  • ground floor: dirty old shop, parlour, workshop, washhouse (no. 329)
  • the grounds have a long frontage to the river... there is a detached building originally used as a laundry (St George's Vicarage at no. 28)
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Example from a Field Book

open Field Book showing two pages completed in black and red ink
Click image for larger version NB this is over 300K!

These are the first two pages for 93 High Street and show one of the more descriptive and complete entries. The original Field Book has TNA reference IR 58/40143.

The Field Books which cover High Street properties

I have created a summary by house number of all High Street properties, extracted from the field books.
House No.   Assessment No.   TNA Ref:
From To From To IR 58 /
1 22 3087 3100 40179
23 64 3101 3200 40180
65 85 3201 3232 40181
86 136 153 101 40143
137 223 100 15 40142
227 246 1172 1191 40159
247 309 1206 1300 40160
310 318 1301 1312 40161
319 320 2399 2400 40171
321 355 2401 2434 40172
356 384 2609 2699 40174
385 411 2703 2730 40175

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