Oxfordshire Tithe Maps

Maps digitised from collections held by Oxfordshire History Centre

Introduction

This site gives you access to Oxfordshire History Centre's collection of digitised tithe maps. The maps cover approximately 44% of historic Oxfordshire and range in date from 1838 to 1884, with the majority dating from the 1830s to 1850s.

Click here for a map showing the coverage of Oxfordshire tithe maps.

What are tithe maps?

In 1836, the Government passed the Tithe Commutation Act to end the centuries old practice of paying tithes (a tax on agricultural produce paid in kind) and replace it with a new system of cash payments called tithe rentcharge.

A commission was set up in London to oversee the work. Its first task was to establish which land was still subject to tithes, who owned it and to whom the tithes were payable. In Oxfordshire, it was found that 154 out of a total of 267 tithe districts (mostly based on parishes) contained at least some tithable land. In these districts, the overall tithe value was then calculated and apportioned amongst the existing landowners, according to the quantity and quality of their land.

Two documents were drawn up to record the results of this process

  • A map showing individual plots of land
  • A linked written apportionment (award) giving details of the landowners, occupiers and a list and description of their land

You can find the maps through this site but the awards have not been digitised. For the awards, please consult the original documents, microfilmed National Archives copies or The Genealogist website (all available in the Oxfordshire History Centre only). References for the awards can be found in Oxfordshire History Centre's Tithe Handlist (pdf format, 720Kb).

Altered Apportionments

In some districts, where significant changes to landownership occurred after the original tithe map was made, it became necessary to re-apportion the tithe rentcharge (cash payment made in lieu of tithes). These changes were sometimes recorded in altered apportionments and maps. With a few exceptions these later maps have not been digitised. Please see the Tithe Handlist (pdf format, 720Kb) for details of how to find an altered apportionment or The Genealogist website (Oxfordshire History Centre access only).

Which copy of the maps can I find here?

Three copies of each tithe map were made: one for the Tithe Commission in London, one for the diocese and one for the parish. The Tithe Commission copies are now housed in the National Archives. Surviving diocesan and some parish copies for historic Oxfordshire are held at Oxfordshire History Centre.

Most of the maps on this site are diocesan copies but there are also a handful of parish copies, later altered apportionments and maps for places in neighbouring counties. A full list of Oxfordshire Tithe maps can be found in the Tithe Handlist (pdf format, 720Kb).

Copying and copyright

These digital images of tithe maps are protected by copyright. With due acknowledgement of Oxfordshire History Centre, you may use small extracts from these images for your private study or non-commercial research, or you may share small extracts on social media. But you may not copy the whole of any map, nor must you reproduce any map by any other means without permission.

High resolution digital images of each whole map are available to purchase from Oxfordshire History Centre. The current price can be found on our charges page (look for 'Electronic files Tithe maps').

About the Oxfordshire Tithe Map Digitisation Project

The project was initiated in 2012 by Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre (TVERC), who received funding, as part of a project to survey ancient woodlands, to scan the tithe maps for parishes in Oxfordshire (including those formerly in Berkshire). This work took place at Berkshire Record Office and involved maps held there and at Oxfordshire History Centre.

The image capture and stitching, to create one master image of each map, was carried out by ICAM Archive Systems based in Northamptonshire.

The maps covering the Chilterns' area of Oxfordshire were outside the scope of the TVERC project, so these were filmed and stitched in early 2014 by ICAM, funded by Oxfordshire History Centre.

Due to the original purpose of the project and funding restrictions, the written apportionments with each map were not digitised.