COMMISSIONERS OF INLAND REVENUE: RECORDS RELATING TO THE VALUATION OF LAND MADE UNDER THE FINANCE (1909 - 10) ACT 1910
Amongst other provisions the Finance (1909 - 10) Act, 1910 (10 Edw7 ch8) introduced a duty on the increment value of land. The duty was payable (with various specified exceptions) on the occasion of the transfer of title to a particular piece of land, at the rate of one pound for every five pounds by which the value of the land had increased since April 1909. Section 26 of the Act required the Commissioners of Inland Revenue to "cause a valuation to be made of all land in the United Kingdom ... Each piece of land which is under separate occupation ... shall be separately valued, and the value estimated as on the thirtieth day of April nineteen hundred and nine". These provisions were repealed by the Finance Act 1920 (10 & 11 Geo5 ch18), but by this time the valuation - which became known as a second 'Domesday Survey' - was complete.
The records produced as a result of the survey - which continued in use for rating valuation purposes long after 1920 - include two series of Ordnance Survey maps (Record Sheets and Working Sheets) marked to show hereditaments; Duties on Land Values volumes ('Domesday Books') giving details including owner, occupier and value for each hereditament; Field Books giving similar (or in some cases, additional) details to those in the 'Domesday Books'; and a variety of forms such as the return completed by a landowner (known as a 'Form 4') or the notification of a provisional valuation of which one copy (Form 36) was sent to the landowner while the other (Form 37) was retained by the Valuation Officer.
IR1 WORKING SHEET MAPS
Over 600 Working Sheet maps survive for Hertfordshire, though many are in poor condition. These are Ordnance Survey sheets, mostly the second edition (1898) at a scale of 1:2500 (25" to the mile), though in some urban areas larger scale maps have been used either in addition to or instead of the 1:2500. Coverage of the county is far from complete, since many maps are missing. In particular there are no maps of Potters Bar, Barnet or Cheshunt. On the other hand there may be different versions of a map giving different types of information. Most sheets show numbered hereditaments at the very least, but some only mark them over part of the area covered (for example, in one parish only). Some sheets are completely blank, while a few show copyholds only.
The most informative maps seem to be the earliest. As well as showing numbered hereditaments they often name owners and give valuations (in code). Arable and pasture are commonly distinguished; valuations of timber may be shown, and even numbers and species of trees. Sometimes rights of way - or footpaths which are not rights of way - are identified. Any type of information relating to valuation may appear, even such things as "very good view overlooking miles of country" (IR1/487) and there may be a note of "built after" or "planted before" the significant date of 30 April 1909. Other maps, which in some cases are superseded Record Sheet maps, are less informative.
A number of the maps have been updated for valuation purposes. Some of these revisions are dated to 1911, while many of the remainder, though undated, are evidently much later (see, for example, IR1/298b : Welwyn Garden City Town Centre). Sometimes a later edition Ordnance Survey map has become incorporated in the series, reflecting the post-valuation survey use of the records.
The maps were numbered by the Valuation Officers from 1 to 520, although references to them were more often by Ordnance Survey sheet number. This numeration has been retained using the prefix IR1. On the accompanying key sheet, a cross indicates that no map is extant, while a number in brackets indicates that although a map survives, no hereditaments, or some only, are numbered. The maps are listed both in numerical order and in order of Ordnance Survey reference.
IR2 DUTIES ON LAND VALUES ('DOMESDAY BOOKS')
Each parish or parish group is covered by one or more volumes or (for six parishes) part of a volume. With the exception of Cheshunt, for which no volumes are extant, the series for Hertfordshire is complete. The volumes contain an entry for each assessment number, with poor rate number, owner and occupier, description and location of the property, number (usually the Ordnance Survey number) of the map on which the parcel appears, its area and details relating to the valuation.
Except in the cases of Aspenden and Bushey, the volumes contain an entry for every numbered hereditament in the parish or group, though the entries are not always in strict numerical order. The information given dates from 1909-10, but sometimes changes of owner or other alterations after this date are noted. In the case of a house built after 30 April 1909, the description may be in the form "vacant plot, site of . . .". Some volumes contain indexes to places (mainly streets in urban areas) or to owners and in a few cases there are separate index volumes. Indexes often indicate (but do not date) changes of ownership.
The volumes are listed here in alphabetical order of name of parish or parish group, Middlesex parishes following Hertfordshire ones.
IR3 FORMS 37 - PROVISIONAL VALUATION
Amongst the Forms 37 transferred from Valuation offices may be found stray examples of over 20 other types of form, including some pertaining to post 1910 legislation. The Forms 37 date from between about 1912 and 1915. In essence they contain the same information as the 'Domesday Books' (IR2), though the map number is not always included and the poor rate number is not shown. Because the forms are copies of the provisional valuation sent to owners, full addresses of owners are given, in contrast with the 'Domesday Books, and a form may show changes of ownership not given in the 'Domesday Book' entry, together with the date of the conveyance. In addition, the forms, being later in date than the volumes, sometimes reveal changes in land use.
Exceptionally, extra information originally sent with the return to the Commissioners may survive. For Hatfield plot 1370, for example, there are details of rooms in the Police Headquarters building, including the Superintendent's house.
When the forms were used for rating valuation purposes, they were re-arranged to conform to contemporary valuation areas and ordered alphabetically by street name. This arrangement became confused when the forms were transferred to the Record Office and, except in the case of Hendon, numerical order within parishes or groups as used for the original survey has now been restored.
The series of forms is far from complete, and only covering numbers are shown on the list.
USE OF RECORDS
The records described above can easily be used to provide information concerning the ownership, occupancy, land use or extent of a known property in, or shortly after 1909. Once the property in, or shortly after 1909. Once the property has been identified on a Working Sheet Map (IR1), the hereditament number leads directly to the entry in the 'Domesday Book' (IR2) or Form 37 (IR3) for the relevant parish. If the appropriate map is not extant it may sometimes be possible to arrive at an identification using street numbers (not necessarily the same as today's) or even from a comparison of parcel sizes given in IR2 or IR3 with those on the standard 1898 Ordnance Survey map equivalent to the missing working sheet.
It may also be possible to locate the property of a known occupier or owner or a named house. For some parishes there are indexes which may help; otherwise the volumes will have to be searched. The entry will give the number of the map on which the hereditament may be found.
Note that Valuation Districts were reorganised in 1974, but even the pre-1974 districts do not represent the original distribution of the records. All the parishes or groups listed here were, for the purposes of the Valuation survey, in the district of St.Albans, (or simply 'Hertfordshire')with the following exceptions: Holwell and Markyate (Bedford district); Friern Barnet and Finchley (Islington); Hadley and South Mimms (Tottenham) and Hendon (Willesden). Many of the 'Domesday Book' volumes (IR2) also contain a note of the division in which the parish was situated, but it seems unlikely that this had any administrative significance for the purposes of the survey.