Catalogue description Fairbank collection

This record is held by Sheffield City Archives

Details of FC
Reference: FC
Title: Fairbank collection

Fairbank Collection (Surveyors): Alf 1-Yorls, Ebr 1s-Ewa 57L, Maps 1L -47s, FB 2-267, MB 1-548, AB 1-33, NB 1-44, WD 1-26, CP 1-51, BB 30-98, CPG 1-14, PP I-V


The collection consists of the plans and business papers of the Fairbank family, who practised as surveyors in Sheffield from about 1736 to 1848. The majority of the plans are the work of the second William Fairbank, his sons William and Josiah, and Josiah's son, William Fairbank Fairbank. In their capacity of surveyors they were actively concerned in local enclosures, railways, canals, roads and waterworks. Their business extended beyond Sheffield to cover South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire and even Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Cheshire, Lancashire and Staffordshire.


The following are the main classes of documents involved:


Surveyors' Work:


Maps and plans (4,650), of which 2,263 are of places in the parish of Sheffield.


Field books (311) being the notebooks in which the surveyor's original notes and sketches were made; supplementary to the plans.


Building books (68), 1765-1800, running parallel to the field books during the period when the firm engaged in building work on a considerable scale. Survey (miscellaneous) books (546): these contain numerical and other surveys, which form the key to the plans, and were taken particularly in connection with enclosure, tithe commutation and canal and railway development. The series includes Josiah Fairbank's records as agent for the Crown manor of Eckington, with rentals, 1736-1737, and court rolls, 1793-1804.


Firm's Business and Family Business records:


Account books (33), 1753-1830. (The early books contain accounts of the school kept by the first William Fairbank).


Work diaries (26), 1814-1841; relate to apprentices' work.


Notebooks (44), 1780-1847 (miscellaneous).


Letters and papers (50 large packets).


Sheffield and Glossop Turnpike Trust records, 1818-1874, practically in their entirety.


Deeds, etc. (56), relating to the Fairbank family or persons for whom one of the Fairbanks was executor (Hawke, Hirst, Parkin and others); also apprentices' indentures to the Fairbank firm. 1706-1783.


Also, additional material (1966) to this Fairbank collection of maps and surveys. Including:


Plans: Collieries at Parkgate (1769), Sheffield, Wibsey and North Derbyshire, late 18th century (photocopies of originals in private custody)


Surveys: Mills on River Don above Oughtibridge 1824


Letters: and papers re rail and road transport c1820-1840s.

Date: 1706-1874
Held by: Sheffield City Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Fairbanks, surveyors, of Sheffield

Physical description: 203 boxes, 42 volumes, 46 drawers of maps, 156 rolls
  • Fairbank family of Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire
  • Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire
  • South Yorkshire
  • Derbyshire
  • Lincolnshire
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