Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

6/11/2007

Enclosure maps

Enclosure maps are large-scale maps mostly dating from before the mid-nineteenth century which record much valuable information about the rural landscape. They provide a record of parish and township boundaries before major changes took place, of enclosed and open fields, of farms and settlement forms, and of rural land ownership. For local historians concerned with the history of particular places, such maps can provide a first point of reference in retrogressive enquiries. Although modern historians tend to view large-scale maps essentially as sources of data on past economies and societies, enclosure maps had a much more active role at the time they were compiled. Seen from this perspective of their contemporary society, enclosure maps are not simply antiquarian curiosities, cultural artefacts, or useful sources for generations of future historians. Enclosure maps were instruments of land reorganisation which both reflected and consolidated the power of those who commissioned them. for more click here

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