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Meopham - Inland Revenue Land Valuation Survey 1910


The Valuation Office Survey 1910-1915

The Finance Act of 1909-1910 provided for the levying of various duties on land. Land ownership by a privileged few and their resultant power in Parliament had led to a necessity to relieve social injustice and poverty. The result was what has been called ‘The Domesday Census’. Every piece of property and land throughout the whole country was inspected by the Board of Inland Revenue’s Valuation Office. The chief duty to be levied was the Increment Value Duty. House owners with land of less than 50 acres and worth less than £75 per acre were exempt. The aim of such a tax was to plough back into the state coffers a contribution from private landowners for appreciation of their property by state expenditure in the form of improved roads, drainage etc. This valuation was based on land values as of 30 April 1909 at a rate of 20% and this sum was levied until either the property was sold or transferred or until the owner died.
   The valuation took five years to complete. By July 1914 the number of permanent staff employees had risen from 61 to 600. Fourteen valuation divisions were subdivided into 118 valuation districts. Failure by landowners to fill in the relevant form incurred a penalty of £50 (c. £4,000 today!).
   Three records of this survey are available for public viewing. For each income tax parish they consist of a 1908 Record Ordnance Survey map, Field Books and a Valuation Book, Each property or parcel of land is indicated on the map by an assessment (or hereditament) number; boundaries of property are indicated by some colour marking. These numbers reoccur in numerical order in the Field Books which contain descriptions (and sometimes a detailed plan) of each property plus its relevant valuation details. These two records can only be inspected at the National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office) Class IR 58. The Valuation Books, known as the Domesday Books, are fortunately available for inspection at local Record Offices. As in the other two records they contain the assessment number of the property. They can be particularly useful in a search for its identification in cases where the map has not survived or the assessment number on it appears not to have been inserted or to have faded beyond recognition. They contain a brief description of the property, its actual address and map reference, plus the names of the occupiers and the names and addresses of the owners. Where land is involved its estimated extent is mentioned.
   The main purpose of this transcription has been to provide for the local and family historian a slender supplement to the 1901 Census for the Parish of Meopham, Kent. For that reason we have kept it as simple as possible and concentrated on names and locations, leaving it to the individual researcher to pursue financial details and fuller descriptions of properties via the sources already indicated.
   Two indices are included: - a surname index and a property index. The first relates to persons mentioned in the assessment and is self-explanatory. The second lists properties under their original and/or contemporary names. An example of this is in the entry ‘Gothic House’ (assessment no. 1) which is also listed as ‘The Chestnuts’. A single assessment number following a reference identifies one specific property. Additional numbers listed under a reference indicate several properties in the same general location, e.g. ‘The Green’ which has 15 entries and ‘The Village’ (now known and indexed as ‘The Street’) which has 6 entries. These may include unnamed cottages, pieces of woodland, farmland, working premises etc. Such numbers may not always be consecutive. Owners may possess properties in differing locations.
   Every attempt in this transcription has been made to provide a contemporary version of each named property. We take full responsibility for omissions and errors and welcome helpful comments. Unfortunately the occasional inconsistencies or illegibility of assessment numbering on the original maps, even with the help supplied by the Valuation Books, have made it impossible to identify every single property accurately. This is particularly difficult in example of unnamed properties in the more isolated areas of the parish. In cases of uncertainty relevant comments have been added in the Notes Column.
                                                                                                                       J.O. Goodwins   June 2004



   The photograph on the cover of the central section of Meopham village is reproduced by kind permission of Gravesham Borough Council. (contained in each of the transcription lodged in the Record Offices)
   The project has involved nine people from Meopham Historical Society and the North West Kent Family History Society (The Meopham House Group), and warm acknowledgements go to Sheila Bodiam, Grace Crowhurst, Sheila Farmer, Pamela Goodwin, Joan Goodwins, Nicholas Miskin (for all the computing), Peter Read, Mary Sargeant and Ros Wakeman.
   It is hoped that readers will find the publication a helpful guide in their researches into the story of a small North Downs village.
   Copyright: Meopham Historical Society & North West Kent Family History Society    June 2004


Section of IR 1908 Record Ordnance Survey map showing original handwritten 
                                                                                      assessment numbers  Scale: 1: 25000

Copy of two pages of Field Book No. 2 showing details of Assessment 198 (Reference: 1R58170917)
                                                           With transcription of description of the above house and outbuildings

Surname Index    Alphabetical list of names that appear in the Assessments

Property Address Index  Alphabetical list of Properties that appear in the Assessments

Transcription of Assessments - Pages No. 1 to 38

01    001-019
02    020-035
03    036-051
04    051-060
05    061-070
06    071-081
07    082-093
08    094-108

09    108-121
10    122-134
11    135-143
12    144-153
13    153-166
14    167-176
15    177-188
16    189-199

17    200-214
18    214-224
19    225-237
20    238-256
21    257-266
22    267-278
23    279-292
24    293-309

25    310-324
26    325-336
27    337-351
28    352-362
29    362-371
30    372-382
31    383-397
32    397-409 

33    410-418
34    419-428
35    429-436
36    437-454
37    455-472
38    473-490 

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