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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 89  1974  page 110
The Tithe Commutation Surveys in Kent  By Roger J.P. Kain, B.A., Ph.D.

hand the farmers and landowners would attempt to reduce the claim as much as possible. These two forces pulling against each other would surely produce a truthful record. If they did not, then the mediating values would draft a fair award. Always, the most important piece of evidence was that observed in the field.32
   In the tithe apportionments grassland is sometimes simply described as ‘grass’, but more usually a finer classification into pasture, down-land, meadow, marsh and saltings is employed. Invariably, meadow is defined as mown grassland, its produce being expressed in hundredweights per acre in the tithe files. Pasture, was land that was grazed and was valued in shillings per acre or by the number of stock it supported. The marshland classification is probably the least satisfactory. Very often marshes were classified as pasture. These inconsistencies can be partly explained by the fact that often marsh grassland in Kent was not liable to tithe on produce but was subject to some nominal modus, usually one shilling per acre. Therefore, it was unnecessary to distinguish between various types of grassland as the modus applied irrespective of the produce of the land. The reason for saltings and downland being distinguished separately seems to be the much lower charge they were expected to bear in some areas. In the north Kent parish of Swanscombe, for example, four types of grassland were recognized. In 1843, there were 66 acres of pasture

valued at 35 shillings an acre, 120 acres of meadow yielding 21 hundredweights, which at three shillings a hundredweight was worth 63 shillings an acre, whilst the pasturage of 80 acres of saltings was valued at only 20 shillings an acre and that of 30 acres of downland at only 22 shillings an acre.33
   Apart from these general difficulties, there are few problems of interpretation peculiar to the Kentish apportionments. Some surveyors did occasionally note combinations of land-use in one field. In Penshurst, for instance, some tithe areas are described as meadow and arable, wood and pasture, and arable and wood and hops. In the Cranbrook apportionment there are no state of cultivation entries and in a few others descriptions of some tithe areas have been omitted. Crops, apart from hops, are not detailed in the Kent apportionments except for the occasional mention of sainfoin.

   The tithe maps of Kent were produced at all the usual scales, but that of three chains to an inch is the most common. In detail, they vary from the simplest, showing only the boundaries of tithe areas, to those indicating the land-use of every field. Wood, hops, orchards and gardens
   32   F. D. Hartley, The agricultural Geography of the Chilterne c. 1840, unpub.lished University of London M.A. thesis, 1953, 12.
33   P.R.O. I.R.18/3830.

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