A MAP OF THE BOROUGH AND TOWNSHIP OF BISHOP’S CASTLE
Cartographer: Charles MICKLEBURGH, Land Surveyor, Montgomery
Size: 830 mm x 560 mm. Scale: approx. 10 cm = 36 chains
Shropshire Archives ref: P33/T/1/1
A tithe map may be the earliest detailed map you can find for a specific place. Following the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836, the tithe commissioners hoped to produce a general survey and register of real property for the whole country, rather like the Domesday Book. However, the maps turned out to be rather a mixed lot: some were original surveys, but many were copies of slightly earlier maps. The survey covered 93.4% of the county. At Shropshire Archives we have a complete set, with maps on aperture cards and the apportionment on microfilm. Some original maps can also be found in our parish collections.
The purpose of the tithe survey meant that all fields and parcels of land had to be clearly marked, numbered and measured. The image chosen is a good example of a high quality map. It is finely surveyed and, with the accompanying schedules, provides a wealth of information on Bishop’s Castle. As with all tithe maps, the field boundaries are clearly demarcated and each plot numbered. Common land is named as are woodlands and ponds. Footpaths and roads are shown and turnpikes labelled. Other features of interest, such as quarries, a windmill and even dog kennels (probably belonging to the local hunt) are also shown. The road layout for the town is clear, but the houses are just depicted by the outline of their frontages onto the roads. Elsewhere on the map, hamlets and even individual houses are named. The adjacent townships and parishes are labelled.