Tithe maps

Tithe maps represent one of the first large-scale, systematic mapping survey of England and Wales. Dating from c.1836 they show dwellings and land use and give details of property owners.

Tithing was an ancient custom where one tenth of local produce was given to support the church and clergy. The Tithe Commutation Act 1836 replaced such tithes in kind with money payments.

These payments (or rent charges as they were known) were paid by all parishioners in proportion to the amount of land they held. We cover 1830s to 1880s.

Contact us on archives@sheffield.gov.uk to find out more, book in advance or order archival materials.


The 1836 Act made it necessary to ascertain the extent of existing tithe values in an area and the circumstance where tithes were still being paid in kind.

The land needed to be surveyed and valued to get the total parish rent charge figure and, finally, each individual landowner’s liability had to be calculated.


If all parties agreed to the terms, they were formalised in a document called a tithe agreement. If arbitration was required then a tithe award was produced.


Agreement or award formed the basis of the tithe apportionment which set out individual landowner’s liability.

A map of the relevant area accompanied the apportionment.

Location of records

Sheffield Archives, 52 Shoreham Street, Sheffield.

Ordering documents

Not all archive material is stored onsite and we may require notice of the items you wish to see. Please contact us to confirm when we can retrieve items for you.


We can normally supply copies for private study purposes, subject to the usual copyright regulations.

Please contact us for further information.

Background information

3 copies of the documents were made for the:

  • Tithe commission based at the National Archives
  • Bishop (representing the interests of the tithe owner)
  • Parish (representing the interests of the tithe payers)

Original paper or parchment records. Some items are available on microfilm.

Contact the Archives and Local Studies Library

First Floor, Central Library
Surrey Street
S1 1XZ
0114 203 9395 (Sat, Mon, Tues)
0114 273 4753 (Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat)

Supporting Documents