Domesday Books were compiled as a consequence of the Finance Act, 1910 in the period 1910 to 1915. They contain entries for each hereditament (property that can be inherited) in England and Wales, giving a valuation assessment number, map reference, owner, occupier, situation, description and extent. Not all entries are comprehensive.
What is available?
The Domesday Books deposited in the Warwickshire County Record Office are arranged in groups corresponding to the division of the County (less Birmingham and Coventry) between the District Valuation Office in Warwick,1 North Warwickshire,2 Kenilworth and District,3 Curdworth, Minworth and Sutton Coldfield.4 Many books cover more than one parish. An additional book5 is a valuation of licensed premises in parts of Warwickshire and was compiled in the Coventry district circa 1931.
Some parishes are not covered at all by the Domesday books and many Domesday Books are incomplete. These gaps can sometimes be filled by reference to Forms 37 – Land, which are copies of the notices sent to owners and contain similar information to the Domesday entries. The references to these are found within the catalogue, with CR 1974 created by the Warwick District Valuation Office, CR 1975 created by the North Warwick District Valuation Office and CR 1996 covering Solihull and area.
Another series of volumes (called Field Books), containing the same information as the Domesday Books but often with more detail, is deposited at the National Archives (Class IR 58 – they usually contain information about the construction material, number of rooms and state of repair) and the library in Leamington Spa has microfiche of the Field Books for part of South Leamington (Bath Street, Priory Terrace, Leam Terrace, Mill Road, and Victoria Terrace).
References (all Warwickshire County Record Office)
1 CR 1978/1/1-68
2 CR 1978/2/1-86
3 CR 3284
4 CR 2522
5 CR 1978/2/34
For a detailed description of the records produced under the Finance Act, 1910, see the Journal of the Society of Archivists, volume 8, number 2, pp 95-103. See also ‘The Valuation Office Survey, 1910-1915’ in the publication, ‘Maps for Family History: A Guide to the Records of the Tithe, Valuation Office and National Farm Surveys of England and Wales, 1836-1943′, by William Foot, 1994, originally written as a Public Record Office Readers’ Guide, to be found at Warwickshire County Record Office library reference D.912.PUB(p). Additionally a discussion of these records and the uses to which they can be put, see ‘The Geography of England and Wales in 1910’ by Brian Short, which can be found at Warwickshire County Record Office reference D.333.SHO.