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Tracing the history of your house

Maps

By checking maps of different dates to see if your property is marked, you may be able to work out roughly when it was built.

Changes in the size and shape of the building may also be shown. Some maps also include names of owners and occupiers.

Ordnance survey maps (mainly NHC)

Work back through successive editions – the earliest generally date from the mid to late-19th century.

Copies of these and other relevant printed maps may help you to interpret older manuscript maps, which often have few landmarks recognisable today.

The NRO has one countywide set of very large-scale OS maps (mainly 1:2500; urban areas at 1:1250), ranging in date from the 1950s to the 1990s (see list LDR).

Tithe maps, 1836-c1850 (NRO)

These show individual buildings and field boundaries and usually cover the whole parish.

They come with an apportionment, which gives the names of the owners and occupiers of each property.

They survive for almost every parish and most are available on microfilm. (See lists DN/TA and DE/TA)

Enclosure maps and awards, c1750-1850 (NRO)

These are also large scale plans, which give details of land ownership, highways, footpaths and boundaries.

They do not exist for all parishes and may not cover the whole parish. (See list C/Sca 2)

Private estate maps (NRO)

These survive for some parishes from the 16th century onwards.
They generally cover property belonging to one individual only, but sometimes mention owners of adjoining properties as well.

Road order maps, 1773 onwards, and deposited plans, 1809-1952 (NRO)

Road orders were made to close or divert roads and footpaths, while deposited plans show land affected by Parliamentary Bills concerning railways, canals, turnpike roads etc.

These records include names of owners (and sometimes occupiers) of land affected by the proposed schemes. (See lists C/Sce and C/Csf)

Sale particulars, c1800 onwards (NRO and NHC)

These describe properties for sale. They often contain maps and some include photographs.

You can look at 18th and 19th century Norfolk maps and 20th century aerial photographs of the county via Map Explorer.

This site enables you to view and compare first edition OS maps and other printed maps of the county, tithe maps, some enclosure maps and aerial photographs from surveys made of the county in 1946 and 1988.