1910 Hayfield Valuation Survey

My thanks to George Cogswell for providing the following information & for his offer to look up Hayfield people mentioned in the Survey - see here for details

Hayfield - the Finance (1909-1910) Act

The Finance (1909-1910) Act provided for the levy and collection of a duty on the increment value of all property and land in the United Kingdom.

Increment value duty

As this levy was called, was based on the difference between the original assessment [which for Hayfield, took place in late 1914] and constituted the "datum line" for the purposes of "increment value duty". Any subsequent sale or grant of a lease, or transfer of an interest in a piece of land, or any subsequent death of a land-owner, provided the occasion for a potential payment of "increment value duty". The site value as on the date of such occasion had then to be determined.  [A "Value Added Tax" for property and land].

Valuation Districts

The Valuation Office was set up for the purpose of making the valuations of property for Estate Duty purposes. In 1914 there were 118 valuation districts in England and Wales, each in the charge of a district valuer. Each district comprised a number of income tax divisions, which were considered to be the most convenient units for administrative purposes. It was in the valuation districts that the work of valuation was actually performed. The original valuation was completed, as far as was possible under the conditions then existing, in the autumn of 1915. The assessment of the site value on subsequent occasions was a recurring operation which formed part of the normal functions of the Valuation Office until "increment value duty" was repealed by the 1920 Finance Act.  [It seemed like a good idea in 1910, but the 1st W.W. had changed everything]


Each unit of property or land, was assigned an "assessment number" and plans based on the Ordnance Survey sheet maps were drawn up as the chief means of reference to the other records created in the course of valuation. Two sets of plans were created: the working plans used in the course of the original valuation and the record plans made after that valuation was completed. Those working plans which survive are in the custody of local record offices, to which enquiries about them should be made direct. The record plans are now held at The National Archives.  The above "assessment numbers" were listed in green or red on the OS maps and were cross referenced to:-

Field Books

Some forty forms were created by the Valuation Office in the course of this operation.  The final record, compiled after the survey was completed, was written up in small bound volumes called "Field Books". These are now in The National Archives and form the series "Valuation Office: Field Books IR58".  The amount of information entered in the Field Books varies considerably, but usually includes the names of owner and occupier; the owner's interest (freehold, copyhold, etc.); details of tenancy (term and rent); and the area covered by the property. Other details recorded may include the date of erection, number of rooms, state of repair, liability for rates, insurance and repairs, date(s) of previous sale(s) and, sometimes, a sketch-plan of the property. Figures entered for the purpose of valuation normally include the market value of fee simple of the whole property and the market value of the site divested of structures, timber and plants.

Most of the above description has been extracted from the National Archives "Information Sheet No.46", which gives much more information on this Act and the records still in existence.


There are approximately 1,000 Field Book Reports for Hayfield.  I have created a database for these and have currently entered :-

(a)the name* of each property or piece of land.

(b)the occupier of it

(c)the owner of it

[The "name", is the 1914 description of the property and, in most cases, is not the same as the modern day address - no post codes in those days - not even house numbers in most cases!]

If anyone would like a look-up, I will try to locate "their" property or "their" person, from the above.  Whilst you are welcome to give me the modern address, it may be of little use - third house along from west to east or north to south, from road 'A', towards road 'B', will be infinitely more helpful.   Also, some of the handwriting is difficult to read, so inevitably, I have misread some initials and probably a few names as well.   I can be contacted at the following eMail address:  george.cogswell@btinternet.com

George Cogswell - researching Hayfield War Dead for which any detailed information would be welcome.

July 2006