Inland Revenue

Land Valuation Records and the 1910 Finance Act

The Finance (1909-1910) Act introduced a tax on the capital appreciation of all land in the United Kingdom. The duty was levied on the increase in the value of land arising from communal developments funded by public money (such as roads, public services, etc), The tax did not fall on the increased values which derived from improvements such as new buildings which were paid for by the landowners.

In order to levy this increment value duty, the Board of Inland Revenue divided England and Wales into a number of valuation districts and enquired into the value of all land as on 30 April 1909. In the event of any subsequent sale or change in ownership, the value of the land in question was assessed again and duty was paid on any increase in the value of the site between the two surveys. Increment value duty was repealed by the 1920 Finance Act.

For the purposes of the valuation, bound volumes were produced called "Domesday Books". These were copies of the income tax registers for people deriving income from the ownership of land. They record the names of owners and occupiers of land, a brief description of the property and an address together with some valuation details. They also record the assessment number of each piece of land. "Domesday" books provide an outstanding record of land ownership in 1909.

Copies of the second edition, 25 inch or 50 inch scale Ordnance Survey plans were annotated by the district valuers with the assessment numbers. The boundaries of each plot were also drawn on the plans. These plans are especially useful to identify particular properties prior to looking up further details in the "Domesday" books. Unfortunately, the series which has survived is incomplete. 

A small quantity of  "Forms 37" have survived but they contain little more information than the "Domesday" books.

Other Records (Assessment committee records and valuation lists) *

By the Rating and Valuation Act 1925 local assessment committees were appointed by rating authorities to hear and determine proposals to amend current valuation lists made for general rate purposes and objections to draft valuation lists.

These committees were abolished by the Local Government Act 1948, which transferred responsibility for the preparation and amendment of valuation lists to the Board of Inland Revenue. (Rating and Valuation committees had previously been under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health). For the purposes of hearing appeals against these lists the old assessment committees were replaced in 1950 by local valuation panels and courts.

Online catalogues of Domesday Books (arranged by place):



Online catalogues of other records:

Furness area of Lancashire draft field books

Kendal Ward Land Tax assessments 1928-1948

South and North Westmorland Assessment Committee