Background to the 1910 Doomsday book
In the early 20th century much of land in Britain was still owned by a privileged few, who often got richer as their land increased in value with no effort on their part. This was beginning to be seen by many people as a social injustice. In 1909 the Chancellor of the Exchequer was David Lloyd George (who became Prime Minister in December 1916). The survey is sometimes named after him or its other common name is the Doomsday book. His Liberal Government’s so-called 1909 ‘People’s Budget’ introduced a new tax on any increase in land values due to the State's economic efforts rather than to landowners’ own efforts.
First, a valuation was made of all land in the United Kingdom, to fix the base line from which increases in value would be calculated. Each property was given a plot number, unique within its income tax parish, which was written on the relevant map. Two sets of plans were created. One set, those that were used as working documents in the course of the original valuation, are, where they survive, held at local archives. The other set of plans were created after the valuation was completed and these are held at The National Archive. and the description written in the related Field Book. The annotated maps where surviving are also available. The survey took 5 years to complete. The amount of detail varies but it can give much information about the use and value of lands and buildings, and names of their owners and occupied.
SASHA has transcribed the information given in the working documents for the Stockcross area. These give a map and poor law reference, the name of the occupier the name and address of the owner ,and where it is situated and information on the size and rateable value composition of the property.
Unfortunately we do not have the accompanying notated map to identify exactly which properties are being described. One day a visit to the National Archives might give us this further knowledge.