Welcome to the Tardis Tours!
Auction maps for the sale of the Kempley Estate in 1919
Tardis Tours allows a search of the Kempley social history resources by location. It is built around the auction maps drawn up in 1919 for the sale of the Kempley Estate. The maps, and the descriptions of each lot within the sale, provide a detailed inventory of property in the village, down to individual fields and buildings - in effect a snapshot of the village at that time.
The auction maps are based upon the 1903 Ordnance Survey. The different colours on the maps help to discriminate between the individual farms or tenancies that make up the Lots.
Tardis Tours also gives access to those resources in the database which can be linked to specific locations. Resources may include the details of a cottage as described for the auction. (Additionally there may be an audio file (MP3) telling the social history related to this building, photographs old and new (jpeg), or research and archive documents (.pdf)
One auction map covers Kempley, while a separate map shows the outlying portions of the Beauchamp estate in Dymock and Newent. This second map is of interest in showing key transport routes close to Kempley. There was a canal whose traces can still be seen. This was soon replaced by a branch line of the Great Western Railway, which ran between Cheltenham and Ledbury until closed under the Beeching cuts in 1959. The railway was important to the local economy, not least in carrying Kempley's springtime speciality - wild daffodils to market as well as visitors to view them in the wild. The KempleyTardis also visits points of interest in Dymock – look for the Tardis symbols on the map.
Tithe map of 1839 for the parish of Kempley
This map is another rich source of information in that it can be linked to lists showing who occupied the land and who owned it. Additionally it shows individual fields as they were at the time, together with their names and tithe numbers (the latter are useful for anyone wishing to visit the Gloucestershire County Council Archives to look at the 6ft long map and Tithe ledger.).
The field names shown on the map are interesting in themselves. They range from the prosaic and descriptive, such as Wheat Field or Yew Tree Field, to the macabre as in Dead Woman's Orchard, to the downright intriguing - Aladdin or The Kisses. A detailed account and interpretation of the tithe map by local historian Geoff Gwatkin is included in the database.
1884 composite Ordnance Survey map
The database contains an 1884 map of Kempley of the first edition at a scale of 25 inches to 1 mile. Looking at this alongside the 1839 tithe map it is already possible to see where hedgerows have been removed in a few places to create larger fields. It enables a detailed comparison of land use both with the 1839 tithe map, the 1903 map below and of course subsequent OS editions up to the present day. Using only three colours this map highlights the water resources, the 19th Centuary properties and the roads.
1903 Ordnance Survey map
This map included in the database by kind permission of the Ordnance Survey, is the edition upon which the auction maps are based. Like the earlier edition it provides a route to understanding changing agricultural practice between then and now. (NB The OS field reference numbers are different from the tithe numbers shown on the tithe map.)
Electric company map of 1931
This map, maintained by Harry George's daughter Sheila is an example of a map for contractors on the installation route for electricity to their property The Burrows in Kempley Green. Listen to an audio account of Harry George's life.
The aerial photographs taken in July 1966, which can either be accessed via the Tardis symbols on the auction map or browsed directly, are interesting to look at alongside the maps. Again these offer a fascinating view of land use, showing not least the high prevalence of cabbage growing in the village at that time! There are also old vehicles to be seen and speculated over, and buildings which have changed dramatically – or hardly at all.