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Tithe maps given new lease of life


The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth is excited to present Places of Wales, a new online platform for people to search for places in its collections. The first collection to be made available is the Tithe Maps of Wales.

Produced between 1830 and 1850, tithe maps are a fantastic source of information to family and local historians, and to anyone who’s ever wondered how the Welsh landscape has changed over the last 200 years.

For the first time ever, you’ll  be able to search and browse approximately 1,200 tithe maps and over 30,000 pages of digitised, descriptions of farms and villages funded by the HLF Cynefin project.

Linda Tomos, Chief Executive and Librarian, The National Library of Wales said:

“What has been achieved here by the Library and its partners is quite remarkable and this incredible resource will benefit everyone who’s interested in the places where they live and work. Innovation and growth is important to us and this new platform ensures that the Library remains at the cutting edge of using technology to provide free access to our collections for pleasure, learning and research.”

On Places of Wales you will be able to search for people, parishes, field and homesteads  and see your results on a modern satellite or 1880 OS map. You can also browse through the tithe maps and index documents by selecting places from a gazeteer which will then display the results on a map interface.

One of the highlights of Places of Wales is the ability to see the whole of Wales as a one enormous joined map. This means that you can browse the maps and cross from one parish to another. You can also select to see the boundaries of each map and their names.

The Library intends to develop the website into the future, adding further collections so that they can be viewed on different map layers, and allowing our users to compare and contrast different collections and develop new areas for research.

Further Information

Elin-Hâf 01970 632471 or

Notes for editors

  • The Cynefin Project was a crowdsourcing project funded by HLF, to repair and digitise the tithe maps of Wales. This included both maps from NLW and other external institutions
  • Tithe maps were produced between 1838 and 1850 following the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836 as part of the process of ensuring that all tithes were paid with money rather than produce. These maps cover 95% of Wales and are the most detailed maps of their time.
  • The Cynefin project was run by a partnership led by Archives Wales, and also includes the National Library of Wales and People’s Collection Wales. Most of the funding was provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund but there was support also from The Welsh Government’s Museums, Archives and Libraries Division, the National Library of Wales and Archives Wales.