Maps can show how an area has changed and developed over time.

Suffolk Archives’ collections include various types of map.

For example:

  • Ordnance Survey (OS) maps, at various scales, including the 25 inch editions from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the 50 inch editions for some urban areas published in the 1880s. The National Library of Scotland has a range of OS maps for our area and are available to view for free online.
  • County Maps of Suffolk including John Kirby’s map of 1736 (586/13) and the 1766 edition updated by his sons, Joshua and William (HD264/1).
  • Copies of the tithe records compiled for Suffolk following the 1836 Tithe Commutation Act – these include tithe apportionments listing landowners, occupiers, land use and tithe rent charges, and the related tithe maps showing the plots listed in the apportionment.
  • Enclosure awards and maps for the area you are interested in – these generally date from the 19th century. Enclosure was a process of land redistribution, creating unitary farms out of common lands, waste land and open fields.
  • Any other plans or surveys of your parish such as estate or farm maps, some date back to the 17th century e.g. the Hardwick Estate in 1663 (HD2418/93) and town plans e.g. John Darby’s map of Aldeburgh of 1594 (E1/1/16/1).
  • If you are researching a town site it may be worth looking in the Local Studies collection for town guides which may include a street plan.

Other documents which may include maps and plans:

  • Sales particulars e.g. Chadacre Hall, Shimpling in 1823 and 1918 (HD729/1 and HD526/121/6)
  • Title deeds may include a plan of a property
  • Local government documents e.g. Little Glemham footpath survey 1951-52 (A473/21), East Suffolk County Council.