Chosen by Ian Pennicott, member of staff
Tithe maps represent the earliest attempt at the large scale mapping of the whole country. They were a product of the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836 which allowed tithes to be paid to the Parish in cash rather than tithes i.e. pay with trade-able goods like wool, corn, or services.
The boundaries of Duncton tithe map are principally copied from The Earl of Egremont’s Manorial Maps, executed by Crow, and revised and corrected under the direction of William Knight. This would account for the early date of 1837 for this tithe map, as most others date from the 1840s to the 1850s.
Shown on the tithe map is the then Parish church of St Mary’s which is situated at the bottom of Duncton hill and by the side of Duncton and Dog kennel Farms, occupied by William Broadbridge, Landowner being George Wyndham. By the time of the 1st Edition OS map (1875), the church was in ruin (demolished in 1876), being replaced by the Church of Holly Trinity in the 1865-6, which was a gift from the then Lord Leconfield. The plans were drawn up in 1864-5 by James Castle, Architect, of Oxford. This church houses the 3rd oldest bell in Britain (cast in Normandy in 1369), first installed in St Mary’s.
In the centre of the village is the Swan pub which probably dates back to the 1640s. Until 1814 the Inn belonged to the Manor of Duncton, but on the Tithe map the occupier is shown as William Gill and the Landowner as Ann Duffell. In 1840 the property was bought from Ann Duffell by William Gill, and at this time it is recorded as a brewery attached to an Inn. In 1867 the pub was then purchased by John Wisden, Kent, Middlesex, Sussex and England cricketer who after retirement from the game at 37 set up Wisden cricketers Almanac. It was during his ownership of the Swan that the name was appropriately changed to the Cricketers. He leased the pub to friend and fellow local cricketer James ‘jemmy ’ Dean who played cricket for Sussex, All England XI and along with John Wisden set up the United All England XI. Also involved in cricket was James ‘Jem’ Broadbridge who, along with James Dean, a local cricketer and played for Sussex.
The 1871 census shows us that James Dean retained the public house, and also had a house keeper, a general domestic, and two lodgers, which remains the same in the 1881 census. By the following census of 1891 however, the Cricketers has changed hands once again, this time to an Ann Pescod, along with her two children, one general domestic and an Ostler. In 1901 Ann is still the licensee, and the following census of 1911 shows that Ann’s son, Walter George Pescod, had taken over the running of the Cricketers.
Tithe maps can be used to facilitate many different types of research, and are an invaluable source of information when tracing buildings like the Swan/Cricketers pub back through the ages. Not only informative for local history purposes, the maps themselves can contain beautiful illustrations and elaborate designs that chart the skills and traditions of cartography in general. West Sussex Record Office tithe maps were digitised in 2007 by Icam Archive Systems as part of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, West Sussex Archives Society and The Golden Trust. The information contained in the apportionments, which recorded the owners and occupiers of land, were transcribed by nearly 100 volunteers who took part in the project.
You can view all the map images, and the apportionment data, on a computer in the Record Office searchroom and also at Worthing Library. Some of the other libraries have copies of the tithe maps for their local area.
You can also purchase the tithe maps on CD.