Recently I have seen that Ancestry.co.uk has launched on-line the Land Tax Valuations from 1910 London. Now we all know that property goes up and down, with most home owners expecting that the long term trend is up. Well this data collection reveals that the historic values of some of the capital’s most famous streets and landmarks from just over a century ago and no surprises that they were lower then than they are today.
Originally the records were compiled in 1910, from across the UK as part of David Lloyd George’s 1910 Finance Act and later refereed to as the ‘Domesday Survey’. The reason behind the government gathering this information was as a means to redistribute wealth through the assessment of land value.
What do the records contain for family historians? There is a listing of the owners and occupiers of the properties and it includes the address, value and annual rental yield for the properties in London in the early 20th century.
The average 1910 property could be purchased for a price tag of just Â£14,000, it would seem â€“ almost 3,000 per cent less than today.
Of particular interest are the values of famous landmarks included in the collection. The Bank of England; worth a mere Â£110,000 in 1910, the Old Bailey; worth just Â£6,600, and Mansion House; which contrastingly was valued at an impressive Â£992,000. St Paul’s Cathedral also features, but without a valuation as it is listed as ‘exempt’ from tax.
Perhaps more surprising is that the media-hub Fleet Street, was then home to numerous newspapers from outside of London including the Liverpool Courier, Yorkshire Evening News and the Newcastle Chronicle! A property on Fleet Street cost an average of Â£25,000 in 1910, compared to Â£1.2 million today.
The records provide us with a valuable snapshot of the ownership of land at the beginning of the 20th century. It may help those with ancestors who appear in the collection to find out more about their forebears respective financial situations and the lives they led a hundred years ago.
Ancestry.co.uk International Content Director Dan Jones, whom I interviewed recently at Who Do You Think You Are? Live about their website, comments: â€œThese records are especially useful as a census substitute for people tracing their London ancestors who may not have been captured in the England and Wales 1911 Census.
â€œThe collection offers a fascinating insight into our capital at the beginning of the 20th century – a time when Britain was on the verge of major social, political and economic change.â€
The collection complements the extensive census records, ranging from 1841 to 1901, already online at Ancestry.co.uk.