Deep Mapping Estate Archives in North East Wales


Project duration: 2020 - 2022 Date coverage: 1620 - 1900 Website Contact

Digital Cultural Heritage GIS / HGIS Maps Linked Data Landscape reconstruction Historical Documents (e.g. Notarial sources; Census records; Ecclesiastical documents; Correspondence) Geohistory Digitization of collections Digital Humanities Cadastral maps Archive Archaeological or architectural heritage

Deep Mapping Estate Archives is an Arts and Humanities Research (AHRC) funded collaborative project across Welsh universities, archives, and heritage institutions. The project has digitally mapped historical records to the real-world locations they relate to, which allows for in-depth analysis of landscape continuity and change.

This pilot project has been focused on a small area of North East Wales consisting of three parishes in Denbighshire; Llanarmon yn iâl, Llanferres and Llandegla and three adjacent parishes in Flintshire; Treuddyn, Nercwys and Mold (as far as the river Alyn). The project has brought together a wide range of large-scale historical maps to create a free, publicly accessible web map:

  • 1869-1874 | Ordnance Survey County Series Mapping (25.344 inches to 1 statue mile or 1:2,500)
  • 1871 | Ordnance Survey Town Plan (126.72 inches to 1 statue mile or 1:500)
  • 1837-1848 | Tithe Survey Mapping (Various scales)
  • 1800-1830 | Enclosure Mapping (Various scales)
  • 1620-1858 | Estate Mapping (Various scales)

The web map presents digitised scanned images of the original historical maps which have been geographically aligned to the modern map using a process called georeferencing. Each map source has also been ‘vectorised’. This means that shapes (polygons) matching the lines drawn on the historical maps have been created digitally, allowing users to click on any landscape feature (field parcel, building, road) to get further information.

Project partners

Lead partners

  • 0013Y000030JEtZQAW

Associated partners

  • 0011t00000tzr3CAAQ

Other partners

  • Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates, Bangor University
  • Aberystwyth University
  • North East Wales Archives
  • Bangor University Archives

Public datasets

1800-1830 Enclosure Mapping

Enclosure awards are legal documents created to record redistribution or reorganisation of land, supplying legal proof of historical ownership and the boundaries of landholdings. Private Enclosures, whether by agreement or compulsion, were undertaken in the medieval and Tudor periods, but formal records of these are scarce. As the practice became more widespread in the mid eighteenth-century, Acts of parliament; known as Enclosure Acts; were established. The earliest such act for Wales is 1756 and they continued up to the 1870s. These acts were usually accompanied by a map of the area to be enclosed showing numbered allotments. These were linked to the Enclosure award, a lengthy document giving details on who was awarded each allotment, its area, who was responsible for maintaining the boundaries and its location. The location given was often a named common, such as Mold Mountain. It is therefore possible with this information to reconstruct the extent of these named commons which is invaluable for understanding earlier records. The awards also give information about wells, quarries, roads, and footpaths and are a valuable source of information. The maps depict the edge of the enclosed land and in some instances, earlier encroachments onto the common land are drawn as well as information such as the owners name is noted within the map. For this project area Mold has three maps, one that stretches along the county border from near Rhydymwyn in the north over Mold Mountain and onto Nercwys Mountain. This map is quite damaged in places, but the allotments have been reconstructed with information from the award. A second map shows Treuddyn Mountain and a third, outside of the project area depicts Buckley Mountain. Llanferres consists of two maps one for allotments east of the river Alyn and the other for those on the west including the village of Maeshafn. Llanarmon has two maps, one for the Clwydian hills and the other covering land to the east of the river Alyn near the villages of Graianrhyd and Eryrys and the township of Bodidris. The Llandegla enclosure consists of a single map covering Moel Garegog and the slopes of Cyrn y Brain. All of these predate the tithe mapping and form an essential element in understanding the development of the landscape.

License: Custom license, please specify

With financial support by