UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

GIS of the Ancient Parishes of England and Wales, 1500-1850

Title details

SN: 4828
Title: GIS of the Ancient Parishes of England and Wales, 1500-1850
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-4828-1
Depositor: Southall, H.R., University of Portsmouth. Department of Geography
Depositor: Burton, N., University of Portsmouth. Department of Geography
Principal investigator(s): Southall, H.R., University of Portsmouth. Department of Geography
Burton, N., University of Portsmouth. Department of Geography
Sponsor(s): New Opportunities Fund
Other acknowledgements: Roger Kain and Richard Oliver of Exeter University are responsible for collection of the data converted to a GIS.

John Westwood and Paul Carter of the Department of Geography of University of Portsmouth are responsible for the technical work.


The citation for this study is:

Southall, H.R., Burton, N. (2004). GIS of the Ancient Parishes of England and Wales, 1500-1850. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 4828,

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Subject Categories

Historical geography - History
Land use and planning - Environment, conservation and land use
Population history - History


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

Main Topics:
In the middle of 2001 Roger Kain and Richard Oliver, from the University of Exeter, published a substantial work entitled Historic Parishes of England and Wales: Electronic Map - Gazetteer- Metadata. This was the final product of a project aimed at locating and mapping the boundaries of parish and sub-parish units of the mid-nineteenth century. The authors published the results in a series of electronic maps supplied on CD-ROM. Each one of these 115 maps contain a scanned 1":1 mile OS New Popular Series map, overlain by the boundaries. A reference number can be found in each of the polygons that can then be used to look up information about that parish in gazetteer in an accompanying book.

A major limitation of this work is that although the boundaries are in digital form, they are divided into 115 tiles, none of which have any spatial co-ordinate information inherent in them. This means that although the maps are invaluable as a reference tool, they can not be used together within a GIS to select, analyse and present historic information.

We have therefore created a single digital map of the boundaries to provide a single, continuous coverage of polygons, each of which contain the information provided by Kain and Oliver in their accompanying book. This information includes the parish name, Ancient County, and a reference number that coincides with entries for that parish in the 1851 census report.

It is recommended that users also order disc 1 of study 4348; Historic Parishes of England and Wales : an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata

Please note: this study does not include information on named individuals and would therefore not be useful for personal family history research.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 1500 - 1850
Dates of fieldwork: 01 April 2002 - 31 December 2002
Country: England and Wales
Spatial units: Counties (Census Registration)
Parishes (Civil)
Observation units: Administrative units (geographical/political)
Kind of data: Textual data
Numeric data
Universe: Cross-national; National; Subnational
County, parish and sub-parish as reported in the 1851 census report
Time dimensions: Cross-sectional (one-time) study
Sampling procedures: No sampling (total universe)
Method of data collection: Conversion of electronic boundaries to GIS format
Weighting: No information supplied
Data sources: Kain, R.J.P., and Oliver, R.R. (2001) "Historic parishes of England and Wales: Electronic Map - Gazetteer - Metadata", Colchester: History Data Service. ISBN 0 9540032 0 9.

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 30 March 2004
Copyright: Copyright Humphrey Southall, Nick Burton, the University of Portsmouth and Roger Kain and Richard Oliver
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions of access for further information.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
Study documentation guide.pdf 22
A guide to errors contained in the data guide_errors.pdf 445
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_4828_Information.htm 19
READ File read4828.txt 2
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By principal investigator(s):

Resulting from secondary analysis:
Hewitt, C.E.M. (2016) The Battle of Hastings: a geographic perspective, University of Western Ontario. Retrieved July 19, 2016 from (UWO Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository, paper 3628).


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