Menu Home


Parish 38

Date of Agreement / Award

Date of Confirmation of Apportionment




Date on Map

Scale of Map



5 ½ chains

John Martin

The maps are drawn to an unusual scale and are equally odd because they are composed of six different sections, the parish being very strung out. The main centre of habitation in 1840, known as Belchalwell Street was perched half way up a steep hill known as Bell Hill. [1] At the base of the hill were scattered houses, farms and the church. Today this forms the main village.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It is mapped on two pieces of parchment so there is no obvious reason why he did not map it to 6 chains to the inch. There is one interesting feature in that a tiny part of the parish was located at Fiddleford and in order to locate it he draws the most prominent feature at the time, Fiddleford bridge which he labels a, and then takes a line from it to a building in the plot which he labels b. He then tells us that the distance between a & b is 990 feet. For some reason he used a farm building rather than the house on the plot. Since the former were more likely to fall down than the latter it seems and odd choice. In this way using the bearing and distance the plot was accurately fixed. The maps have a pictorial church.

His previous work to this point had impressed with his skill but, to lapse into contemporary language, this map is awesome. Not for what it contains so much, as the fact that with the exception of the land at Fiddleford the remaining 5 sections of the map overlie the modern OS map precisely. A truly remarkable achievement when one considers the complexity of the parish and the steep terrain.

Both maps are signed by Martin and there is only one diary entry from 1845. The Rector in Belchalwell was a Revd. John Bastard but the Revd. Nathaniel Templeman owned some fifty acres here and one hundred and eleven acres in Gobson Common, Child Okeford. He owed £17 7 0d on his acres in Belchalwell but only 19 shillings on his acres at Child Okeford thanks to a modus there. It is not sure how these figures come to add up. Templeman had died since commutation.

August 1845

Reced of Peter Erle Esq the late Revd N Templeman Commutation Expenses at Belchalwell and Child Okeford Belchalwell 13 8 0

Okeford 5 0 0

18 8 0


List of Commutations under the Tithe Commutation Act

1 Bell Hill has a height of 250m, Belchalwell Street 140m and the lower village 90m.