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Parish 50

Date of Agreement / Award

Date of Confirmation of Apportionment




Date on Map

Scale of Map



6 chains

John Martin

It must have been a serious temptation for the landowners to dust off the inclosure map that Martin had made in 1823 and reuse it. And that is precisely what happened. Martin made two private maps at Chilfrome one before and one after inclosure. This section is taken from the post inclosure map. There are several points of interest which have been added to the map in pencil and which we must assume were made by John Martin as he made the tithe map.

At points marked A he has used a wiggly line to delete a road running between the closes , similarly at A1 a hedgerow has been removed to create a larger close. At B and B1 he has pencilled in two farmsteads that had been created since inclosure but strangely they are not connected by the road that used to connect them. Higher Chilfrome Farm was built at B and at B1 what is called today Northfield Barn although on the tithe map Martin has depicted a dwelling there.

At C – C5 plantations have been created. At C4 & 5 these are simple strips of trees whilst at C there is a more complex arrangement and today is known as the Luxmore plantation. All of these still exist. At D and D2 the closes that were formed after inclosure have once again been subdivided with hedges to form new closes. At D there are now four new closes and at D2 three. The same has happened in other areas of the map not shown. As a result of all these changes he has had to renumber the various plots as at E [old 138 new 85] and elsewhere.

This is the clearest evidence of Martin using an old map to construct a new map for all of the changes pencilled in on the post inclosure map were incorporated into the new tithe map and whilst he was about it he took the opportunity to change the orientation of the maps. The old inclosure map was orientate with NW up where as the tithe map is NNE up. This has resulted in a switch from a map created in what we would now call portrait mode to one we now call landscape.

Of the commutation itself there is little to say, it being fairly straightforward. There are no diary entries for the commutation [other than the last one] but there are for his valuation for the Poor Law Amendment Act which he carried out shortly after the completion of the commutation. Since 1842 Chilfrome had been appealing against it’s assessment for the Poor rate. In 1845 they appear to have had Martin in to assess the rate but there is no record of any payment to him in the Chilfrome Overseers records.

Joseph Crew Jennings held 17 acres in the parish. Both maps are signed by Martin [type 2] and there are no particular features to either of themselves other than the pictorial church.

24th January 1845

Packing Bottles &c and Working on the Chilfrome Poor Rate

25th January 1845


10th July 1845

Completing the Chilfrome 2nd Rate

19th November 1845

Working on the Abbotsbury Town Plan and writing Circulars for Chilfrome Rate

20th November 1845

Working on Abbotsbury Plan of the Town writing Chilfrome Circulars &c

27th November 1845

Chilfrome 11 O’clock

Attending at Chilfrome to collect Commutation Rate

Reced pt of Chilfrome Rate £20 2s 6d

11th December 1845

Received of Mr E Popes Commutation Rate for Chilfrome £26 4s 0d sent to Bank 12th Dec

Ezekiel Pope farmed over five hundred acres in the parish and his total rent-charge was £74 7s 0d. In due course he and his brother would come to own the lordship of the manor and most of the land. It appears he was not a fan of the church for in the 1860’s they ceased to pay a church rate. The reasons are not known but the move was controversial and unusual enough for it to be mentioned in the Dorset County Chronicle.

Holy Trinity Church, Chilfrome. In this case God’s house was dwarfed in size by the neighbouring Rectory. So often His servants houses dwarfed their Master’s. Martin depicted the church in pictorial fashion on the tithe map. It does not look like this! Martin’s church is a simple rectangular building with a central entrance. The difference is probably explained by the fact , recorded in Hutchins, that it was substantially rebuilt in the 1850’s.

Who can resist the peaceful tranquility of a grave yard ? Ultimately none of us!


List of Commutations under the tithe Act.

Other Reference to Chilfrome Chilfrome Inclosure