Cynefin is an innovative HLF funded project which aims to digitise all the tithe maps of Wales. The project’s showcase currently is a sophisticated and enjoyable crowdsourcing website which aims to get the public involved in transcribing tithe documents and geographically positioning the maps.
This website, and many of the digitised maps will be shown all over Wales over the next year starting at the National Eisteddfod in Meifod this week.
At the Eisteddfod, several tithe maps will be exhibited at the stalls of the National Library of Wales and the Farmer’s Union Wales and at Y Lle Hanes – a new exhibition at the Eisteddfod this year, dedicated to local history. At this local history exhibition there will be several tithe maps from Montgomeryshire on show, including a large tithe map composition of the Meifod area, which has been merged from smaller parish and township maps with the help of local volunteers. Tithe maps are an important source of information about the lost villages and houses of Wales, and on display will be a tithe map showing Garth, a Gothic mansion which was situated in Guilsfield, not far from the Eisteddfod, and which was demolished in 1947. Another tithe map will show the drowned village of Llanwddyn which now lies under Llyn Vyrnwy reservoir.
Similarly at the National Library of Wales stand, parts of Llanycil and Llanfor tithe maps will be displayed to show the land that was drowned in 1965 to create the Llyn Celyn reservoir.
All of these maps will be displayed along with pages of tithe apportionment documents, which name the landowners, land occupiers, land use and field names from the 1840s when the tithe maps were drawn up. The information included in these tithe apportionment documents make them, along with the maps, a valuable resource for family and local history.
A tithe map which includes the Eisteddfod grounds will be displayed at the FUW stand along with documents which depict information about the fields such as their historic names. Interestingly, the way field names were recorded in the 1840s for tithe purposes can be compared to the way in which field names are recorded today as part of the SAF/RPW online process. Cynefin is currently working in partnership with the FUW to showcase tithe maps in agricultural shows across Wales over the next month.
The Cynefin project is eager to get the people of Wales involved in transcribing the tithe maps, and their associated schedules which name land owners and occupiers, land uses and field names. This will help create an innovative and comprehensive online research tool for people to access and research the tithe maps and documents. Find out more about the Cynefin website and volunteering opportunities by visiting cynefin.wales or visiting the National Library of Wales stand at the National Eisteddfod