Documentary evidence for highway research

1 December 2017
Civic Centre, Keynsham
10am till 4.30pm

Researching the history of a highway may be required in the roles of public rights of way, commons registration and land charges.  Knowledge of the primary and secondary documentary sources, where to find them, their significance, interpretation and value can save a great deal of time and effort in resolving questions about the history of land and highways.
This course provides an overview of the common sources as a foundation for the detail in subsequent courses.

Main topics

  • Tithe maps and awards
  • Inclosure maps and awards
  • Inland Revenue maps and valuations
  • Railway and canal plans
  • Quarter Session records
  • Parish council and Highway Board minutes
  • Ordnance Survey records
  • Estate maps, deeds and sales particulars

Learning Outcomes

  • Clear understanding of the main documents and where to find them
  • Appreciation of their context and its effect on their value as evidence
  • Awareness of good practice in presentation of evidence
  • Appreciation of the limitations of interpretation and conflicting opinions

Within a day, it is not possible to address all sources in any detail.  The course is designed for people recently engaged in public rights of way work and needing a foundation in what constitutes documentary evidence and how to use it.

Intermediate : for delegates with some prior knowledge of public rights of way or highways

The course is designed for Rights of Way Officers whose role includes maintenance, enforcement or definitive map work; legal officers or solicitors; commons registration officers.


Helen Denton has been a Definitive Map Officer with Hertfordshire County Council for over twelve years.  She has extensive experience of evaluating evidence and applying the legal tests in processing modification and diversion orders and in representing the authority at public inquiries.


Civic Centre
Market Walk
BS31 1FS
Keynsham railway station is approximately ten minutes walk away. Buses from Bristol, Bath and Kingswood stop in Keynsham ( 0870 608 2608). Bath Hill car park BS31 1HH costs £1.30 for up to eight hours; it is advisable to bring the correct change.

Cost and Booking

All prices exclude VAT

Members £245
Non-members £340

Contact Geri Coop for a booking form or with any questions.