Notes on the 1830s Townland Valuation

The Townland Valuation of 1828-40 was the first valuation to be undertaken in Ireland under the First Valuation Act of 1826. Most Ulster counties were valued during the 1830s which is why I refer to this valuation as the 1830s Townland Valuation.

The Townland Valuation of the 1830s was primarily a valuation of land. Initially, only buildings with an annual value of £3 or more were to be included. From 1838 this threshold was raised to £5. These criteria meant that most buildings in rural areas were excluded. However, because Co. Londonderry and North Antrim were valued in the early 1830s, and the £3 rather than the £5 restriction applied, some houses in townlands were included initially, only to be stroked out later. By contrast, many buildings in towns had an annual valuation in excess of £5, so there are usually lists of occupants' names in most of the streets in each town within both counties.

Although many houses were not included in this valuation [unlike the later Griffith's [Tenement] Valuation of 1846-1864] detailed information on the houses and offices (outbuildings) is available for those that were valued. Below is a page from the 1833 Valuation Book for the Parish of Ballymoney in the Barony of Dunluce Upper, Co. Antrim. The books for the Parish of Ballymoney are particularly good. Here you can see details of some of the houses in the townland of Seacon More. Details on each building include the measurements for each building. A code was used by the valuers to describe house and offices (outbuildings). It was a combination of numbers and letters. The numbers referred to the construction of the building, particularly the walls and roof. The letters were used to describe the condition and age of the building.

Construction of the building
1 a building of stone that was slated.
2 a building of stone that was thatched.
Condition and age of the building
A a new or nearly new building.
B+ a building of medium age, but still in sound order and good repair
B a building of medium age that was slightly decayed, but still in good repair.
B- a building of medium age that had deteriorated and was not in perfect repair.
C+ an old building, but in repair.
C an old building and out of repair.
C- old and dilapidated and scarcely habitable.

Therefore, a house coded as 2B had stone walls and a thatched roof and was of medium age, slightly decayed, but in good repair. New slated houses were 1A. Note that the dwelling house in the first house in the Seacon More page below was coded as 2B.

Notice, incidentally, that the numbering of each house has been changed. The first house in the Seacon More was initially numbered as 5. It was then changed to 3 and finally to 2Aa. This tells us that in this part of Co. Antrim the original valuation [carried out in January 1833] was revised as least twice. The last number in the sequence is the number that appears in the 1861 Griffith's [Tenement] Valuation. I must point out that this is not always the case. Many townlands would have had very few, if any, houses recorded in these Valuation Books. Contrast the Seacon More page with the Gorteade page below. Gorteade was in the Parish of Maghera in the Barony of Loughinsholin, Co. Londonderry. You can read more about these two townlands in the Valuation Records webpage.

You can see more examples of pages at - 1830s Townland Valuation [Some examples from Co. Londonderry and North Antrim].

Copyright 2015 W. Macafee.