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The 1910 Inland Revenue Survey

The 1910 land valuation survey by the Inland Revenue was the first listing of property ownership since Domesday and it gives a starting point to the hundred years of Caversham’s life that are being celebrated. It was carried out to have a base line for any inflation in house or land prices so that the government could levy a tax on the increase when the property next changed hands – in effect a capital gains tax on house sales – and was part of Lloyd George’s People’s Budget.

Every property was described in terms of its size, rooms, building materials, owner, leaseholder and tenant, as well as capital value and rent paid. Rows of terrace houses were under single ownership and the tenant often did not know who the owner was, just who collected the rent on his behalf.

Caversham properties

The Inland Revenue started with large scale colour maps and worked out from them how each area would be covered. Field officers carried out the survey and recorded their findings, one page per property in a note book, whose number corresponded to the area on the map. The maps and notebooks are all at The National Archives at Kew. Unfortunately the map for Caversham is lost but the note books are there and have the numbers IR 58/ 65104 and 65105 and 68918 – 68949.  Caversham Court for example appears with a sketch map of the site and all the buildings, greenhouses and dog kennels identified on page 167 of field book IR 58 /68919. 

Examples of Caversham entries

IR 68919 Bridge St
Page 118 

The Thames Valley Hotel at 2 Bridge Street, Caversham
Occupied by G Bone, owned by Annie May, on a 7-year tenancy from 1905, valued at £2500.
Three floors: 2 kitchens, scullery, 3 cellars, store room, pantry, WC, coffee room, smoking room, lounge, another pantry and WC, 6 bedrooms and another WC and a billiard room in the yard.

IR 68931 Cromwell Rd
Page 1362

2 Cromwell Rd
Occupier Blesset, Owner Jas Haslam, freehold
£19 rent, Semi detached house of 5 rooms on 2 floors, fair garden

IR 68938

Page 2056

House and Island near Caversham Lock
Occupied by D hedges, owned by EJ Jesse, freehold
Detached 3 roomed cottage, small vegetable garden, fruit trees, large well planted withy bed,
Let at fair rent of £21

From Gill Clark, author of ‘Down by the River’
20 May 2011

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