TCTOP – Historical Gazetteers
What are gazetteers?
When we started the project, we wanted to know what historic archive and archaeological information was available about our orchards.
We commissioned a series of historical gazetteers for the areas in the three counties that we thought we were most likely to be working in.
Gazetteers are really helpful to our local history research because they tell us the quantity and location of available information including:
- historic maps, including tithe maps from the 1840s and OS maps from 1889 onward
- primary archive sources, including deeds, wills, estate records, sale particulars and valuation surveys
- published sources like accounts written at the time, trade directories, news articles and cuttings,
- books written about the period, including local histories and studies of the orchard trades
- details of heritage assets and archaeological information relating to our orchards or the orchard industry which have been recorded in the Historic Environment Record (HER)
- a brief assessment of the potential for further research and archaeological investigation
Where to research orchard history
If you are interested in doing your own research into the Three Counties Traditional Orchards, there are a number of places we’d recommend you visit.
The Museum of Cider holds the business archives relating Bulmers Cider Company and the smaller businesses they bought. The museum collection also includes many objects, images and publications relating to the history of orchards, apple-growing and cider-production.
County Record Offices hold many of the archive documents and books listed in these gazetteers. They also have collections of historic newspapers, trade directories, tithe records, local studies publications and many original documents on microfilm.
When beginning your research, always ring ahead to let the staff know you are coming!
In Gloucestershire, we looked at historic archive and archaeological information relating to parishes in Dymock and the Stroud area.
Where to find Gloucestershire’s archives
You can find archives and research materials relating to Gloucestershire’s orchard history at Gloucestershire Archives.
The county HER is managed by Gloucestershire County Council Archaeology Service.
“If you look carefully at the orchard – you can get a good understanding of its history. Everything was done for a reason. You can literally ‘read’ so much about its social history and role. If you were restoring a heritage building you wouldn’t dream of putting UPVC windows next to the originals, so why would you restore an orchard in a way that hides its story? We’ve taken care at Wick to do our research and make sure this story isn’t lost.”
In Herefordshire, we looked at historic archive and archaeological material relating to parishes west of Hereford City, and around Garway and Whitbourne.
Where to find Herefordshire’s archives
You can see archive material relating to Herefordshire’s orchard history at HARC – Herefordshire Archives & Records Centre – in Rotherwas.
HARC also holds the Historic Environment Record.
You can browse Herefordshire History Online to see digitised copies of many of the county’s photo collections.
In Worcestershire, we looked at historic archive and archaeological information relating to parishes around Tenbury Wells and the Vale of Evesham.
Where to find Worcestershire’s archives
You’ll need to visit The Hive in Worcester to see the archives, local studies collections and Historic Environment Record for Worcestershire and Worcester City.
You can’t miss it! It’s the giant golden building beside the River Severn!