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House History at Tameside Local Studies & Archives Unit



Publications on the subject can be useful to start with, coupled with a general look Photograph of Great Norbury Street, Hyde - showing terraced housing.over the property concerned. Is there, for example, a date stone in the masonry or a fire insurance plaque on a wall? (For an index of Fire Insurance Policies, contact Stockport Central Library.)

Books on the local area can show a community's growth or decline, or what sort of housing was built in a particular area and why. See the Tameside Bibliography in the 'Town Histories' section for a list of books about each town in Tameside.

Trade Directories

For businesses, we hold various local directories from 1772. Some are on microfiche.

Listed Buildings

2 volumes of the 1987 edition of listed buildings in Tameside are available, as are scrap-books compiled by K. Dyson of 'Interesting Old Buildings' (qL720). A description of the current listed buildings of Tameside can also be accessed via the internet at

Maps and Plans

Although an obvious source, it is worth noting the different types available.

County Maps These early maps are generally of too small a scale to trace a property, but are often surprisingly accurate. We hold copies from 1577.

Boundary map of Ashton under LyneEnclosure and Tithe Maps These eighteenth and early nineteenth century maps, drawn up for legal and tax purposes, should be consulted with their respective award or schedule of apportionment and are held at County Record Offices. The Local Studies Library has copies of the Cheshire tithe maps and apportionments for Tameside. Cheshire Tithe Maps can also be viewed online. It is worth noting that areas are usually covered either by enclosure or tithe, so if an area is covered by an enclosure map, a tithe map was not made. There was, for example, no tithe map nor apportionment for Ashton parish (including Mossley, Audenshaw and parts of Stalybridge).

Ordnance Survey For this area, these date from the mid-nineteenth century and vary in scale from one to sixty inches to a mile. Current mapping can be consulted at Tameside Libraries Information Service in Ashton Library.

Deposited Plans These vary tremendously in detail and accuracy. The Local Studies Library holds many plans in the Stamford Estate Collection - including those of Glebe land, houses, streets, farms, waterworks, rivers, sewers, railways, schools and mills, from about 1765 to 1961.


Rate Books There is a large, though incomplete, collection of rate books for the Tameside area which can be useful. Please note:

  1. The ancient parish boundary is sometimes followed
  2. The order of the houses may seem haphazard and sometimes properties are grouped together which are rated to the same person
  3. Be aware of infilling of houses in urban areas
  4. Numbering of houses did not come into practice until the end of the nineteenth century.

Land Tax Returns An earlier form of property taxation, these show owners, occupiers and taxes paid, but no addresses. We have the returns for Cheshire (1780 - 1832) on microfilm.

Hearth Tax Return This was a short-lived tax on each hearth in a house. The property is not described in the returns, but the number of hearths in each house is given. The administrative areas are in 'hundreds' and we have some copies here on microfilm for 1664.

Title Deeds

If you pay a mortgage and are interested in tracing your own house, you could check for title deeds with your mortgage. Outside a solicitor's or a large estate deposit, a complete set of deeds is rarely found. At the Local Studies Library, we have some deeds relating to the Lees Family (DDL), the Clarke Family and the Heginbottom Family.

We have a small number of deposits from solicitors' offices which include occasional title deeds, but these collections are not comprehensive for the area.


If the first name of the owner changes on the title deeds, a will may show how the property changed hands.

Pre-1858 probate records for Cheshire and Lancashire are at their respective Record Offices. The Local Studies Library has indexes for Cheshire to 1837 and for Lancashire to 1858, compiled by the Lancashire and Cheshire Record Society.

Post-1858 wills were proved at district civil courts. Indexes for Manchester are held at Greater Manchester County Record Office.

Sale Catalogues

Properties which were part of a large estate may be traced from these. The Local Studies Library has copies of two sale catalogues for parts of Mottram, 1841 and 1919. We also have some sale catalogues of household items from large houses in the Ashton area (classified at L643).

Turnpike Records

Those for the Manchester and Saltersbrook Turnpike Trust and some for the Manchester, Hyde and Mottram Turnpike Trust are held here. They include schedules and some plans of the areas involved.

Census Records

We have census returns for the Tameside region from 1841 and, although used more for tracing people, they can show whether a house - or even a whole road - existed when the census was taken.

Photographs and Illustrations

Illustrations, although interesting, can show an artist's interpretation rather than an accurate representation of a scene, but they may be able to indicate where infilling of houses may have occurred.

The photograph collection at the Local Studies Library is extensive and can be used to give an accurate record of housing, but, of course, it is a comparatively modern source to use. The photograph collection can be searched online.

Useful Addresses

Postal Address Greater Manchester County Record Office Central Library, St Peter’s Square, Manchester M2 5PD
Telephone Number 0161 8325284
Website: Greater Manchester County Records Office Webpage Link to External Website

Postal Address Cheshire Record Office Duke Street, Chester, CH1 1RL
Telephone Number 01244 602574
Email Address

Postal Address Lancashire Records Office Bow Lane, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2RE
Telephone Number 01772 533039
Email AddressContact form on web site. 
Website: Link to External Website Record Office

Postal Address Land Registry Office Lytham District Wrea Brook Court, Lytham Road, Warton, Lancashire, PR4 1TE
Telephone Number  0300 0060411
Website: Link to External Website

Postal Address Stockport Archive Service Central Library, Wellington Road South, Stockport, Cheshire, SK1 3RS
Telephone Number 0161 4744530
Email Address
Website: Link to External Website

Tameside also has a register of all council-owned land and premises.

Public Bodies Land Register Telephone Number 0161 3423403

The Local Studies Centre also takes periodicals to assist in all aspects of local history.

Advance booking is necessary for microfilm readers. Please note that archives will not be produced within 30 minutes of closing time and that all archives must be returned 15 minutes before closing time. If you have any queries, please ask the staff at the Local Studies and Archives Centre and we will try to help.

Important: Please include your name and postal address when you send us a message as this will help us provide a full response to your enquiry.

April 2021

Contact information

Send us a message
0161 342 4242
0161 342 4245
Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre
Cotton Street East
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