The 1925 to 1927 Rating Valuation Maps
The 1925 to 1927 Rating Valuation Map for Eaton Bray, showing Two Counties Mill
The 1925 Valuation Act required a survey of all property for rating purposes.
All local rating authorities except Ampthill Urban District Council agreed to employ J R Eve & Son of Bedford to undertake thir valuation work.
The records, since deposited at Beds & Luton Archives & Records Service include maps and field books.
The surveyors used 2nd edition  Ordnance Survey maps to record the information. The maps show the boundaries of each property by a colour edging or sometimes an overall colour wash. Each unit of property was given a number, corresponding to the page number in the appropriate reference book.For example in the above map C203 is the book, and the number e.g /83 or /141 is the page of that book.
These maps were annotates over time, with additions being made up to the 1950s. As a result the original maps are in very fragile condition. We now have the maps scanned and available online. You can zoom in and out so you can find a particular property and its assessment number.
The Reference or 'Field' Books
The information recorded in the field book is often detailed, and includes comments by the valuer. We have used these books frequently when compiling histories of pubs and other interesting buildings on our Community Archives pages. Most entries for houses give the owner and occupier, rent, number of individual rooms, building materials of house and outbuildings, details of water supply and sanitation and a general comment on the condition of the property. Most such 'cottage' properties are in Dv1/C, with farm properties under DV1/H.
More complex properties susch as country houses, industrial premises and public houses are in 'report books' [ref.DV1/R] The field books provide information as to the state of country houses in the period just after the massive sale of estates that followed the First World War. The valuers were often canded in their comments - Sutton Park was considered 'unlettable' and Harrold Hll 'sadly neglected'. The report books also provide a detailed insight into the running of many businesses, particularly engineering companies, breweries and mills. The state of the order bok of the firm is usually given - normally bad due to the post war depression.
The reference books are in categories as follows:
Ref.DV1/A - Fam cottages, normally for farm workers, including tied cottages.
Ref. DV1/AC - Special Valuation for the Assessment Committee
Ref.DV1/AP - Lists the surveys done of 'Special List' propertied under the 1928 (A) Act. These were mainly industrial and manufacturing properties. Ref. DV1/R provides more detail.
Ref.DV1/APR & DV1/APX - Lists alterations and revisions of DV1/AP
Ref.DV1/C - Cottage properties - all properties not covered in DV1/A
Ref.DV1/CA - Drainage areas
Ref.DV1/H - Farms and homesteads.
Ref.DV1/J - ALterations to list between deposit and approval of the 1934 Valuation List.
Ref.DV1/LRC - Various surveys: Eaton Bray.
Ref.DV1/R - Detailed reports on industrial and commercial premises and major country houses.
Ref.DV1/RL - Land leased out by railways, especially coal yards
Ref.DV1/RLX - Railways
Ref.DV1/T - Town Books (including town centre shops etc)
Ref. DV1/X - additions to basic lists 1927 - 1950
Ref.DV1/Y - Ampthill Urban District Council.
The reference books can be consulted in the public searchroom during our usual opening hours.