Lincoln Rateable Values in 1828-9 - An 'estate agent's map'

An Estate Agent's Map of Lincoln

The valuation can be used to show which parts of Lincoln had the higher-quality houses and which had the poorer. It is not altogether straightforward because a lot of plots include both a house and commercial or industrial property. These have been excluded, as have the relatively small numbers of houses with what appear to be commercial gardens or agricultural land, along with any subdivided houses.

For those that remain, the mean rateable value was calculated for each precinct, certain precincts with very few houses being merged. The results are presented on the accompanying map (the base map used being of 1843), with precincts coloured according to a scale that runs from magenta for the poorest to blue for the richest areas.

Mean rv plot.pdf

That the Close falls into the two wealthiest categories comes as no surprise. The two precincts in the second-highest band (green) around the church of St Peter-at-Arches are less expected. This was the commercial hub of the city; clearly it was also a desirable place to live. In contrast the fringes of the city, except for Far Newland, are poor. The hillside is also forms a belt of low-value housing between the desirable downhill areas and 'uphill'.

It is instructive to look at this downhill area that appears in yellow, the upper-middling part of the range. This embraces Newland and most of the lower High Street as far as the Gowts Drains. Waterside west of Broadgate is excluded - it had already developed an unsavoury reputation - but the block between St Rumbold Street and the river is included, so we can think of this area as broadly 'T'-shaped.

The method we have used probably understates the importance of this 'golden T'. A large proportion of the city's wealthiest merchants lived there, but have been excluded from the calculation because they had a warehouse included within the same plot as their house. Apportioning the rateable value between house and commercial property was too difficult to attempt. Nevertheless one gains the impression that most of these houses would have been worth at least £30 and the mean value for these precincts would have been higher had it been possible to include them.

RW May 2020