Search for a Place Name:  

Welcome to the Taxatio Database

The taxatio database contains the valuation, plus related details, of the English and Welsh parish churches and prebends listed in the Spiritualities part, as distinct from the Temporalities part, of the ecclesiastical taxation assessment of 1291-2. This was often called the Pope Nicholas IV taxatio because it was carried out on the orders of that pope.

For nearly 250 years virtually all ecclesiastical taxation of England and Wales was based on this extremely thorough and detailed assessment. It is a unique source for the medieval period: no other complete survey of its kind survives for any part of medieval Europe.

Work to establish the database online began in 1986 at the University of Manchester by a research team under the supervision of the late Jeffrey Denton, Professor of Medieval History. It was transferred to the Digital Humanities Institute of the University of Sheffield in 2003, and this version was published online in 2014.

The main source used for the database was the 1802 Record Commission edition: Taxatio Ecclesiastica Angliae et Walliae Auctoritate P. Nicholai IV, ed. T.Astle, S.Ayscough and J.Caley. Professor Denton also carried out detailed researches into the many other scripts of the assessment which survive in record offices and this work is fully described in his Prose Introduction to each diocese. It resulted in much additional information being added to the listed benefices.

At the same time the research team undertook to identify each medieval-named church with its modern placename, dedication and OS grid reference and these were added to the database together with information regarding ownership, patronage and appropriation where possible.

The database is complete or virtually complete for the Southern Province, comprising the dioceses of Canterbury, Rochester, London, Lincoln, Norwich, Chichester, Exeter, Hereford, Salisbury, Bath and Wells, Winchester, Worcester, Ely, St Davids, Llandaff, St Asaph, Bangor and Coventry and Lichfield.

Sadly Professor Denton died before his research work could be extended to cover the Northern Province, comprising the dioceses of York, Durham and Carlisle. The data for these dioceses remains relatively limited, and the records should be viewed with this in mind.

You can also browse the Taxatio database: