Georeferencing an Example of How It Bought Buriton History to Life

The Buriton Village Association has been able to demonstrate how the village has grown between c.1100 and the present, by digitally overlaying information from maps and other sources.

The aim of the project was to show the way in which the parish has changed and grown through the centuries, posting the maps on-line first and then in print, once any mistakes have been corrected.

First, source material was gathered: maps, censuses, house deeds, wills, sales particulars, electoral rolls etc. An Excel worksheet, listing every house with information on the year/period it was built, owner/occupants and other details was used to arrange the information from the various sources.

The first reliable map available was a map of the estates of Lord Stawell in Buriton and Petersfield by the surveyor James Wyburd of 1793 (HRO: 56M75/E/P1 and 57M78/E/R1). For houses older than that source material was more difficult to find, so the help of a house detective, Dr Annabelle Hughes, was most welcome and confirmed that several of the houses are of medieval origin.

Initially, much time was wasted drawing maps by hand, so it was a great advance to get the help of Cllr Robert Mocatta – now the Chairman of the East Meon History Group – and a friend with IT skills, who helped to produce the maps on the free QGIS programme. It was then possible to create multiple layers on which to draw roads and buildings in different colours for each chosen date. Georeferencing allows layers to be switched on and off, if necessary, to show the village at any given period, adding or removing details as necessary.

The Buriton project has demonstrated how the evolution of any village or town can be studied, with limitless possibilities for the information that can be attributed to a dwelling through time.

Contributed by Daniela Jones.