Recently, I found www.visionofbritain.org.uk, a free site, with information from the Imperial Gazetteer containing maps and short histories of places in England. On the site’s home page, there is a box labeled “Find A Place” in the upper left corner. Enter the name of the village or its post code, and click the ‘search’ button. You will now have a historical map and the description from the Imperial Gazetteer. I tried Swaffham, Norfolk and Milton Keynes, Bucks with good results.Wilson, John Marius. Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales. Edinburgh: A Fullarton & Co., 1870-72.
There is a list on the left side of the screen with ‘Location’ highlighted and five more choices for you to explore about this village – Historical Places and Writing; Historical Photographs; Units and Statistics; Related Websites; and Place Names. When I clicked on ‘Related Websites’, I found a link to Victoria County History, an encyclopedia of county histories begun in 1899 and dedicated to Queen Victoria. ”It records England's places and people from earliest times to the present day. Based at the University of London since 1932, the VCH is written by historians working in counties across England.” From the Milton Keynes search results, a click on the VCH link will take you to a site titled ‘British History Online’:'Parishes : Milton Keynes', A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 4 (1927), pp. 401-405. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=62605 (This site will take a whole post to describe. Stay tuned.)
©2012, Susan Lewis Well