Thousands of roads, railways, canals and other public works were built by Act of Parliament and affected many people.
From 1794, promoters of these works deposited plans in Parliament which may survive in the Parliamentary Archives. As well as showing the route of the road, railway or canal, they may include other documents of relevance to family historians including lists of names of owners, occupiers and lessees of land or property affected, and subscribers of capital.
Tracing deposited plans in the Parliamentary Archives
You can search our online catalogue Portcullis for deposited plans. Enter the name of your road, railway or canal in the Any Text field, and a year or year range in the Date field to bring up a list. You may find other relevant material such as Acts of Parliament and opposed private bill evidence, but you can always identify plans among other material as the word 'plan' will be included in the reference. Make a note of the references for the plans you are interested in, and contact us to make an appointment to see the plans or order copies.
Deposited plans may also survive locally so it may be worth you contacting the local record office for the railway, road or canal you are interested in.
The Parliamentary Archives does not hold any plans or awards relating to enclosures, only the Acts of Parliament. Contact the local record office for the area of the enclosure you are interested in to see if they have any surviving enclosure documents. You may also find it helpful to consult the following publication: 'A Domesday of English enclosure acts and awards', by W. E. Tate (University of Reading, 1978).