Puttenham Terrier Transcription Project

Puttenham terrier


To see a list of all document pages please click HERE.

The documentary source selected for this transcription project dates from 1765. It is a terrier, a written survey of a defined area — in this case the entirety of Puttenham parish. The terrier is now in the possession of the Puttenham & Wanborough History Society (Muniments Room reference 2/41); we are grateful to the Society for giving permission to use photographs of the terrier’s contents, and all images remain the copyright of Puttenham & Wanborough History Society 2020.

The terrier lacks a title page, but has a title of sorts written above the start of the list of the land parcels; ‘A Terrier of Puttenham - Surveyed by P. P. Burdett . 1765’. This reveals the surveyor to be Peter Perez Burdett, a noted late 18th-century surveyor, cartographer and artist. He came to prominence in 1767 by winning the £100 prize for the best county map in a competition organised by the Society of Arts (his prizewinning entry being of Derbyshire). Prior to this, not a lot is known about Burdett's career, so to be able to identify him as the surveyor of Puttenham parish in 1765 is of no little significance. 

Primarily this project is about the accurate transcription of the names and other information contained within the terrier. It has been used by researchers before, but has never been the subject of research in its own right. We hope that the outcome of this exercise will be a full digital transcription of the terrier, which can make it accessible to many more people. In the process, transcribers will become more confident in their abilities to comprehend historical handwriting as found in original documentary sources.

We also harbour a second ambition for the project; to get participants to start thinking about the meanings of the names they transcribe and, in controlled conditions, suggest possible etymologies. There is no such thing as a typical Surrey parish, but Puttenham encompasses a variety of different geologies and historic land uses also found across large parts of the county, and these will be reflected to varying extents in the names recorded in the terrier. Consequently, it provides an ideal source to get to grips with how names relate to the landscape. Only a small handful of Surrey parishes can boast analyses of all of their field-names, so to produce a full assessment of those in Puttenham in 1765 would be a considerable achievement.

How it will work:

Email outreach@surreyarchaeology.org.uk to register your interest and to communicate progress. Participants will receive instructions of how to access the information on this website where photographs of each of the pages of the terrier can be downloaded from, as well as a table in which the contents of those pages can be transcribed. For those who do not wish to directly access the content from the website, we will email you directly with the photographs and table, which you can then return via email once completed. Please note that each page needs to be assigned to a transcriber to avoid duplications.

The completed transcriptions will be checked by the project lead, Rob Briggs, and, once accepted as accurate, added to a master transcription file and uploaded back onto this website. Occasional update emails will be circulated, informing participants of progress and highlighting names and themes of particular interest. All participants will receive the final completed terrier transcription. 

The following File guidelines are also useful as they have example sheets which have been filled-in, as well as transcription tips and some of the common place-names likely to be encountered. A note on Burdett can be found PDF icon here, and the blank transcription page for filling in File here


All images copyright Puttenham & Wanborough History Society 2020.