Tithe maps and apportionments were drawn up following the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836. Traditionally tithes were a local payment in kind of one tenth of the produce of land and levied for the upkeep of the local church and clergy. A landowner would therefore give the incumbent of the parish church eggs, wool, wheat, etc. With changes in tithe ownership and more extensive land enclosure, however, payment in kind was increasingly converted into a fixed sum of money.
By the 19th century, there were wide variations in the method and level of payment of tithes across the country. Disputes were frequent, tithe payments were devalued by inflation and, increasingly, parishioners resented the payment of tithes. Resentments had a number of causes: tithes increasingly were paid to laymen, Nonconformists objected to supporting the Established Church and many powerful landowners viewed the payment of tithes as a restriction on innovation and growth. The Act replaced payments in kind with a rent-charge levied in accordance with the value of land and in proportion to the price of corn.
Tithe maps are important as the first systematic mapping survey of most of the land in England and Wales, as compared to estate maps which were for limited private use. They were made before the Ordnance Survey produced the large scale 25 inch to the mile series of maps. The tithe map shows where each plot numbered on the apportionment is located. A copy of the Timsbury Tithe Map can be seen here. You will need to use the zoom button to see the map clearly.
Tithe apportionments are documents recording the acreage subject to tithe, the names of all tithe owners and their tenants and the rent-charge due on each plot or parcel of land in the township in question. Each plot is given a number relating to its position on an accompanying map. The Timsbury Tithe Apportionment can be found here. It is dated 1840.