Howard of Naworth Papers: Plans

Scope and Content

An extensive collection, chiefly consisting of estate plans created in or for the Howard estate office or for members of the Howard family or various land agents etc., early 17th century - 20th century. Some of the plans tie up with field-books, surveys etc. held elsewhere in the Howard of Naworth Papers. There are also plans concerning rail, road and water communications, industries, in particular the coal industry, and water-works. Most plans are manuscript but the collection also includes some printed plans, notably Ordnance Survey plans of various scales and dates and plans in sale catalogues. Some of these printed plans bear manuscript annotations.

Geographical range: (For fuller details of the geographical range of the collection see the general description of the Howard of Naworth Papers under Administrative etc. history.)

  • Cumberland: The bulk of the plans relate to Cumberland, especially to the Barony of Gilsland and near-by manors. Of particular note are a series of estate plans of manors in the Barony of Gilsland drawn up for Lord William Howard in the early 17th century (HNP C713/1, 1A, 2- 13). For a published edition of a related field-book (various copies of which survive: HNP C188/1, 1A and 2) see description of main series of Cumberland deeds and papers.
  • Northumberland: There is also a series of plans relating to Northumberland. Most of these are centred on the Morpeth area. They include (HNP 1967 deposit) a volume of early 18th century survey plans drawn by William Lambert and covering various sections of the Northumberland estate, some coloured and complete with decorative cartouches or pictures, others unfinished.
  • Other areas: Odd items relate to Weardale in County Durham, Grimsby in Lincolnshire, Hackness and Hutton Buscel in Yorkshire and the British Isles in general.


Physically these plans do not form a discrete group. Some of them are scattered throughout the various accessions of Howard of Naworth Papers whereas others are kept in several separate sequences (rolled; flat; etc.) among the departmental map collections. A union catalogue of all the plans in the collection is, however, being compiled (see under catalogues).

Acquisition Information

Most of these plans were among the groups of Howard of Naworth Papers deposited with the Department of Palaeography and Diplomatic of the University of Durham (since 1990 part of the Archives and Special Collections department of Durham University Library) in 1954 and 1960 by M.R.H. Minerals Ltd., the Howard family company. A few plans came with the later Howard of Naworth supplementary accessions, in particular the series of Ordnance Survey plans which forms part of the 1995/96 accession.

Other Finding Aids

Descriptions of a relatively small number of the plans were included in the four catalogues of Howard of Naworth Papers relating to Northumberland and Cumberland published between 1967 and 1970.

A classified union catalogue covering all the plans in the collection, including those mentioned in the published catalogues, is under preparation but at present is only available for consultation in manuscript form in the Archives and Special Collections search-room. This catalogue is divided into three main sequences: Cumberland, Northumberland and other areas. Each sequence is subdivided by place (generally by manor), with additional separate sections under Cumberland and Northumberland for plans relating to communications (rail, road and water) and to industry.

Alternative Form Available

Durham University Library holds negative photostat copies (listed) of some of these plans, including the Lord William Howard plans (C713) and the volume of Lambert plans of Northumberland (HNP 1967 deposit), from which further copies may be made.

Northumberland Record Office: positive photostat copies of the volume of Lambert plans of Northumberland.

Tullie House Library, Carlisle: photostat copies of the Lord William Howard plans.

Conditions Governing Use

At the time of deposit many of the plans were in poor condition or fragmentary and in need of extensive conservation work. The worst cases have now been treated, which has also enabled further identification of the places covered by the plans to be carried out.