General Rate and Water Charges


These records were created by the finance department of the Hull Corporation. The finance department played a major role in the improvements to the town, as well as in the general functions of the corporation. They held responsibility for such functions as borrowing and debt collection, as well as recording the finances of various sectors of the Hull Corporation including the water department.

Prior to 1974 the Corporation had been responsible for the supply of water to the townsmen since it acquired the Derringham Springs under the charter of 1447.

The Municipal Reform Act of 1835 gave the Corporation a stronger financial position by granting them wider powers to levy rates but these powers were little used.

Although a Water Committee was appointed by the newly reformed corporation in order to consider improving the water supply in Hull following the Cholera epidemic of 1832, rates for the corporation and the board of health were generally still levied by the parishes until 1929 when the rating function was formally transferred by the Local Government Act (19 and 20 Geo. V chapter 17).

The 20th century saw the Water Department extending its area of supply beyond the city boundary, so that by the 1930s the area of supply was 308 square miles for a population of 375,000. The average daily consumption in a typical year during the 1930s was 13,400,000 gallons. Charges were based on a sliding scale and there were both domestic and trade rates.

The Water Act of 1973 eventually made provision for a national policy for water, including sewerage and sewage disposal, fisheries and land drainage as well as the discharge of these functions. Accordingly, on 1 April 1974, The Kingston upon Hull Corporation Water Undertaking was transferred to the Yorkshire Water Authority.

What can the collection be used for?

There are 109 volumes of rate books in this collection. They form a crucial resource from the early part of the Second World War when many records such as electoral registers and trade directories ceased to be produced due to national security and paper shortages. They cover Hull and its outlying villages, including Hessle and Anlaby.

Most of the entries, but not all, give details of the rate-payer, and/or the name of the owner of the property. The collection can be used for family history purposes, for finding the history of a given property and for finding a property’s rateable value for the period 1939-40.

How do I access the collection?

The collection is available for anyone to use and has been given the unique reference number C TFR/2. The former reference for this collection was TFR/57-166. The rate books are divided into districts and the number of volumes depends on the size of the district to which they relate.

Most of the rate books are indexed by street at the start of the volume. For those volumes that are unindexed, we have created an index on our catalogue entry for that volume. To help you find the property that you are researching you can now conduct a search for a given street on our online catalogue.

Please note that terraces may be listed individually or under the main street in which they are located. We have tried to highlight the properties where the names of the owner/occupier are NOT given but in certain individual entries this information may be missing.

Please bear in mind therefore that these volumes may not always provide the answer that you are looking for. Abbreviations used in all of the volumes include:
‘o’ name and address of owner
‘x’ owner occupied

Access conditions

Access to this material will be granted to any accredited reader.

Is there other material relating to General Rates and Water Charges?

There are several sources of information that relate to Hull and District water supply within our Local Studies section. They include publications by the Kingston upon Hull Corporation Water Department giving details of water rates and charges for the years, 1917, 1928,1937 and 1954 (see L 628.1)

C TCM Council Minutes

C TCWA Papers relating to the Corporation Water Department.

C PRH Hull Parish Records 1849-1928 including rate books from 1855-96 (20 vols) and valuations 1898-1928 (22 vols)

C PRS Sculcoates Parish Records 1775-1929 including rate books 1832-1835, 1841, 1846, 1850 (4 vols) and valuation lists 1906-1929 (116 vols)