Deposited Plans

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This is a backup of the West Yorkshire Archive Service's "Off the Record" wiki from 2015. The live went offline in 2016 and remains unavailable.

The following source list was originally available only on paper in one of the West Yorkshire Archive Service offices. It may have been compiled many years ago and could be out of date. It was designed to act as a signpost to records of interest on a particular historical subject, but may relate only to one West Yorkshire district, or be an incomplete list of sources available. Please feel free to add or update with any additional information.


Parliamentary standing orders at various dates required promoters of bills to authorise public undertakings which would affect property rights to deposit details of the property. The promoters were to deposit a plan of the project and a book of reference naming the owners and occupiers whose lands were to be purchased by agreement or compulsion. These documents were deposited prior to the parliamentary session in which the bill was to be introduced.

There are almost 1200 deposited plans for the West Riding between 1792 and 1888, further details of which can be found on the WYAS catalogue (ref. QE20). Up to the 1830s the most numerous are turnpike road plans, the first deposits of which date from 1806. In the 1840s and 1850s railway plans predominate, then in the 1860s the majority shifts to local authority improvement projects and gas, water and tramway schemes.


The main groups of plans include:

  • canals from 1792
  • railways from 1805
  • turnpike roads from 1806
  • waterworks from 1809
  • urban improvements from 1845
  • land drainage from 1851
  • gas works from 1854
  • tramways from 1869
  • electrical lighting from 1882


From the 1870s local Act procedure was complemented by Provisional Orders which could be obtained in respect of gas, water and electricity undertakings; copies of some of these undertakings can be found in this collection. There are also some copies of plans in sealed wrappings from 1837, deposited with copies for public inspection, also in accordance with parliamentary standing orders. This series is continued in the West Riding County Council collection.