It is difficult to do justice to the A Vision of Britain Through Time website, because of the depth of information it contains. Like any website, probably the best way to becoming acquainted with it is to dive in and see what comes up, and best of all it is free.
The website was created by the Great Britain Historical Geographical Information System Project, based in the Department of Geography of the University of Portsmouth.
The website describes itself as “A vision of Britain between 1801 and 2001. Including maps, statistical trends and historical descriptions.” It is difficult to describe in more detail because it is so wide-ranging. You are unlikely to find your ancestor mentioned here, but you will probably find plenty of information on where they lived and worked.
I am almost certain that there is something for everyone on this site, whether you are interested in historical maps, travellers tales or census statistics.
Guide to Census Reports: Great Britain 1801-1966 – with a detailed section on the history and contents of the various census reports, all statistical I am sorry to say, no individuals.
William Cobbett, Rural Rides – including the following quote about the inhabitants of Lewes, Sussex, “the people well-dressed; and, though last not least, the girls remarkably pretty, as, indeed, they are in most parts of Sussex; round faces, features small, little hands and wrists, plump arms, and bright eyes. The Sussex men, too, are remarkable for their good looks.”
Administrative Units Typology – a list of administrative units that you might come across in your research, click on each unit name for a detailed description.