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Field parcel numbers

Find out everything you need to know about field parcel numbers and how they are shown on Ordnance Survey (OS) maps.

Field parcel numbers in England are now the responsibility of the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

If you are looking for field parcel numbers in other parts of Great Britain, please visit:

What is the 'S' symbol shown over a line or lines on our field parcel number maps?

The elongated ’S’ symbol is an areas brace symbol. Formerly known as a field tie, this joins areas of land together to give a single field parcel number. Measure this area to calculate the combined total area measurement.

How were field parcel numbers used on historical maps?

Field parcel numbers are shown on 1:2500 scale National Grid and County Series historical maps. These are now only available via national archives and copyright libraries or via our partners Groundsure and Landmark Information Group. Learn more about where to buy historical maps and deposit libraries.

What do three- (pre-war) and four-figure field parcel numbers represent?

On County Series maps, field parcel numbers – usually three numbers – are based on areas within each separate parish within a county.

It is possible for the three-figure number to repeat itself in each parish, as these are numbered consecutively within the county.

To assist with the investigation for any County Series enquiries, please give as much information for the location, type of building, landmarks and so on.

Four-figure field numbers are derived from our National Grid reference system. The adjoining sheet edge(s) are checked to ensure that the numbers remained consistent with the National Grid.