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Our maps and data

Introduction

Historic Digimap offers three different series of historical Ordnance Survey map images of Great Britain from Landmark Information Group, the originals of which were published between 1846 and 1996.

County Series

All available County Series maps published between 1846 and 1969 at 1:2,500 and 1:10,560 scales are available to view and/or download.

Ordnance Survey large-scale mapping began with the first maps, covering individual counties, in September 1841. Each county was then revised between three and five times prior to 1945. These sheets became known as the County Series. Mapping was produced to the Cassini projection with each county surveyed separately, and often to different origins and projections, which meant that they did not match the neighbouring county.

National Grid

All available National Grid maps (published between 1943 and 1996) at 1:1,250, 1:2,500 and 1:10,560/10,000 are available to view and/or download.

Since World War II, the equivalent of County Series mapping has been the National Grid series at scales of 1:10,560/1:10,000 for rural and moorland areas, 1:2,500 and 1:1250 for urban areas (c.6 inches to 1 mile, c.25 inches to 1 mile and c.50 inches to 1 mile). The National Grid is a single grid system covering Great Britain. From 1946 until about 1980 the maps were produced on paper sheets; between 1980 and until 1999 the maps were supplied on microfiche. Since 1997 Ordnance Survey has supplied digital mapping (initially LandLine® and then OS MasterMap® data).

Town Plans

Selected Town Plan maps (published between 1848 and 1939) at scales of 1:500, 1:528 and 1:1056 are available to view and/or download.

From 1855 to 1894 about 400 towns with populations in excess of 4000 were mapped by the OS at 1:500 scale. These were produced at a time of improvements in town planning following the Public Health Act of 1848. Plans of many towns were later revised at the expense of the town authorities between 1898 and 1908, some towns conducting their own surveys. These plans provide more detail and textual information than OS 1:2,500 (1st, 2nd and subsequent Edition 25 inch:1 mile maps), often naming buildings such as public houses, stating the uses of commercial and industrial premises, occasionally identifying the functions of individual rooms and even showing details such as lamp posts and man holes.

The 1:500 scale sheets constitute informative plans of urban landscapes at the turn of the 19th/20th century and can be especially valuable when used in combination with census returns and commercial directories.