Historic maps now online covering all of England and Wales

Detailed maps that offer a fascinating glimpse into how every area of England and Wales developed from Victorian times to the 1950s are now available free online.


The six-inch to the mile series of Ordnance Survey maps show how towns and cities have spread into the countryside and how the road and rail network developed. Individual buildings and streets can be identified clearly and smaller features can be seen including post boxes, bollards on quaysides and mile posts. The maps can be viewed over time for each place of interest.

The maps also show all place names recorded by Ordnance Survey, including all street names in towns, and all smaller farms, hamlets and villages. The website allows viewers to zoom on the maps to pick out the detail they are interested in.

The maps were surveyed for the whole country twice — first between 1842-1893 and then between 1891-1914. They were subsequently updated regularly for urban or rapidly changing areas from 1914 to the 1940s. The result is that, for many towns there are three to five editions of mapping between the 1840s and the 1950s.

They can be searched in a number of different ways, by place names, street names, post codes and grid references. They are also available via county lists.

Search and explore at http://maps.nls.uk/os/6inch-england-and-wales/

19 March 2014

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