NLS publishes new 1840s-1950s Ordnance Survey detailed maps for London and South-East England

National Library of ScotlandThe National Library of Scotland has just made freely available online 16,865 historic Ordnance Survey maps covering Greater London and the south-east of England. The Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile (1:2,500) maps were the most detailed series covering both urban and rural areas in the 19th century, and date between the 1840s and the 1950s. The maps are immensely valuable for local history, allowing practically every feature in the landscape to be shown. They provide good detail of all buildings, streets, railways, industrial premises, parkland, farms, woodland, and rivers.

At present, coverage is of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, London, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex. The scanning of this series is underway and will expand geographically over the next couple of years.

NLS has also georeferenced a layer of these maps dating between the 1890s-1920s, allowing them to be compared directly to modern day maps and satellite images with a transparency slider, as well as compared side by side on screen.

NLS OS 25 inch London side by side

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