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Map Resources 1


The Gough Map, named after one of its former antiquarian owners, Richard Gough (1735-1809) is internationally-renowned as one of the earliest maps to show Britain in a geographically recognizable form. However unlike today’s maps, Britain was laying on its back (see below)!

The Gough Map   c14th century?

Example Historical

UK Maps


UK Maps

We provide information below on some of the many historic resources available online to help you map your place. Click on maps for links. Most online maps allow you to zoom in to view the finer detail.

If you know of any resources not listed please email us at places@oneplacestudy.org


Genmaps is a site devoted to online images of English, Welsh and Scottish maps from their beginnings to the early 20th Century.

British Library

The British Library has vast collections of maps which of course includes many UK maps including Goad fire insurance maps. The BL have a georeferencing project underway that is crowdsourcing location data to make a selection of its maps fully searchable and viewable using popular online geotechnologies.

Knox County, Illinois 1851

Available through Ancestry:

The above is a fascinating example of an illustrated map from Ancestry’s U.S. Map Collection and is of Knox County, Illinois in 1851.

John Rocque’s Map 1790

Matthew Paris Map 1250

New Zealand Map 1851

Another fabulous illustrated map, this time from the David Rumsey collection, showing Military Portraits 1861.

Available free through David Rumsey:

Canada Map 1733

It’s a map Jim, but not as we know it!

The British Library website states “This is the most comprehensive and artistically successful of four maps of Great Britain drawn by the 13th-century historian Matthew Paris, who was a monk at St Alban’s Abbey. Follow the link above for more information. This map is not zoomable,

Example Historical

UK/Ireland Maps

Map Repositories


Example Historical

Non-UK Maps

London  1843

This map by B.R. Davies shows the Stangate Glass Works on the opposite bank of the Thames to the Houses of Parliament.


Gallica is hosted by the Bibliothèque nationale de France and provides access to many online maps around the world.

Library of Congress

Google Maps Gallery

The Google Maps Gallery - Historical section includes around 300 maps from the David Rumsey Map Collection (see above), the National Geographic Society and the National Library of Scotland.

David Rumsey

The David Rumsey Map Collection has over 49,000 maps and images online. Although the collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century North American and South American maps, there are some superb examples of historic maps from around the world including the UK.

London Poverty Map 1898/99

Available free through David Rumsey:

Western Australia Map 1903

Available free through Gallica:

Available free through British Library:

“London. A guide for cuntrey men in the famous cittey of London by the helpe of wich plot they shall be able to know how far it is to any street. As allso to go unto the same without forder troble. Anno 1653”

John Norden 1593 (reprinted 1653)

This 1593 map is the direct forebear of the modern London A-Z. This copy comes from the 1653 edition of John Norden's 'Speculum Britainiae' (literally: 'Mirror of Britain'), re-issued after Norden's death and sold by Peter Stent of Newgate.

John Speed 1710

Available free through Genmaps and through Cambridge University Library

John Speed produced maps at county level for England & Wales, and at province level for Ireland. He also produced maps for the Channel islands, the Isle of Man and Scotland.

Cambridge University Library

Available free through Google Maps Gallery

Available  free through David Rumsey:

A very detailed map of England and Wales showing roads by type, cities, distances, market towns, latitude and longitude of important places, villages with and without stages, distances from London, and more. John Rocque was a prolific map maker in London during the 18th century.

Charles Booth devised, organised, and funded one of the most comprehensive and scientific social surveys of London life that had then been undertaken. His maps of London were coloured street by street to indicate the levels of poverty and wealth.

Charles Booth

The Charles Booth Online Archive, hosted by the London School of Economics (LSE), is a searchable resource giving access to archive material from the Booth collections at the LSE Library (original records from Booth's survey into life and labour in London, dating from 1886 to 1903) and the Senate House Library (Booth family papers (1799 to 1967).

Please note that many repositories share access to resources in other repositories.

Available free through Charles Booth:

Available free through Gough Map:

U.S. Military Portraits 1861

John Rocque: Dublin 1757

Available free through Gallica:

Stanford’s Map of London 1864

Available free through MAPCO:

Carmarthen 1905     O.S. 6 inch

Available free through NLS:

John’s Town on the outskirts of Carmarthen in 1905

Ordnance Survey

National Library of Scotland (NLS)

The NLS map images resource allows you to view over 86,000 maps as high-resolution, colour, zoomable images. The maps date between 1560 and 1961 and relate primarily to Scotland. They also have maps of other areas, including maps of England and Great Britain, Ireland, and Belgium.

Of particular interest to one-placers are the large-scale zoomable Ordnance Survey maps for

There are also 25-inch O.S. Maps for some parts of Scotland.

A great map with some illustrations - extract shows ‘Bath for Men’, ‘Bath for Women’ and a ‘Conniveing House’!

The New York Public Library gives you open access to more than 20,000 high-resolution maps with no known US copyright restrictions.

New York Public Library

Please be aware that a [© MAPCO date] stamp appears at regular intervals through the map!

Available free through Gallica:

No civilisation shown for large areas - just plenty of trees!

A map of New Zealand complete with illustrations.

The Cambridge University Library provides online access to 66 of John Speed's Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine proof maps.

Old Maps Online

The Old Maps Online Portal is an easy-to-use gateway to historical maps in libraries around the world. It allows the user to search for online digital historical maps across numerous different collections via a geographical search.

Auburn, California 1887

Available free through Library of Congress:

A delightful panoramic view of Auburn, California - the map itself also features detailed views around its border of many properties

The Library of Congress has custody of the largest and most comprehensive cartographic collection in the world with collections numbering over 5.5 million maps, 80,000 atlases, 6,000 reference works, over 500 globes and globe gores, 3,000 raised relief models, and a large number of cartographic materials in other formats, including over 19,000 cds/dvds. However, its online map collections represent only a small fraction that have been converted to digital form.

MAPCO (Map And Plan Collection Online) aim to provide genealogists, students and historians with free access to high quality scans of rare and beautiful antique maps and views. The site displays a variety of highly collectable 18th and 19th century maps and plans of London and the British Isles, and also 19th century maps and engravings relating to Australia. The MAPCO website is updated regularly. Check the 'News' page to see what has been added.


National Library of Australia

The National Library of Australia maps collection includes over 600,000 maps, from early European charts to current mapping of Australia, in print and digital form.

Vision of Britain

National Library of New Zealand

The National Library of New Zealand has a Cartographic Collection of over 60,000 historical and current maps, charts and atlases plus map-related DVDs, CDs, books and serials. It concentrates on New Zealand, the Pacific and Antarctica. It is not yet clear how many of these are online.

National Library of Wales

The National Library of Wales' tithe map collection is soon to be digitised and made available online as part of the Archives and Records Council Wales (ARCW) "Cynefin: Mapping Wales“ sense of Place" project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Vision of Britain through Time website allows you to choose between: topographic maps showing the physical landscape and man-made features; boundary maps showing administrative boundaries, for counties, districts, parishes and so on; and land use maps published by the Land Utilisation Survey of Great Britain which record what each plot of land was being used for on the day it was surveyed in the 1930s.

Available free at familysearch:

English Jurisdictions 1851

This useful tool allows you to see old ‘jurisdiction’ boundaries at various levels including parish, county, civil registration district, diocese, rural deanery, poor law union, hundred, province and division.

London 1851

Available free through British Library:

This is a fascinating ‘balloon view’ of London from the north

Falkirk 1860           O.S. 25 inch

Available free through NLS:

The large-scale Ordnance Survey maps are great for one-place studies given the level of detail they provide. Just count how many public houses there were in the very centre of Falkirk!

Ordnance Survey over time

The O.S. Cartography Team put together this great image to show the evolution of O.S. mapping over 200 years.

The image retains original map colours to illustrate the changes in mapping style.

The Ordnance Survey held a large paper-based archive of historical maps at their previous offices until 2008, but took the decision to distribute it to other custodians before moving to smaller premises. Original historical maps now reside with local libraries around the country.

Ordnance Survey Ireland

Ordnance Survey Ireland provide online access to historic 6 inch maps (1829-1841) and 25 inch (1897-1913) which can be overlaid on present day maps for easy comparison.

Map of Ireland 1838

Available free through MAPCO:

Please be aware that a [© MAPCO date] stamp appears at regular intervals through the map!

An extract of a land utilisation map

 Land Use Map 1936

 Tithe Maps c.1836

Limited availability online - see below

Tithe and enclosure maps show dwellings and give details of property owners, and so are very useful for one-place studies. They do not cover all of England or Wales, and are variable in quality and scale. Original manuscript maps are generally held in the National Archives or local record offices.

Some tithe maps have been digitised and made available online - for example Cheshire and Norfolk tithe maps have been digitised and are available free - Dorset tithe maps have been digitised and are available through Ancestry. The British Library provides further information.

 Goad Maps c.1891

An extract of a Goad fire insurance map for Plymouth. The British Library holds a comprehensive collection of large-scale fire insurance plans produced by the London-based firm Charles E. Goad Ltd. dating back to 1885. Goad insurance plans were made for many major UK towns and cities.

They are invaluable for one-place studies as they provide a record of all the individuals buildings and businesses within a street.

England Place Name Gazetteer

Gazetteers of contemporary place-names have been available for some time. The Historical Gazetteer adds chronological depth to the mix. The Historical Gazetteer brings the four million+ historical place-name forms collected over the last ninety years as part of the English Place-Name Society’s Survey, including those for hamlets, fields, and streets, into the digital realm.

We’ve taken the opportunity to point out the location of Carnamah - as you will have read elsewhere in this issue, the Carnamah Historical Society won a prestigious MAGNA 2014 award in in May for its virtual museum.

Available free through the British Library:

Available free through Vision of Britain

The National Archives

Through the National Archives you can access many records at a charge per item including Enclosure awards maps, Tithe maps, Valuation Office surveys showing land value and ownership (1910-1915), and National Farm Surveys of England and Wales (1940-1943).

The National Archives also provide lots of helpful information about the different types of records available.

Visit Map Resources 2:

Present Day Maps

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