Gransnet forums


Old Maps of UK

(10 Posts)
Douglas2 Mon 29-Aug-22 23:59:14

I'd like to share this splendid old maps site - from the National Library of Scotland

it is an excellent tool to supplement family history, and indeed perhaps remind us of the places we ourselves knew as children.

Chestnut Tue 30-Aug-22 00:20:24

They are wonderful aren't they? I have used them many times but I go straight to the OS maps, then as individual sheets using a zoomable map of England and Wales (the first option).

I haven't really explored the rest of the site, but as the OS section gives detailed street maps dated to whatever period you choose, I can't see I'd need another type of map. Once you zoom in you can see the road in such detail.

Blossoming Tue 30-Aug-22 00:35:00

Great link, thanks for sharing Douglas

nanna8 Tue 30-Aug-22 01:28:40

Thanks so much for that, you’re a star!

grannydarkhair Tue 30-Aug-22 01:45:05

It’s a brilliant site, I found out about it from a talk at a Literary Festival a few years ago, I periodically have a browse.

ixion Tue 30-Aug-22 09:24:05

May I bring your attention to the excellent Alan Godfrey? He is a one-man band with a couple of foot soldiers - he is a kind and gentle soul with a wonderful newsletter, AND an extensive range of OS maps across all years and geographical areas.
I am fortunate in that my genealogical research keeps me mostly in East London (they didn't get around much!) and for many areas I have OS maps for at least 3 time frames.
It is fascinating to see the changing faces of industry, the docks etc and the rise of Victorian housing where once you could find fields!

I am happy to support him, as an independent who was clearly struggling during lockdown and the pandemic.

This is he -

Where do your interests lie, Douglas2 - or are you simply a cartophile like so many?

Chestnut Tue 30-Aug-22 17:19:01

I have loads of Alan Godfrey maps, I love them! Unlike the OS maps from the OS website they are so inexpensive you can easily buy as many as you need. In fact I had several which did not cover the actual streets I wanted so I sent them back, not asking for a refund but just so they wouldn't be thrown out.

Alan Godfrey maps also have interesting information on the area. Best to use a highlighter for the streets where your ancestors lived, otherwise you will struggle to find them again amongst the many rows of streets.

Chestnut Tue 30-Aug-22 17:35:05

Another great website is Britain from Above which has thousands of aerial photographs from the 20th century, some before the war.
In the search boxes type the area and the country, then see what comes up. It can be difficult to find a decent view sometimes but persevere. The ones you see are just low resolution. If you find one you like then you can order it for £9.90. The resolution for the one I bought from 1946 was amazing, rather like an early version of Google. I could see cars, buses, shops and people, also churches and houses which have since been demolished. Well worth the money.

J52 Tue 30-Aug-22 18:27:00

We love looking at old maps and aerial photos and have often used the site.
It was fascinating to find out that our current house was at the edge of the village when built, a mere 200 or so metres from the centre. Over the last 100years the edge has expanded remarkably.

ixion Thu 01-Sep-22 11:16:00

Glad you're in the Alan Godfrey Fan Club too, Chestnut! Lovely chap.
And thank you, too, for the link to Britain from Above - off to explore.