Ordnance Survey and historical maps
Whilst we are very proud of our work over the past two centuries, our government remit is to maintain the current mapping of Great Britain and to create and sell various products based on this current mapping.
To be clear, current, large scale, detailed mapping reflects features on the ground at the time of last survey and current small-scale mapping mapping reflects the features in our large scale mapping database, from which it is sourced, at the time of the last cartographic revision. Historical mapping in our terms, therefore, represents mapping that no longer reflects the situation on the ground.
We held a large paper-based archive at our previous offices unitl 2008. We distributed it to other custodians based on our understanding of our remit, our intention to move to smaller premises and the special conditions in which archive maps and documents need to be preserved.
Historical maps today
We continue to sell a limited reproduction range of 1 inch to 1 mile maps (revised from the late 1800s and published in the early years of the 1900s) from our our Map shop as well as various historical products produced by our Licensed Partners.
The original historical maps now reside with local libraries around the country and you may be able to find the historical maps that you wish to view there.
Legal Deposit Libraries hold more extensive collections and offer reading and copying facilities for customers willing to visit and carry out their own searches. Please find contact details for these libraries below.
Contacting Historical Map Deposit libraries:
If these sources do not hold the information you are looking for, please visit our partner finder page for a list of our partners that offer historical maps.
The following stockists are also able to supply historical mapping:
|Centremaps||Hornchurch, Essex||01708 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Hereford Map Centre||Hereford||01432 email@example.com|
|John E Wright||Derby||01332 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|John E Wright||Leicester||01162 email@example.com|
|John E Wright||Nottingham||01159 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Lincoln Print & Copy Centre||Lincoln||01522 email@example.com|
|Maplines||Isle Of Wight||01983 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mason Maps||Dunfermline||01383 email@example.com|
|National Maps||Hertfordshire||01727 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|National Maps||Kent||01634 email@example.com|
|Nicholson Maps||Largs, Ayrshire||01475 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Stanfords||Bristol||0117 929 email@example.com|
|Stanfords||Manchester||0845 880 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|The Francis Frith Collection||Salisbury||01722 716 email@example.com|
|The Map Shop||Upton Upon Severn||01684 firstname.lastname@example.org|