Ordnance Survey map records (1:1,250, 1:2,500 and 1:10,000 scales), Great Britain, 1841-1991 - Help
This application shows sheet lines and sheet references for paper maps published at 1:1,250, 1:2500, 1:10,000 and 1:10,560 for Great Britain from 1841 to 1991. This includes both County Series and National Grid maps. It also allows the specific dates/editions of 40,120 County Series maps, and 45,000 National Grid maps of Scotland to be searched.
This application is particularly useful for:
- Showing the sheet boundaries of these published Ordnance Survey maps. Find out if your site of interest is on one or several maps.
- Identifying the areas that were mapped by Ordnance Survey at their more detailed 25 inch to the mile scale (for cultivated, inhabited areas), and which areas were only covered at the less detailed six-inch to the mile scale. Similarly, from the 1940s, it identifies which areas were mapped at the most detailed post-war scale of 1:1,250, which were mapped at 1:2,500 scale, or which were only mapped at 1:10,000.
- Identifying the particular County Map sheet reference for any location. This is particularly useful at county boundaries, and where county meridians changed over time.
- For 1:2,500 scale maps of urban areas, whether their individual North-West, North-East, South-West, and South-East quadrants were mapped at different dates.
- Finding out which detailed maps were published by Ordnance Survey and when (from the 1840s to the 1990s) for any location in Great Britain. Were there several editions over the years, providing a more detailed chronology for your location or just one or two? This information is particularly of value for site consultants, archaeologists, lawyers, and more generally for those interested in any place and the detailed maps covering it over the past century and a half.
- Finding out whether maps were created by an original survey, by a revision of a previous survey, or (for post-War mapping) revised from the pre-war County Series mapping.
- Listing the exact survey, revision and publication dates for detailed paper sheet mapping for any place.
- Discovering how large a particular map of any place will be (for copying), based on its scale and format. See 'Copies' below.
All Ordnance Survey mapping is in copyright for 50 years from the end of the year in which the map was published. Four copies up to A4 size may be made under Fair Dealing for private, non-commercial purposes only. Where further copies of these maps are required permission should be sought from Ordnance Survey Further information from Ordnance Survey on copying of maps under Fair Dealing.
More information on copyright can be found on the Ordnance Survey website.
We are happy to supply copies (as images, printouts or photocopies) of all the maps listed in this application. The maps are at the following sizes:
- A0 - all County Series six-inch (1:10,560) full sheets (without a NW,NE,SW,SE suffix), all County Series 25 inch (1:2,500) sheets, and all National Grid 1:2,500 double sheets
- A1 - all National Grid 1:1,250 sheets, all National Grid 1:2,500 single sheets, and all National Grid 1:10,000 sheets
- A2 - all County Series six-inch (1:10,560) quarter sheets (with a NW,NE,SW,SE suffix)
Further information on these sizes, prices and copies can be found on our Enquiries and Copies page.
However, please note that copies of in-copyright maps (published in the last 50 years) larger than A4-size or of whole sheets can only be made with permission from Ordnance Survey, or through an Ordnance Survey licensed partner. The National Library of Scotland is an Ordnance Survey Licensed Partner - read about our services for copying in-copyright maps.
To order copies, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to:
National Library of Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)131 623 3970 (direct dial)
+44 (0)131 623 3700 ext. 3970
Fax: +44 (0)131 623 3971
Main search process
Choose the map category that you would like to search from the left-hand list. These are grouped into National Grid and County Series, and then from most detailed to less detailed maps. Using the map controls or gazetteer, zoom in and click on your the area of interest to see which maps were published.
The sheets that you have selected are highlighted in royal blue, and brief records of them appear in the right-hand panel. For all Scottish maps, and all County Series maps, this includes specific dates, and you can also select these to view further information about a specific map sheet.
Gazetteer, National Grid Reference, and Counties/Parishes for searching
The Gazetteer at the top of the map allows you to locate your area on the map using modern place names from Nominatim, as well as by British National Grid Reference - 2,4,6,or 10 figures. Further left, drop-down boxes allow counties and parishes (based on their names and boundaries in the 1940s) to be searched. In all cases, the map will then position to the place, National Grid Reference, county or parish that has been selected.
By default, the background map shows a modern Bing road layer. Select the drop-down list to choose Bing satellite or hybrid layers, MapBox streets or satellite layers, 1920s mapping from the NLS Historic Maps API, OpenStreetMap, or Ordnance Survey Opendata as background maps. Google map and satellite layers are no longer available as the OpenLayers software we use does not support them. Double-click on the map or slide the zoom slider (upper left) to zoom in on the map.
Hold the [Alt] and [Shift] keys, and drag with your cursor (ie. hold the left-hand mouse button down and drag) to rotate. Refresh the page or double-click the rotation arrow (top right) to return to the default rotation.
Screen Prints / capturing a screengrab
- By default, choosing the 'Print' option / Ctrl + P in most web browsers will result in the current map view extending across your default page for printing or saving what you can see on screen.
- If you alter your window aspect ratio by altering the height or width of your current browser window, then the map will fill different overall extents.
- In Firefox or Chrome you can Right-click on the map image and choose "Save Image As" to save just the current map view as an image.
In the lower-right of the map, the location of your mouse position is shown as a British National Grid Reference, as British National Grid Eastings and Northings, and as longitude and latitude, both in decimal and degrees, minutes and seconds forms.
Linking to the viewer
The URL in your web browser address bar changes dynamically as you zoom and pan the map, and when you alter visible map layers and overlays. You may copy or bookmark the URL in your web browser address bar to save the current viewer location, overlay layer and zoom level.
Please email email@example.com for further assistance, or to provide general comments/feedback.