Roy Military Survey of Scotland, 1747-1755

Introduction

Map of Perth

The Roy Military Survey of Scotland, known to its contemporaries as the 'Great Map', is a uniquely important historical cartographic document. It provides a uniform graphic snapshot of the entire Scottish mainland at a time when the landscape was beginning an era of rapid change.

For many Highland areas, it is the most detailed and informative map that survives for the entire 18th century, and for all areas, the only standard topographic map prior to the Ordnance Survey mapping in the 19th century.

Influence on Ordnance Survey

More generally, the Roy map is a landmark of cartography, exemplifying emerging standards in military surveying and cartography. It held a seminal influence on British military mapping in the later 18th century, and, not least through its chief surveyor William Roy, had a crucial influence on the early work of the Ordnance Survey itself.

View the Roy map:

Further information