Maps of Scotland - 1560-1928


This site contains a selection of over 48,000 maps covering the first four centuries of the mapping of Scotland, including maps of the whole country, county maps, town plans and sea charts. We also have over 40,000 Ordnance Survey maps of Scotland, from 1843-1961.

In the selection can be found the first engraved map of Scotland on its own from the 1560s, the first atlas of Scotland from 1654, and the earliest town plans or bird's-eye views of Scottish towns dating from the 1580s.

The earlier centuries witnessed the first detailed topographic surveys of Scotland, illustrated by the unique manuscripts of famous Scottish map-makers such as Timothy Pont in the late 16th century, Robert and James Gordon in the mid-17th century, and John Adair in the late 17th century. The more detailed and extensive county map surveys of the 18th and 19th centuries are also available here, along with the entire contents of John Thomson's splendid Atlas of Scotland of 1832.

Similarly, the widespread mapping of Scottish towns in the same period shows detailed urban geography, and we have featured all the John Wood town plans of the early 19th century. The development of thematic mapping, including Scotland's first road atlas by Taylor and Skinner (1776), as well as maps showing geology, clans, and administrative boundaries in the 19th century, are also included.

The charting of the Scottish seas is covered, from the earliest Dutch sea-charts. These were subsequently improved upon by the surveys of Greenvile Collins and John Adair in the later 17th century, Murdoch Mackenzie in the mid-18th century, and Admiralty-sponsored surveys of the 19th century.

Over these four centuries, as different European countries in turn tended to dominate map-publication, the production of these maps of Scotland can be broadly followed from Italy to the Netherlands by the 17th century, to France, England and Germany by the early 18th century, and then increasingly to Great Britain by the 19th century.

From the 1840s, Ordnance Survey mapped all of Scotland and created the most detailed maps of the country. For copyright reasons, we are unable to scan maps published in the last 50 years, and so all our online map images are over 50 years old.