Ordnance Survey Maps, One-inch Revised new series, England and Wales, 1892-1908

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The one-inch was a standard topographic authority and included a wide range of information on the physical and human landscape: land-use, industry, quarries, farms, inns, canals, parks and gardens, relief, woodland, and even smithies were all shown. The maps were of course considerably generalised compared to the six-inch maps, especially regarding buildings, towns and place-names. The outline maps especially were also useful for administrative purposes, and both civil parish and county boundaries were shown, reflecting the significant changes of the Local Government Act of 1888. The outline maps were also used as base maps for various other purposes, including geology, boundaries of petty sessional divisions, and for indexes to larger-scale OS mapping.

Detail of OS One-Inch New Revised Series legend depicting styles for roads
Different styles for three classes of metalled roads, and another for unmetalled tracks

One of the most important changes to the previous New Series sheets was a revised road classification. Metalled roads (ie. using compacted gravel) were divided into three classes, all distinguished from unmetalled roads or tracks. Single and multiple-track railways were distinguished, with the latter evolving to a new chequered symbol, distinguished from the standard ladder symbol for single-track railways. The Revised New series was the first to introduce the symbols for churches with towers and with spires, as well as the standard cross for churches without either. New symbols for windmills, lighthouses and lightships also appeared and from 1896, P (for Post Office) and T ( for Telegraph Offices) symbols were also shown.

Detail of OS One-Inch New Revised Series legend depicting styles for railways
Single and multiple track railways, and related features

View a zoomable map legend of standard symbols and features.

Outline and Hills editions

The sheets of the Revised New Series were usually published both in an Outline form, with contours depicting relief, and as a Hills edition, printed with a second copper plate of brown or black hachures to depict relief. The standard contour interval was 50 feet, 100 foot intervals to 1,000 feet, and 250 foot intervals thereafter, although there was an additional 25 foot contour on some sheets covering Lancashire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Some sheets never had any hills editions published, and some were only published with black hachures in the 1890s. We have tried on this website to create a seamless mosaic for circa 1900 of Outline and Hills sheets (with brown hachures) from our holdings, and therefore have had to use some later hills plates from the 3rd edition, published in the 1900s. View a full list of sheets with dates of revision and publication.

Sheet size

All the OS Revised New Series sheets have 12 x 18 inch extents of map sheets (A2 size for copying), apart from the Isle of Man sheet which was published as a full 36 x 24 inch sheet (A0 size for copying).

Further reading

Roger Hellyer and Richard Oliver, One-inch engraved maps of the Ordnance Survey from 1847 (London: Charles Close Society, 2009). The standard reference work on this and other OS one-inch engraved maps, with an authoritative, comprehensive essay on the series, and a very detailed carto-bibliography of all the map sheets.

Chris Higley, Old Series to Explorer: A Field Guide to the Ordnance Map (London: Charles Close Society, 2011)

Richard Oliver, Ordnance Survey Maps: a concise guide for historians (London: Charles Close Society, 2005)

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