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Historical Maps

Historic Maps of England and Wales: An Electronic Map of Boundaries
Enclosure, Rating, Drainage and Sanitary Maps of England and Wales
Available from AHDS History's Collection

Historical GIS Research Network


Part of map depicting national free trade lectures, shows and exhibitions, December 1910. [AHDS History Study Number: 4818]


 Historic Parishes of England and Wales: An Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata

The digitised maps cover the whole of England and Wales, and are organised by Ordnance Survey Sheet number. The maps contain a scanned bitmap image of the Ordnance Survey one inch to one mile (1:63,360) New Popular Edition maps (1945-8) with National Grid. They contain the boundaries of some 18,233 places, and are arranged as three electronic 'layers'. The first is a scan of the Ordnance Survey maps stored as grey tone sheet images. This enables Ordnance Survey physical, cultural and place-name content to be readily visible in the background for orientation and general location purposes, while not obscuring the added boundary and reference number material. The second layer consists of the boundaries, stored as solid red lines; and the third layer contains the reference numbers that link places on the map to the gazetteer/metadata dataset that accompanies the maps.

The maps are available on CD-ROM in Adobe Illustrator™ (ISBN:0-9540032-2-5) or Adobe Acrobat (ISBN:0-9540032-1-7) PDF™ formats. We recommend using the Adobe Illustrator format if you already have the software (as it enables you to edit the maps and select the layers to view). However, the Adobe Acrobat PDF format is perfectly suitable for viewing the maps, and we will supply the necessary reader software.

An accompanying book Historic Parishes of England & Wales: An Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata by Roger Kain and Richard Oliver (ISBN:0-9540032-0-9) provides an introduction to the provenance of the maps. It also includes an abbreviated version of the gazetteer/metadata dataset, and a discussion of historical boundaries.

For further details on Historic Parishes of England and Wales and a downloadable order form please click here.

 Enclosure, Rating, Drainage and Sanitary Maps of England and Wales in Public Archives, 1598-1936

The dataset covers all the enclosure, parochial assessment, drainage and sanitary maps of England and Wales which were available for public consultation at the time of data collection (1993-1997). For all maps, the date of the map, its scale, its centroid on the National Grid, its dimensions, its maker (where known) and all details as to the types of information (boundaries, communications, settlement, land use, water features, public boundaries, cadastral information) contained on each map are recorded. It is possible to analyse the data by late nineteenth century county, by date and by type of map.

To search the Enclosures Maps dataset click here.

 Available from AHDS History's Collection

SN 4999 -Irish Poor Law Union and Barony Boundaries, 1841-1871
SN 4828 GIS of the Ancient Parishes of England and Wales, 1500-1850


EDINA provides key geographic data, especially for the UK, such as digital maps and digital boundaries. These services can be used in a wide variety of disciplines. Note: its resources are only available to higher and further education users. provides online access to an extensive range of digital historical maps.

British History online provides access to Ordnance Survey 1:2,500 - Epoch 1 for Chester, Colchester, Coventry, Oxford and much of central London and Ordnance Survey 1:10,560 - Epoch 1 the County Series of Ordnance Survey maps for Great Britain.

The Vision of Britain website includes maps, statistical trends and historical descriptions.