The first edition of the Ordnance Survey, dating from 1806 to 1816 with later additions, was originally surveyed at a number of scales but was eventually reproduced at one-inch to the mile. It is now widely available in a facsimile edition at 1:63,360 scale and published by David & Charles. Land use types such as woodland, heath, marsh, parkland, settlements and routes are shown on these black and white maps but details can be obscured by the sometimes heavy topographic shading used. These maps can give an overall impression but are of limited use for the detailed study of any particular holding.
Extract from First edition OS, David & Charles map sheet 87
Ordnance Survey County and National Grid Series
Ordnance Survey maps are available for different time periods, known as epochs. Of particular interest here are the first four epochs which equate to the first edition and subsequent revisions of the County Series as follows:
First edition County Series published between 1843 and 1893 = epoch 1
First revision County Series published between 1891 and 1912 = epoch 2
Second revision County Series published between 1904 and 1939 = epoch 3
Third revision County Series published between 1919 and 1943 = epoch 4
The County Series maps were produced at scales of 6" to the mile and 25" to the mile and provide a great deal of detail for historical research.
These maps were produced on a grid for each county. Each 6" map sheet is usually given a Roman numeral to identify it within the grid, e.g. XXX refers to the 6" sheet number 30.
Some 6" maps are available as one map sheet per each grid square, whilst others are more readily available split into quarters with each of the quarter sheets designated NW, NE, SW and SE. Some editions may also be available as double quarter sheets, e.g. NW and NE quarters printed together on one sheet.
Each 6" grid square is subdivided into 16 equal areas each given an Arabic number; each of these 16 areas is equivalent to the coverage of an individual 25" map sheet, e.g. XXX/3 refers to a 25" map sheet which covers part of the area covered by the XXX 6" sheet.
Extract from OS epoch 1 sheet
Extract from OS epoch 4 sheet