Author Archives: endymioncollectables

Isle of Wight Geology and Forms: A Personal View

Isle of Wight Geology and Land Form

The Isle of Wight has, to a degree, the typical geology of south central and south east England.

The surface strata run from the late Jurassic rocks near Brook Bay to the silts still being laid down and eroded back today in the vicinity of Newtown Bay.

The South Western rocks are of the Wealden Sequences, like the Hasting Beds of the Central Wealden Ridge, which runs from Horsham to Hastings via Tunbridge Wells, on the mainland. These were laid down as sea beds, and are mainly sand based with some other mudstones. In them the fossil record would be marine, unless sea-level fall had exposed them and terrestrial creatures roamed the old sea floor periodically. These would later have been covered by the Lower Cretaceous series. As Iguanodon are evidenced here- there must indeed have been terrestrial or estuarine interludes in this Wealden period.

In the late Jurassic, sand and mud stones,sometimes with iron, can be found.

The Cretaceous period is divided into Upper and Lower: that is, younger and older. The Lower Cretaceous usually appears in English geology as a boundary stratum between the chalk and the Jurassic with, usually, later clay deposits blurring the boundary itself. In the Lower Cretaceous, one finds, typically, Gault Clays and Greensands; the latter being classified as upper and lower. Gault Clays are typically blue and are hard, friable when dry but easily eroded. If they lie on the coast and underlie later strata they are cut away by the sea and undermine the strata above. This is the typical pattern on the south central coast of the island: best seen at Blackgang Chine.

On the Isle of Wight, gault is generally called “Blue Slipper” and the coast from St Catherine’s Point west has this characteristic habit of being destabilised. The same stratum is seen near Folkestone, in Holmesdale (Surrey), and particularly at Equihen in Pas de Calais, where the beach becomes strewn with large blocks of sandstone after the gault has been cut away. Examining a lump of gault and comparing it with the shell rich sandstones above, it seems to be a dead sequence- almost devoid of life- an extinction zone in the Early Cretaceous period.

The Greensands are green due to a mineral glauconite and are typically hard then soft in closely sandwiched strata. Where quarried for building stone these might be termed Rag and Hassock: with the Ragstone being the building rock which is dug out in convenient flattish pieces- almost brick like, and the Hassock being the friable rotten stone between.

A product of these Lower Cretaceous rocks is, in places, Fuller’s Earth: a soft rock with some detergent properties, often anhydrised for absorbance or used in cleaning- traditionally of hats. This has been dug since Roman times.

Between the Greensands and the Chalk of the Upper Cretaceous one finds flat thin strata of an iron rich sandstone, often used for paths – very often seen in churchyards. It is durable and is commonly seen laid end on. Tools can also be found of this material which were generally more deliberately worked that Flint tools. Looking at a bed of this iron rich stone, one sees the ripples of a shallow sea, with the sand patterns of a beach at low tide.

Again there is a tendency for the meeting of Lower and Upper Cretaceous to be hidden by later sedimentary deposits. The Upper Cretaceous might be simply stated as Chalk.

Chalk

Chalk often is found in three strata. The top one is often flint rich and the origin of the silicone which forms this flint is much debated.

The middle stratum is typically pure without flint and must have been laid down in deeper seas.

The Lower stratum is harder and is sometimes called Clunch. This can be used as a building material and was also dug as “hearth stone” and sold as a branded cleaner.

On top of the Chalk one finds gravels, clays and sometimes sarsens which must be Post Cretaceous: that is after the era of the dinosaurs; for the Chalk ends 66 million years ago at the same time as the alleged meteorite strike which finished those creatures off.

Sarsen, a sandstone accreted with silicates, can be found on the Chalk and was extensively used for megaliths and stone structure such as Stonehenge, Avebury, the Cauldron Stones and similar edifices on the Isle of Wight.

Sarsen must indicate a sandy bottomed sea or estuary after that which laid down the chalk.

Chines

A chine is a short valley running to the sea and these occur on the south and east coasts of the island. They cut deeply into the soft rocks down to the Blue Slipper and form a front for erosion. These can erode back very quickly and loose hundreds of feet in a generation. They are often wooded or filled with sea buckthorn and have interesting micro climates due to their sheltered form and southern aspect. Glow Worms are common in some, particularly in the vicinity of Brightstone.

The word is not unique to the island. Chines are also found in Hampshire and Dorset. Bournemouth is formed about 5 chines- some of which are still named.

In the east of the island the word is sometimes applied to a deeper rocky gorges quite unlike the clay chines of the south west coast.

Silicates and Flint

There is a debate about the formation of flints and the source of their silicone. It seems probable that the source was organic life forms such as sponges. As flint is found in the upper of the three typical chalk strata it seems possible that the silicone permeated the chalk from above after that chalk was laid down. It may well have been the same source of silicone which accreted the later sarsen stratum.

The second question must be: what forms the particular shapes seen in the flints? They appear organic and some suggest they are biota and sponges which left cavities in the chalk, later filled by silicone from above. Although organic looking, they seem not to conform to any likely organism and perhaps the more probable cause was gas (itself likely to have been of organic origin) forming the exotic shaped chambers in the Upper Chalk, followed by an infill of silicone from an exterior organic source. Flints appear in clear bands. Conditions for their creation obviously fluxed over millennia- sometimes rich, sometimes non-existent. One can imagine that these coincided with periods when the sea floor was exposed or inundated. It is instructive that the chalk of deeper ocean deposition is, generally flint free.

All the sea floor strata: sandstone, ironstones, gaults, greensands, chalks and Sarsens, must have been lifted up into hills. This happened circa 50 million years ago as a peripheral “shock wave” from the Alpine Orogeny. It is difficult to see the hills of Southern England as foothills of the Alps but simplistically they are, and their alignment, being a “shock wave”, points one, at ninety degrees to the range, towards the epicentre of that force.

The North Coast of the Isle of Wight

It is apparent that the valleys of the northern island rivers are being inundated by the sea causing the fjord-like or ria-like estuaries of the Yar, Newtown Haven, Medina and Wooton Creek. This phenomenon does not occur on the south coast because the rock strata lie in a syncline (declining to the north and the southern coast is generally a cliff.>

This inundation of the north coast is echoed on the mainland with the Beaulieu River and Solent. Southampton Water and the Solent was a river into which the ancient Test and Itchen flowed. It emptied east past Spithead. The severing of the island from the mainland in the Western Solent is much later . The Beaulieu River would have been a stream meeting this east flowing Solent. The Medina would also have been a tributary of it.

Under the Western Solent is an inundated forest which is visible at Low Water on a neap tide. Prior to the severing of the island, the backbone of the Isle of Wight was an eastward extension of the Purbeck Hills of Dorset.

The reason for the inundation of the North Coast and Solent is the corollary of Isostatic Rebound. The North of Britain rises following the removal of the weight of the ice sheets. The south sinks just as the removal of a central weight from a blanket would raise the centre and depress the edges.

Sea Level rise has a complex effect on coast. It is not necessarily true that water level increase leads to land loss. In a salt marsh environment, glass worts and other plants inhabit the inter tidal zone and attract sediment. They adjust to the sea level and will rise as the sea rises. Burrows or Sand dune systems also adjust. A higher tide allows the deposition of sands at a higher level. It is, therefore, quite possible for sea level rise to lead to deposition, not erosion, on a coast. The factors which effect a coast experiencing sea level rise are: the nature of the tides, whether the rivers are sediment rich or poor, and the nature of those sediments.

Human agency is also important for this can trump any natural process. At one time Freshwater was an island. The Yar became a north flowing creek only by the building of the Prom at Freshwater. The Yar rises only yards from that southern beach. Another human intervention is now seen at Cowes. On old maps there were some sand banks or low islands at the mouth of the Medina (these were the original pastures of the eponymous “Cows”. These were eroded away. These have now been restored by an artificial structure.

The shape of the island must be being sculpted now by the absence or presence of reinforced sea fronts such as at Yarmouth, Ryde or Cowes. These will remain while erosion and deposition will continue to the sides of them. One wonders if the inhabitants of this island will ever bite the bullet and build a sea wall from the Needles to St Catherine’s Point: without such a structure, this quarter of the island will be lost in remarkably short order.

Chalk Erosion 

Exposed chalk on a coast is eroded by waves and by frost. Chalk could also be eroded if it sat on an unstable stratum such as gault and was undermined.

When the chalk is eroded to the tide line, it is no longer subject to wave or frost erosion and so that process switches off. The result is a table or plateau of chalk at the rough level of the medium tide. Also the chalk at the base of the Cretaceous sequences, which is likely to be that closest to the tide line, is likely also to be of the lower harder clunch-like form which again- delays erosion.

A chalk stack will erode mainly due to frosting; its overall durability is due to the nature of the stratum in the zone between Low Water and High Water. A stack might last a considerable period of time if the base stratum is of a more durable sequence- such as a Lower Cretaceous ironstone.

Chalk is spread on farmers’ fields to sweeten clay soils. Here it is applied in the late autumn where it becomes sodden, frozen and literally explodes to small fragments. The water which inundates a sea chalk cliff is salt rich if from the sea but fresh if from rain. The brine is less prone to frosting than the fresh water. Also the moderating influence of the sea makes frosting less likely. Thus a chalk stack is most likely to be eroded by waves at its base but by water at its top – which, being rain, is neither brine rich nor temperature moderated. An eroded cliff does not disappear, but must be deposited elsewhere as either flint pebble, chalk nuggets or clay-like sediments.

C. Michael Sargeaunt 2017

 

Survey of New Zealand maps: a general review

A REVIEW OF NEW ZEALAND SURVEY MAPS

This information is taken from Sheen N146, of the 1st Series Survey of New Zealand dated 1950

In the 1st Series of the 1940’s the Surveyor General was R G Dick.

The sheet is large.

The OSNZ which here calls itself the NZS, used a transverse Mercator projection at a point of origin which is 175 degrees 30’ east and 39 degrees South.

This map shows 175 degrees exactly on the eastern edge so the datum is 1/2 a degree east of this map area.

This map is at 41 degrees and 27’ 58” south on the bottom edge so this datum is north of here by some 2 1/2 degrees.

The map is called N164, I guess that this N represents: North Island and that the others would have neen coded S followed by a sheet number.

The Grid is somewhat like a British Cassini grid in metre squares and the false datum for this New Zealand grid is 210 km west of here and 100 km south of her (bottom south west of this map). I assume that this false datum is used for North and South Islands but that latitude figure of only 100 km from the datum might suggest that the NZS is using a different datum for the two islands.

The most unusual aspect, from the point of view of an inhabitant of the Northern Hemisphere, is, of course, that the latitudes increase north to south- not decrease.

Assuming that the Meridian for Longitude is Greenwich in London/Kent, this map is, at its south easterly corner, almost exactly 5 degrees shy of the true antipodean 180 degree meridian: though that may not be the same as the Date Line.

The printer on the examined sheet was Mr R Owen of Wellington- the Government Printer.

This series was called the “1st Edition.”

There were no N sheets west or south of that examined, which showed the city of Wellington: that north was N160. That north east was N161; that due east was N165, and that south east was N168.

There was a reliability table printed on NZ surveys and this map rates A which means Aerial Photos, Ground Control and Plotting Machines.

B is Aerial photos and Plane table.

C is just a Plane table

D is Existing Survey records.

Contours are at 100 ft intervals- and the scale is One Inch to a mile so here, as in England, one has a rather curious amalgum, of metric and Imperial. The survey work is probably metric, the National NZ Grid is Metric but the altitudes and scale gloss are Imperial.

The True Origin in the Transverse Mercator Projection was indicated at 175, 30’ E Longitude and 39,00’ Latitude. But the False Datum used for co-ordinates is here expressed as 300,000 yds west and 400,000 yards to the south of that true origin.

Looking at the key to symbols one notices a few differences between this survey and an England and Wales one. One also notices differences in language: that is in the use of the English language:

Bush: a New Zealand term perhaps for woodland.

Stopbank: which might mean a dyke or a levy or embankment. Plantation: the symbol for this looks like a England &Wales Ordnance Survey symbol for an orchard: perhaps “plantation” means “orchard”.

Caves: a dot with a horizontal short line under it.

Water Race: Ditch or irrigation canal?

Swamp: Marsh?

Mining Tailings: Slag Heaps?, but this suggests a certain moving manner of excavating for ore.

Scattered Scrub: heathland?

The hydrographic symols differ as follows:

Sandhills: Dunes

Mangroves: you don’t get them on a n E&WOS map so there is no symbol.

Depression Contours: These are a very gooid feature, presumably these are below sea level and seem not to occur on E&WOS even where they should do in Cambridgeshire.

The full name for the cartographic body is:
“The Land and Survey Department of New Zealand”.

LANGUAGE

An interesting aspect of the map is the extensive use of two languages in the toponyms.

Generally the names in towns such as Wellington, and of local bays in the precincts of the city are in English or Scots. The majority of the geographical features without thye city are in a native tongue which is presumably a form of Maori used iun this part of the North Island. Maori was the majority language in this archipelago until 1860. Maori is a Polynesian language. It was classified with three dialects, South Island (extinct), Western North Island and Eastern North Island. In the south west of North island (seen on the examined sheet) the sub-dialect used “h” as a glotteral stop. This has led to the changing in spelling of some place names over the years. Toponyms in New Zealand may therefore change over cartographic history due to the current politically correct stance on a given English , Scots, Maori, or Maori dialect use.

When a Maori name is used, the explanatory suffix defaults to New Zealand English. As has been already discussed with the map key, it is useful to differentiate between Standard English and New Zealand English between which meaning and usage might shift significantly.

Examples of an NZE gloss on a Maori name are: “Oteranga Bay”, “Cape Terawhiti”.

The largest rivers tend top be Maori such as Orongorongo River, the smaller steamns tend to be English such as Cameron Creek or Thistle Steam or Catchpole.

The large coastal hills tend to be Maori such as Ohau, Te Kopahou, Waimarara. And these differ from bays and rivers as not having an explanatory affix in English. The fells of the interior (of this map tend to be named in English or Scots: White Rock Hill, Hawkins Hill, Mt Misery. The use of “Hill” and “Mountain” are markedly different from English standard or regional usage.

Very often the district names in a city are Maori such as: Karori and Hataitai in Wellington.

Of the districts of Wewllington 7 are Maori names and 6 are English Scots or perhaps even from the Indian sub-continent in the case of Berhampore.

One wonders, looking at the Maori names if they are tautologiucal : so a (for example Oteranga Head) may actually contain an element meaning promontory in the Maori which is then doubled in the explanatory English affix.

The common Maori affixes are:

Au: current

Awa: river

Iti: little

Kai: food

Mānia: plain

Manga: stream

Maunga: mountain

Moana: sea, or large inland lake

Motu: island

Nui: big

Ō: ‘of’ (a person)

One: sand, earth

Pae: ridge, range

Papa: flat

Poto: short

Puke: hill

Roa: long

Roto: lake; inside

Tai: coast, tide

Wai: water

Whanga: harbour or bay

Thus on the examined sheet map, one can see that Oteranga Bay is indeed a tautology, and Taputeranga Island is probably really the name of the bay.

Likewise Wainuiomata River seems to have a word for “river” as its prefix “Wai”- again rendering the map’s bi-lingual name tautological. This process is very common in toponyms. In England, for example, Dun Mail Raise is a triple tautology as one language replaced another. “River Avon” is another famous English example of a simple topographical tautology.

The style of a place name, its form and spelling, are determined by who is asked. Thus on the Survey of Ireland would ask local people for toponyms, but they would be a) middle class professionals: doctors, lawyers, land holders, teachers, priests, and b) anglophone. This affected the names written on the first full survey and caused a kind of anglisised Gaelic. A similar process might be observed anywhere such as here in New Zealand. The problem is that those initial surveys tend to fix toponyms “in aspic.”

It is interesting how on the examined map settlement quickly ended without the town’s limits, and much larger regions lying without the town had very few signs of human construction: Old Hut (2) Old Mine (2) Yards, Horse Track. And little else except for geographical toponyms.

NOSTALGIA FOR ANCESTRAL HOME.

It is interesting that the settlers of the area studied seemed to have had no particular nostalgia for their home villages or towns in Scotland or England; or at least none that was refected in place-names. The names are almost explusively those of people: surnames; and of the very few place names one was Gibraltar (probably from a superficial resemblance) and the other is Dorset Point (a point perhaps superficially like Portand. Eastbourne Point may have had a superficial resemblance to Beachy Head: these are places named from the sea by sailors not settlers.

One Scots toponym was seen: Kilbirnie: but generally these settlers left the British Isles behind both geographically and emotionally and this is quite unlike the pattern seen in the USA or Canada.

The South Island (excepting its north western coasdtal provinces) was extensively settled by Scots and the North Island by English. The dominence of Catholicism in centreal west North Island and north west South island might suggest Irish settlement in those places.

A

SERIES 5 ORDNANCE MAPS 1930’S

SERIES 5 ORDNANCE MAPS 1930’S

(BLUE COVERED-ELLIS MARTIN IMAGE)

The 5th Series from the 1930’s which introduced two important aspects later to appear in the post war Ordnance maps. The general aesthetic of the post war 6th Series was established here: the size and the use of lithography. Also MOT road numbers were used, though the standard road colours of the post war years were yet to be established.

On this series in 1933, main roads (A roads) are a raw umber colour; B roads are ochre coloured and others are uncoloured. This, post war, was to change to red for A roads and yellow for B roads.

This map is perhaps double the size of the old Ellis Martin cyclists and walker’s maps of 1919+. This series shows, on the cover, a hiker in an idyllic English landscape. He was an updated figure and replaced Ellis Martins 1919 tweed clad cyclist who had epitomised the youing soldier returning from the tren ches of Flanders.

The Increase of size no doubt signifies recognition of changing techgnology: cars and motorcycles are now frequent and privately owned. Motor coach and bus travel is common and greater distances are travelled- not only to a destination of leisure- by train, but from that destination. It is , in a strange way, the return to a “touring culture” seen in the Victorian age by wealthy travellers- but now it was a mass phenomenon.

The railways of Series 5 are the Big Four which came into being in 1921-23: The SR, the GWR, the L&NER and the LM&SR.They are named on the lines.

Note a curiosity of these maps which continued, I think, onto Series 6 but not further: here, one cannot tell the nature of a wood from the simple green marking; they might be deciduous, coniferous or mixed. They might be ancient or plantation: the cartographers in this small period alone did not consider this to be important information.

Note also that there is a kind of National Grid but it is expressed in yards. Thus the south west corner of this map is 1,180,000 yards north of the Datum (off the Scilly Isles) and 760,000 east. This odd system lasted until the War when the General Staff Geological Section, War Office imposed the Cassini Grid and kilometre squares which was to become the standard on civilian maps on series 6 post war maps. The large grid squares on this map are 5,000 yards apart. The outer scale cited is in minutes of a degree. There is also a scale for kilometres, but this is not on the map edge. Thus the National Grid, as understood today, is a legacy of the war and the kilometre use a legacy of the army who had used metric measurements for some time. But interestingly, even then the maps were given an Imperial measurements gloss for public use: 1” to the mile etc.

THE LEGACY OF SERIES 5 MAPS

This was the modern large series of the 1930’s. During this decade a new Series 6 was planned and was being prepared. During the war, the masters of the new Series 6 were lost in bombing raids on Southampton (they had not been photographed for security); and that Series 6, which appeared 1945+, was essentially, out of necessity, an update of these maps. Thus a generation of OS evolution was lost and the genuine new surveys of Series 7 (1950’s-60’s) were probably what was intended in the lost masters of the late 1930’s .

Thus, this mapping (new to c1930), became the stop gap for 1945+ with the slight alterations already mentioned: the road colours mainly.

There are unsatisfactory aspects of this cartography- most serious probably, being the opaque black used for urban areas which prevented the easy marking of important buildings like churches. No doubt the OS was working on correcting these aesthetic faults but then came the disaster of the War years and the continuation of this series in an adapted form, for another generation.

The Ordnance Survey had tried Chromo Lithography in the Edwardian Age with their Large Sheet topographically shaded series in white linen covers. Here the printing and colour intensity was problematic and probably led to the stalling of lithography for a time

ELLIS MARTIN’S FAMOUS COVER IMAGE

THE 1930’S RAMBER’S IMAGE:

Here is an idyllic landscape and distant coast which could be in many places in England and Wales. Cliffs frame an estuary and a wooded valley is in the middle ground. A man, a rambler, sits on a hill and surveys the scene and his map. He no longer has a bicycle which on a 1920’s version was propped against the bushes to his right. Here he sits with a rucksack and clothes clearly of the 1930’s- cardigan without sleeves, shirt with rolled up sleeves, turned up hemmed long trousers, shoes and no cap: gone are the tweed cap, a tweed jacket and gaiters with plus fours of the 1920’s cover: This is a young map who would have remembered the Great War mainly through the stories of his elders- not the older version which depicted a person who had endured the trenches, and was seen as a civilian in an idyllic English or Welsh landscape. Both young men- the cyclist of the 20’s and the rambler of the 30’s smoke pipes. Ellis Martin signed these pictures with his full name at bottom right: previously this image had been initialled at bottom left. To modern eyes this reworked plate has an added poignancy for in the early 1930’s, he, and society, did not know they would be at war with Germany again before the decade was out.

Ellis Martin was born in 1881 and died in 1977. He was the house designer of the Ordnance Survey from about 1913 (aged 33) through to the 2nd War in 1939. His greatly respected covers have become collectors item,s in their own right and his employment was a push by the OS to popularise their maps- both for commercial reasons and out of a sense of moral duty after the Great War. The first OS cover I know of was a Rolls Royce type open tourer on 1/4” motor maps which first appeared in 1913. Ellis Martin, before the First World War, produced posters and advertising designs for Selfridge’s and W.H. Smith and others. When the Great War broke out he went to France with the Royal Engineers and the Tank Corps, as an artist sketching the landscapes over which the army and its heavy vehicles would have to move. When the war ended, Martin was invited to join the Ordnance Survey which was struggling to enter the growing market in maps for ordinary people; and within a year the OS was reporting the highest map sales in its history. Martin helped make Ordnance Survey a household name; his cover designs are much collected today. He was 96 when he died as recently as 1977.

I have not seen a Scottish map using the Ellis Martin Covers: either this or the earlier cyclist version.

Scottish Series 6 1″ Maps

A GENERAL REVIEW OF THE SCOTTISH SERIES 6 ONE INCH MAPS

SCOTLAND

Scottish Series 6 maps were published from Southampton, not Edinburgh They differ from the English and Welsh Series in that they have floating covers and the Lion Rampant on the front cover rather than the full Royal Arms. These arms have “GR” written about them. The numbering is shown on the index map in Red with the England and Wales maps in Black, and the numbering system is unique to the country. 1 to 70 are only Scottish maps but 71 to 92 appear in both series as different maps. Not all Scotland is in the Scottish Series, for example 75 England has Gretna and the region near Dumfries as well as Wigtown

Cumberland (Solway) and these places do not appear on a Scottish map. Scotland No. 75 is much the same region and England 64, that is: Berwick Region. The other maps which cross the border are: Scotland 85, 86, 81; and England 71, 77, 76.

The Isle of Man is in the England Series as number 87.

Scottish maps of the 6th Series use the English Datum of Newlyn LWMMT and they use the National Grid citing 2 figures. Scottish National Grid numbers confirm just how small the island is:  Kirkcudbright is still only 543 km north of a point south of the Scilly Isles.

LANGUAGE

The languages seen in the toponyms of Scotland on Series 6 maps are: Scots, Gaelic, Norn, Old Western Norse, Anglo Norman and Old Welsh.

The map betrays language use by choosing not only the language of the toponym but its spelling “Ben” or “Beinn” might show a defunct language or a living one. It is a country of isoglots and language overlay and theoretically there are two if not three forms of Gaelic toponyms: Pure, or overlaying and absorbing Old Western Norse, Defunct and written in a Scots orthography. Old Welsh survives but is nowhere spoken. It is synonymous withy Pictish and can be seen in “Aberdeen” and other similar names- It is most apparent in the north east of the country. It is the ancestral tongue of the country with Scots (a Germanic tongue) and Gaelic, both arriving in the 6th century.

Small lochs betray language use, particularly when they use the terms Lochan, Lochanan, Lochanain or Loch. Rivers from them- being “River…” or “Abhainn” also show language.

Scottish maps show how languages spread into a landscape- and which are essentially rural, which urban and which maritime. Two Scottish language groups are preserved only in toponyms: Norn and Old Welsh.

GENERAL

There was a hiatus in civilian mapping from 1939-1945.

The Sixth Edition was essentially the Survey of 1930-35 revised for 1945+. A new survey had been planned but its plates were destroyed when the Southampton offices of the OS were bombed- so this 1945+ series returned to a previous set of surveys. The lost survey plates had not been photographically recorded.

It is said that the masters used for Series 6 map were still electrotype engraved for those maps north of Birmingham but the masters were already lithographic for those Series numbers south of that rough line across the English Midlands. The 6th Series itself was entirely lithographic.

The standard dates are 1930 revision -1946 edition

The earliest and latest dates seen are about

1928 revision- 1948 publication.

Some were published in the War : 1940+. These must have had restricted sales

In this series, RAF and RNAS airfield from the 2nd World War are redacted. Royal Dockyards tend to be simply redacted and left white and blank. Army camps tend to be marked because they were visible on pre war maps anyway. Sea Plane stations were redacted.

One might have imagined that post 1945 these could again have been included but it was probably a matter of timing- also, operational RAF and RNAS fields were to remain hidden even onto the Series 7 maps.

RAILWAYS

Scottish railways od this period were dominated by the LM&SR and the L&NER. It was the East Coast L&NER which ran the Flying Scotsman express.

This was the last survey to show the full Pre-British Railways’ network, with the Old Company named written by the lines. The country was covered by the Southern Railway, London & North Eastern Railway, Great Western Railway, and London Midland and Scottish Railways. Some smaller railways remained, notably “Lancashire and Cheshire Lines”, “Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway”, “Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Committee Railway”.

Here was the last survey to definitely show all the branch railways of the district open, prior to the mass closures of the 1950’s- 1960’s.

There were no preservation railways at this age.

ROADS

Series 6 maps named roads with their MOT numbers for the first time on 1 inch maps. This was the last survey to never show Britain motorways.

A roads showed MOT numbers and were red between black base plate lines. B roads had MOT numbers and were orange-yellow between black base plate lines. Other roads were just shown with parallel black lines on the base plate.

LAND USE

Woods are quite a yellow green and symbols show coniferous or deciduous. Orchards had regular tree symbols and are uncoloured. Park land was stippled- perhaps the last remnant of the electrotyped maps of old. Rough Pasture and marshes were shown with a black stippled symbol. Fields were not surveyed. Arable is not differentiated from pasture and a hop garden is not marked as an orchard, but as open land

FORMAT AND STYLE

Series 6 maps tended to be about 27 inches by 31 inches.

Then were sold on cloth or paper. They were not dissected and mounted in sections unless seen as a bespoke preparation for libraries or by cartographic suppliers such as Edward Stanford.

Covers were 8 ¼ inches by 5 inches. Some early ones are shorter and fold the bottom margin in-to accommodate the same sized sheet.

There were 190 maps in the Series, numbered north to south. No 1 was Shetland; No 190 was Truro.

In Series 6 Scottish Maps were still separate from English and Welsh and has different covers- Both were called “1 Inch New Popular Edition” The numbering of the Scottish Series was different. On the index map, printed on the back cover, one sees Scottish sheets numbers in Red 1 to 92 and English and Welsh maps numbered 71 to 190 in black on the Index Map. English series No 64 is an oddity. It showed Berwick. But is remote in numbering from the rest of the English Series. Scottish map 64 was Dundee.

Therefore maps 71 to 92 were found in both Series as different maps. Maps 1-70 were Scottish maps alone and 93-190 were English or Welsh maps alone. The Isle of Man is No. 87 in the English Series.

Paper was not bleached to white and was not gloss. Larger places were names in Roman Serif and smaller places were Italic and capitalised only on their first letters. District or Parish names were an Italic Roman.

There was no shading – either relief of topographic, though close contours form an effective form of relief shading in fell districts. Welsh place names defaulted to the common usage of the region : Afon or River, etc.

NATIONAL GRID

The average map showed 40 km x 45 km or 1800 km squared. This was roughly 25 miles by 30 miles or 600 miles square.

The point 00 or “False Datum” for the National Grid was south west of the Scilly Isles. It thus allowed all Britain to be east or north of that datum. The only exception was Rockall. Ireland was a different survey.

The grid divided the archipelago into 69 100 km squares numbered 1-69. Being asymmetrical, some of these 100 km squares contained no land: 00 ,01, 02, 03, 0-4, 05, 06, 07, 09, 13, 14, 15, 49, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 64, 65. 66, 67, 68, 69. Others hardly touched land: 11, 47, 50, 55. Interestingly very few showed no coast water: 43 & 42. Nos 32, 44, 52 showed almost none, and perhaps the only square to show no tidal water was 43.(100 km square No 43- not Map 43).

Some important points on the National Grid were: 500-500: near Flamborough; 199-900, just off Harris; 500-100 near Portsmouth; 200-200 near Pembroke. 400-400: a reasonable Centre of England: inland from Liverpool or Skegness, due north of Poole. Very little of Scotland was east of the E400 line. The E600 is a good approximate for the Greenwich Meridian. London is centred quite near 550-180.

This series was, despite its grid, a “1 inch Series” which was 1/63360. On it One Centimetre represented 0.6336 of a kilometre.

The projection used was a Transverse Mercator. This differs from a Standard Mercator, on which latitude is correct at the Equator, by having two latitudes which are precise- roughly at the tropics and thus the world between those two latitudes is mapped in a compressed manner and the world north and south of them is progressively elongated to the poles. This reduces the distortion and the latitude of the British Isles- which would have been too sever on a Standard Mercator Projection.

ALTITUDE

Altitude was calculated above Mean Sea Level. By this date, that would be from the Newlyn Datum in Cornwall (LWMMT). The old Pre 1915 datum was at Liverpool. Some maps did not fully covert until the 1960’s. The difference between the two data is significant and not standard over the whole of the country. In Kent, for example, it ranged from about 0.9 ft to 1.6 ft. with the Liverpool figure being higher.

Lakes had bathymetric data in feet from water level. So altitude at the bottom would be shore line altitude minus Bathymetric depth. Land lochs have Bathymetric data, Sea lochs have fathoms. Scotland is unique in having many freshwater lochs which plunge well below sea level. Isostatic Rebound must have cause some sea lochs to become freshwater lochs. 100 ft interval contours were surveyed; interim 50ft contours were observed. Contours were umber in colour Series 6 did not revise using Aerial Photography, but the War heralded this form of cartography for Series 7.

COVERS

The cover aesthetic was almost Edwardian and quite unlike that of Series 7 maps. OS did not use gloss covers then.

All editions cited revision and publication dates on the cover.

The covers of Series 6 maps hinged in the English and Welsh series; Scottish maps had floating covers.

HYDROGRAPHY

Series Six maps do not show Admiralty soundings , as earlier terrestrial Ordnance 1” maps did. But the shallows and tidal flats were shown in great detail in a grey stipple- and the major tidal flats are named. The marine contours of a Series 6 map are 5 and 10 fathoms. Note that inland waters are measured in feet not fathoms (if measured at all). A fathom, for safety at sea, was calculated from the lowest tide, not the Mean Tide. Thus you cannot strictly calculate combined terrestrial and submarine altitude by adding on to the other. A fathom is 6 ft so the two contours on a Series 6 OS map equate to 30 ft and 60 ft sea depth. A shallow water which can be measured by plumb line is “sounding”. “Beyond Sounding” is deeper than 100 fathoms. Interestingly, burial at sea has to be at least 6 fathoms: called “Deep Six”. Technically a fathom is 1/1000 of an Imperial Nautical or Sea Mile, which is a little more than 6 ft.

TOWNS

1” OS maps did not show bomb or war damage- there was no new survey work between the Pre war revision date and the publication date. There might have been a couple of exceptions to the above rule, one might have been Portsmouth, where cleared streets seem to be seen near the docks. One has to fine 25” or 50” surveys- used by the Land Registry and Planners before the word “ruin” is seen on buildings, plots and parcels of land.

Urban blocks of buildings were, on Series 6 maps, represented with opaque black. This is the first full lithographic series. Previous editions of the 1” survey used hatching on urban areas, as is necessary with an intaglio, engraved or electrotyped process. The aesthetic result is that this Series 6 seemed bolder, darker and broader lined than that which preceded it. The electrotypes were light, high key and thin lined. This use of black for urban areas was short lived and somewhat problematic. By the 1950’s it had been replaced with lithographic grey in which individual buildings such as town halls and churches could again be differentiated, in black, from the general urban shading.

……………………..

Series 6 Ordnance One inch maps

A GENERAL REVIEW OF SERIES 6 MAPS

There was a hiatus in civilian mapping from 1939-1945. The Sixth Edition was essentially the Survey of 1930-35 revised for 1945+. A new survey had been planned but its plates were destroyed when the Southampton offices of the OS were bombed- so this 1945+ series returned to a previous set of surveys. The lost survey plates had not been photographically recorded.

It is said that the masters used for Series 6 map were still electrotype engraved for those maps north of Birmingham but the masters were already lithographic for those Series numbers south of that rough line across the English Midlands. The 6th Series itself was entirely lithographic.

The standard dates are 1930 revision -1946 edition

The earliest and latest dates seen are about

1928 revision- 1948 publication.

Some were published in the War : 1940+. These must have had restricted sales

In this series, RAF and RNAS airfield from the 2nd World War are redacted. Royal Dockyards tend to be simply redacted and left white and blank. Army camps tend to be marked because they were visible on pre war maps anyway. Sea Plane stations were redacted.

One might have imagined that post 1945 these could again have been included but it was probably a matter of timing- also, operational RAF and RNAS fields were to remain hidden even onto the Series 7 maps.

RAILWAYS

This was the last survey to show the full Pre-British Railways’ network, with the Old Company named written by the lines. The country was covered by the Southern Railway, London & North Eastern Railway, Great Western Railway, and London Midland and Scottish Railways. Some smaller railways remained, notably “Lancashire and Cheshire Lines”, “Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway”, “Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Committee Railway”.

Here was the last survey to definitely show all the branch railways of the district open, prior to the mass closures of the 1950’s- 1960’s.

ROADS

Series 6 maps named roads with their MOT numbers for the first time on 1 inch maps. This was the last survey to never show Britain motorways.

A roads showed MOT numbers and were red between black base plate lines. B roads had MOT numbers and were orange-yellow between black base plate lines. Other roads were just shown with parallel black lines on the base plate.

LAND USE

Woods are quite a yellow green and symbols show coniferous or deciduous. Orchards had regular tree symbols and are uncoloured. Park land was stippled- perhaps the last remnant of the electrotyped maps of old. Rough Pasture and marshes were shown with a black stippled symbil. Fields were not surveyed. Arable is not differentiated from pasture and a hop garden is not marked as an orchard, but as open land

FORMAT AND STYLE

Series 6 maps tended to be about 27 inches by 31 inches. Then were sold on cloth or paper. They were not dissected and mounted in sections unless seen as a bespoke preparation for libraries or by cartographic suppliers such as Edward Stanford.

Covers were 8 ¼ inches by 5 inches. Some early ones are shorter and fold the bottom margin in-to accommodate the same sized sheet.

There were 190 maps in the Series, numbered north to south. No 1 was Shetland; No 190 was Truro.

In Series 6 Scottish Maps were still separate from English and Welsh and has different covers- Both were called “1 Inch New Popular Edition” The numbering of the Scottish Series was different. On the index mapo, printed on the back cover, one sees Scottish sheets numberes in Red 1 to 92 and English and Welsh maps numbered 71 to 190 in black on the Index Map. English series No 64 is an oddity. It showed Berwick. But is remote in numbering from the rest of the English Series. Scottish map 64 was Dundee.

Therefore maps 71 to 92 were found in both Series as different maps. Maps 1-70 were Scottish maps alone and 93-190 were English or Welsh maps alone. The Isle of Man is No. 87 in the English Series.

Paper was not bleached to white and was not gloss. Larger places were names in Roman Serif and smaller places were Italic and capitalised only on their first letters. District or Parish names were an Italic Roman.

There was no shading – either relief of topographic, though close contours form an effective form of relief shading in fell districts. Welsh place names defaulted to the common usage of the region : Afon or River, etc.

NATIONAL GRID

The average map showed 40 km x 45 km or 1800 km squared. This was roughly 25 miles by 30 miles or 600 miles square.

The point 00 or “False Datum” for the National Grid was south west of the Scilly Isles. It thus allowed all Britain to be east or north of that datum. The only exception was Rockall. Ireland was a different survey.

The grid divided the archipelago into 69 100 km squares numbered 1-69. Being asymmetrical, some of these 100 km squares contained no land: 00 ,01, 02, 03, 0-4, 05, 06, 07, 09, 13, 14, 15, 49, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 64, 65. 66, 67, 68, 69. Others hardly touched land: 11, 47, 50, 55. Interestingly very few showed no coast water: 43 & 42. Nos 32, 44, 52 showed almost none, and perhaps the only square to show no tidal water was 43.(100 km square No 43- not Map 43).

Some important points on the National Grid were: 500-500: near Flamborough; 199-900, just off Harris; 500-100 near Portsmouth; 200-200 near Pembroke. 400-400: a reasonable Centre of England: inland from Liverpool or Skegness, due north of Poole. Very little of Scotland was east of the E400 line. The E600 is a good approximate for the Greenwich Meridian. London is centred quite near 550-180.

This series was, despite its grid, a “1 inch Series” which was 1/63360. On it One Centimetre represented 0.6336 of a kilometre.

The projection used was a Transverse Mercator. This differs from a Standard Mercator, on which latitude is correct at the Equator, by having two latitudes which are precise- roughly at the tropics and thus the world between those two latitudes is mapped in a compressed manner and the world north and south of them is progressively elongated to the poles. This reduces the distortion and the latitude of the British Isles- which would have been too sever on a Standard Mercator Projection.

ALTITUDE

Altitude was calculated above Mean Sea Level. By this date, that would be from the Newlyn Datum in Cornwall (LWMMT). The old Pre 1915 datum was at Liverpool. Some maps did not fully covert until the 1960’s. The difference between the two data is significant and not standard over the whole of the country. In Kent, for example, it ranged from about 0.9 ft to 1.6 ft. with the Liverpool figure being higher.

Lakes had bathymetric data in feet from water level. So altitude at the bottom would be shore line altitude minus Bathymetric depth. Such lakes were generally found in Cumberland and Wales. An artificial lake or reservoir had no bathymetric data because the water level was not constant: Examples might be Hawes Water, Thirlmere, Lake Vyrnwy or Abingdon Reservoir.

100 ft interval contours were surveyed; interim 50ft contours were observed. Contours were umber in colour

Series 6 did not revise using Aerial Photography, but the War heralded this form of cartography for Series 7.

COVERS

Original Series 6 covers were vermilion and off-white with red and black lettering, the Royal Arms marked GR, the edition number was at top right and on the front cover was a cartouche map. The name was “NEW POPULAR EDITION ONE INCH MAP”.

The cover aesthetic was almost Edwardian and quite unlike that of Series 7 maps. OS did not use gloss covers then. All editions cited revision and publication dates on the cover. The covers of Series 6 maps hinged in the English and Welsh series; Scottish maps had floating covers.

RAILWAYS

The Railways of Series 6 maps were the Company Railways following the amalgamation of 1921-23. This created the G.W.R., L.& N.E.R., L.M. & S.R. and the Southern Railway. Some smaller systems survived- notable Cheshire Lines near Merseyside, the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway in East Anglia and the Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Committee Railway in those counties.

The maps show some peculiarities of this system: At Shoeburyness in South East Essex one finds the LM&SR, not the L&NER and at Ilfracombe one finds the SR nor the GWR.

There were no preservation railways at this age. Welsh narrow gauge railways would still have served quarries. The Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway was marked, for it opened in 1926.

These maps do not show a completely steam railway system. The Liverpool Overhead Railway was electric from 1893; the Metropolitan and District Railway used some electric traction from 1900. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway began electrification in 1904. The Midland Railway began in 1908 and the LB&SCR to Brighton in 1909 but is was the Southern Railway of 1925+ which greatly increased electrification- and those would be so powered on these maps. Interestingly they used a 3rd rail where as their predecessor the LB&SCR has used overhead power.

HYDROGRAPHY

Series Six maps do not show Admiralty soundings , as earlier terrestrial Ordnance 1” maps did. But the shallows and tidal flats were shown in great detail in a grey stipple- and the major tidal flats are named. The marine contours of a Series 6 map are 5 and 10 fathoms. Note that inland waters are measured in feet not fathoms (if measured at all). A fathom, for safety at sea, was calculated from the lowest tide, not the Mean Tide. Thus you cannot strictly calculate combined terrestrial and submarine altitude by adding on to the other. A fathom is 6 ft so the two contours on a Series 6 OS map equate to 30 ft and 60 ft sea depth. A shallow water which can be measured by plumb line is “sounding”. “Beyond Sounding” is deeper than 100 fathoms. Interestingly, burial at sea has to be at least 6 fathoms: called “Deep Six”. Technically a fathom is 1/1000 of an Imperial Nautical or Sea Mile, which is a little more than 6 ft.

TOWNS

1” OS maps did not show bomb or war damage- there was no new survey work between the Pre war revision date and the publication date. There might have been a couple of exceptions to the above rule, one might have been Portsmouth, where cleared streets seem to be seen near the docks. One has to fine 25” or 50” surveys- used by the Land Registry and Planners before the word “ruin” is seen on buildings, plots and parcels of land.

Urban blocks of buildings were, on Series 6 maps, represented with opaque black. This is the first full lithographic series. Previous editions of the 1” survey used hatching on urban areas, as is necessary with an intaglio, engraved or electrotyped process. The aesthetic result is that this Series 6 seemed bolder, darker and broader lined than that which preceded it. The electrotypes were light, high key and thin lined. This use of black for urban areas was short lived and somewhat problematic. By the 1950’s it had been replaced with lithographic grey in which individual buildings such as town halls and churches could again be differentiated, in black, from the general urban shading.

England & Wales Series 7 Maps

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF SERIES 7, ONE INCH SCALE ORDNANCE MAPS OF ENGLAND AND WALES

The Ordnance Seventh Edition was the first true survey after the 2nd World War; the Series 6 maps having been from surveys of the 1930’s. Series 7 maps were usually published from Chessington following bomb damage to the Southampton OS Office.

They doe not cite revision from earlier survey work.

The standard dates are c1952 with revisions to c.1966 The earlier publications of the 1950’s tend to have shorter covers and the sheet folds to 30 rather than 24.

Series 7 maps tended to be about 27 inches by 32 inches and show an area of 40 km of longitude by 45 km of latitude.

The maps were lithographed. It is said that in the preparation of the 6th series, maps south of Birmingham used masters which were already lithographic, but north of that latitude the masters were still engraved. By Series 7, the age of the Engraved or electrotyped map was gone.

There were 190 maps in the Series, numbered north to south. No 1 was North Shetland; No 190 was Truro. The last maps published were of Shetland, and one often reads on the back cover a 1961 “expected completion date” for the entire series.

The National Grid of 1 and 10 kilometre squares did not alter from Series 6 – Point “00” on the grid was located off South West of Cornwall. This was referred to as a False Datum- because the point was arbitrary- unlike the Sea Level Datum. It was fixed there to make all map references “positive”: that is, east or north of the Datum . The exception was Rockall.

The scale was expressed as 1 inch or 1:63,360. Scales in yards and Kilometres are also given. For many decades the Ordnance Survey had been metric but the maps were given an Imperial measurements gloss for the public.

The datum for measurements of altitude is not stated except as “Mean Sea Level” but since 1915 this was LWMMT at the Tidal Observatory, Newlyn, Cornwall. Series 7 is fully re-levelled, so no reference is made to the older Liverpool Datum.

This re-levelling to the new datum at Newlyn LWMMT from the old datum at Liverpool LWMMT was slow; often large scale maps cite dates as late as 1950-52 for re-levelling. The new readings were undertaken as civil engineering projects were carried out. Thus a 1932 re-levelling date on a 6” map probably indicated the year that mains water entered a rural district.

Series 7 did sometimes revise using aerial photography, which had been introduced in the 2nd World War. Like the National Grid, it was a spin-off of military usage.

AIRFIELDS

In this series, RAF and RNAS airfield from the 2nd World War are shown, usually if they are redundant. Operating military airfields may still be redacted, as are naval bases. Old RAF fields are usually shown blank and crossed by footpaths with the word “Airfield” on them. Rarely are they surveyed and when they are, they usually show a runway plan in the form of a number “4”. Some research is needed to establish the original airfield name, which might not have been that of the nearest village. A few are named thus: “Wattisham Airfield”. All military airfields were RAF or RNAS- even if operated by the USAF, RAAF, RCAF or RNZAF.

COVERS

Covers were 8 ¼ inches by 5 inches. Some early ones are shorter and fold the bottom margin in-to accommodate the same sized sheet. The shorter format is roughly 7 1/2 inches by 5 inches.

On Series 7 covers, Scottish Maps had a different coat of arms: a Lion Rampant.

Original Series 7 covers are vermilion and off-white with red and black lining and lettering, the Royal Arms do not say either GR or ER. The edition number was at top right and on the front cover was a cartouche map of the district shown. The cover aesthetic was not unlike that of Penguin Book. They only have gloss covers in the latest Series 7 maps.

All editions cited revision and publication dates on the cover. Note the Edition date is not the printing date which was generally later.

The covers of Series 7 maps were all hinged; Scottish maps had floating covers on Series 6 maps.

TOWNS

Urban areas were grey with white roads. This allowed major buildings to be rendered black, named, and clearly seen: thus solving a major fault on the Series 6 maps which has rendered urban areas black.

One inch maps do not show bomb or war damage- though a considerable amount remained as this survey was being carried out. One has to fine 25” or 50” surveys- used by the Land Registry and Planners for the word “ruin” to be seen on buildings, plots and parcels of land into the 1960’s. Roman names were written under the modern name thus “CAMVLODVNVM”- using that Latin form.

WOODLAND

The greatest ambiguity on any Series 7 map concerns land use.

Woods were shown as deciduous, coniferous or mixed (that was a change), Parks were grey stippled, as were tidal reaches, perhaps these might be seen as the last aesthetic remnants of the engraved or electrotyped map. Arable land was not differentiated from pasture and orchards were not differentiated between Apple, Pear, Cherry, Plum, and Damson. Hop gardens were not shown as orchards, they were marked as open arable land. Deciduous or Coniferous woods did not indicate age. One cannot prove the existence old, primeval or ancient woodland from the symbols an OS map. On English maps one can assume that a coniferous wood is a plantation as the tree is not endemic.

RAILWAYS

This was the first and last survey to show the full British Railways’ network. So the company names had gone and “British Railways” was unnecessary- being universal. The maps were contemporary to many line closures and these were marked with white dots at the stations. On the early 20th century OS maps a white dot just indicated a station. Occasionally the map post dated an early closure and the line was shown only by “track of old rly”. A line with white marked stations was not necessarily a closed line- for it may have remained open for freight use.

A few branch lines were open on Series 6 but gone by Series 7. It was common on series 7 maps to see a line being “rolled back”: closed with white station over part of its course and “track of old rly” over another part. This provided interesting historical information- showing the process of closure and track lifting.

British Railways was formed in 1948 under the Attlee government and dismantled in 1997 under the Major government. It was an amalgamation of the Big Four 1921-1923 companies: L&NER, LM&SR, SR and GWR, as well as some smaller networks such as the Midland and Great Northern Railway, Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Committee Railway, and Cheshire Lines. From 1995 it was known as BR.

The Series 6 maps were contemporary to the phasing out of steam traction- the last steam hauled train was in 1968. Lines were electrified or changed to diesel traction. The Southern Region used the 3rd rail system whereas the rest of the country used overhead lines and pantographs. On the map double lines are shown with a continuous black line and single lines with a black and white dashed line. Principal stations were shown rectangular, other stations were marked as circular- both were red. Level crossings were no longer marked with a red diagonal cross which was a remnant, on Series 6 maps, of their subsidiary used by War time flyers of the ATA

Until 1962 the network was technically “The Railways of the Railway Executive of the British Transport Commission”.

ROADS

Series 7 maps named A & B roads with their MOT numbers. A roads were red, B roads were bisque brown and none numbered minor roads were yellow. Unmetalled roads were white and footpaths, tracks and bridle paths were shown with a dashed black line. Maps always state that an OS marked route does not prove a legal right of access or usage. Motorways were rare but can appear on late revisions. A dashed red line indicates an unfinished or proposed new road.

GEOGRAPHY, GEOLOGY

Generally Series 7 maps looked less busy than Series 6 because there was less black and finer lines. The paper was more bleached that previously but without the stark whiteness of later maps. The outer border cited degrees and minutes of longitude and latitude.

Contours were surveyed in 100’s of feet: 50 ft contours were interpolated. Contours are russet brown but shown with thinner lines which could clutter Series 6 maps.

HYDROGRAPHY

Submarine contours are still shown to 5 and 10 fathoms.

Series Seven maps did not show Admiralty soundings, as much earlier terrestrial Ordnance 1” maps had done. But the shallows and tidal flats were shown in great detail in a grey stipple- and the major tidal flats were named. The marine contours of a Series 7 map were drawn at 5 and 10 fathoms. Inland waters were measured in feet not fathoms (if measured at all). Bathymetric surveys can be quite old- 1870’s-1900’s and were seldom repeated. Some inland waters were cited with a height above sea level at the water surface. Fathoms were measured from the almost the same datum as land altitude: LWMMT Newlyn. A sea chart defines: “Chart Datum is the level below which the tide never falls”. which is not quite the same as the terrestrial LWMMT (Low Water Mark of Medium Tides). A fathom is 6ft (1.8288 metres), anciently defined as the distance between a man’s outstretched arms; so the two contours on a Series 7 OS map equated to 30ft and 60ft sea depth. A “shallow” is water which can be measured by plumb line: called a “sounding”. Water deeper than 100 fathoms is “beyond sounding”. Interestingly, burial at sea had to be at least 6 fathoms or “Deep Six”. Technically a Royal Navy fathom is 1/1000 of an Imperial Nautical or Sea Mile, which is 6.08 ft.

The hydrographic significance of the 5 fathom line on a Series 7 map was that water less than 5 fathoms was measured in feet. Of course sea depth needs a datum, but fresh water depth cannot have one- for its surface never equates to a standard datum and can be at any altitude.

The altitude of a lake bed must be calculated arithmetically; it equals terrestrial altitude at the lake’s surface minus the greatest bathymetric measurement.

Bathymetric data, common in Scotland, is rare in England and Wales with the Lake District being a notable exception. Any lake adapted for reservoir use- such as Hawes Water or Thirlmere, did not have bathymetric data because its water level was variable. Reservoirs, such as Abberton, often showed intricate parish boundaries, following then flooded fields and lanes.

 

Scottish Series 7 1″ maps

THE SCOTLAND SERIES 7 ORDNANCE MAPS

Essentially the Scottish Series 7 Ordnance map is the same as the English and Welsh- but the cover is different – bearing the Rampant Lion Arms and not the full Royal Arms (of either country). Numbering is continuous over the entire island. So there is some ambiguity for sheets which cross the border: Scottish Cover?, English Cover? Two forms of the map?

The National Grid is standard and the False Datum off the Scilly Isles is used for Scotland.

Series 7 maps tended to be about 27 inches by 32 inches and show an area of 40 km of longitude by 45 km of latitude.

The projection is a Transverse Mercator Projection which is suited for the island of Great Britain: the Standard Mercator: being true proportions on the equator, would be too distorted at this latitude. On the Transverse Mercator, rhumb lines form arc, they are not straight to the map: so an OS map is not a sea chart.

PRINTING

The maps were lithographed. It is said that South of Birmingham the masters were already Lithographic, but north of that latitude the base maps were still electrotyped: so there should be subtle differences between these two grounds. The age of the Engraved or electrotyped map is gone.

There were 190 maps in the Series, numbered north to south. No 1 was North Shetland; No 190 was Truro. The last maps published were Shetland, and one often reads on the back cover an “expected completion date” for the entire series which was 1961.

The Datum for Scotland is HWMMT at Newlyn in Cornwall: one wonders whether a datum so far away throws up any cartographic distortions. Ireland always used, and still uses its own at LWMMT Pool Beg Lighthouse Dublin Bay. The datum allows all grids in Britain to be positive: eastings or northings only. The one exception is Rockall which is west of the 00 False Datum. The National Grid from this datum is metric, the squares are kilometres.

The Ordnance Seventh Edition was essentially the first Survey after the 2nd World War. Usually published from Chessington following bomb damage to the Southampton OS Office.

It does not cite revision from earlier survey work.

The standard dates are c1952 with revisions to c1966

The scale is expressed as 1 inch or 1:63,360. Scales in yards and Kilometres are also given. For many decades the Ordnance Survey had been metric but the maps were given an Imperial Measurements gloss for the public.

The datum for measurements of altitude is not stated except as “Mean Sea Level” but since 1915 this was LWMMT at the Tidal Observatory, Newlyn, Cornwall. Series 7 is fully relevelled, so no reference is made to the older Liverpool Datum.

This relevelling to the new datum at Newlyn LWMMT from the old datum at Liverpool LWMMT was slow; often large scale maps cite dates as late as 1950-52 for re-levelling.

Series 7 did sometimes revise using Aerial Photography. Aerial Reconnaissance had introduced this science in the 2nd World War.

Contours are surveyed in 100s of feet: 50 ft contours are interpolated.

Contours are russet brown but shown with thinner lines which could clutter Series 6 maps. Submarine contours are still shown to 5 and 10 fathoms.

Generally Series 7 maps look less busy than Series 6 because there is much less black and much finer colours. The paper us usually more bleached. The outer border cites degrees and minutes of longitude and latitude.

The series is published from Chessington in Surrey or Southampton in Hampshire. Series 7 maps and the whole Ordnance Survey project, date from a period when the Island of Britain was largely considered a unitary state with shared values, a shared parliament and in which the political, cultural and aspirational dichotomy and divergence was less pronounced than in the modern era. In the field of cartography, one doubts that the political will for such projects would exist today in either England or Scotland; or if the universal reach of the great Scottish Cartographers: Johnson, Gall & Inglis, John Bartholomew, would have come about. An interesting comparison is to be made with the Ordnance Survey of Ireland before the Revolution and the OS of Northern Ireland and An Learscailioct Eireannin in the Republic after the Revolution. Future political changes will probably occasion a similar break away of the Scottish Survey.

AIRFIELDS

In this series, RAF and RNAS airfield from the 2nd World War are shown, usually if they are redundant. Operating Military airfields may still be redacted, as are Naval Bases. Old RAF fields are shown blank and crossed by footpaths with the word “Airfield” on them. Thus some research is needed to establish the Airfield Name, which might not have been that of the nearest village. A few are named thus: “Wattisham Airfield”. Such bases are rare in Scotland, where as in Lincolnshire or Cambridgeshire they might be seen ever 5 miles across the map surface.

BATHYMETRICS

The main cartographic difference is perhaps the Bathymetric Survey of Scottish Lochs which took place in the late Victorian and Edwardian Age. In Scotland alone does the depth of fresh water occasionally descend below the Continental shelf.

The chief visual difference must be language and most Scottish maps contain isoglots: lines which divide language as seen in place-names. These are particularly difficult to establish for the place name forms were possibly fixed with the early surveys of the 19th century: freezing toponyms in that period. Series 7 maps are presumably correct to the full revision dates – the 1950’s.

LANGUAGE AND TOPONYMS

The place-name languages of interest in Scotland are: Old Western Norse and its influence on Gaelic; Norn in the extreme North, which was a dialect of Norwegian that became extinct perhaps as late as the 19th century; Gaelic in the North and West. Scots in the South and East and remnant British (Old Welsh) the ancestral language of the country. Some local languages such as Doric may have influences of place-names. Norman is present but much less influential than in England. The interest with Gaelic-Norse toponyms is one of layers: is Gaelic overlying Norse? Is Gaelic overlaying Norse which overlaid Gaelic? There are, conjecturally, three main forms of Gaelic toponyms: one is pure and the other is that in which a great deal of Norse geographical terminology had been absorbed. The third is “remembered Gaelic” written in a Scots orthography. Scotland,on an OS map, is country of isoglots: where Scots meets Gaelic; where remnant Welsh is common and were it is not found. A good example of the later may be seen with Aberdeen and Inverness: the prefix meanings are identical (mouth of a river) and they share a vague geographical region: but the former is a Welsh remnant and the second is not.

There are also interesting differences between remembered language and spoken language: typified by Ben: Beinn (for a high fell) for example. Words which point to isoglots include: Lochan/ Lochanan :Loch (for a tarn); Abhainn: Water/ River; Allt: Burn (for a beck or gill).

Gaelic composite toponyms do not follow the Welsh form of only capitalising the first word: thus “Cae ‘y ceiliog” in Wales but “Inbhair Garvhain” in Scotland.

SOCIAL

Another unique aspect of Scottish landscape in the context of the Island of Britain, is closed land, shooting estates, private roads and large regions of no public access.

 The Church of Scotland is a disestablished Presbyterian church, from which Free Presbyterian communions formed. Some regions and islands are entirely Roman Catholic or entirely  CofS or FP, and some places are divided geographically by religion in a manner not seen in England and more reminiscent of parts of Ireland. Thus, one cannot assume, as one does in England, that a main village church is Church of Scotland. The common occurrence of two large churches in a small community may indicate two substantial established communities in one town, where as in England one would tend to assume they were parishes within an Anglican community. The OS does not cite denomination: the OS of Ireland did- marking a place of worship as “Presbyterian Meeting Hall, Church (COI), or RC Chapel”. 

LANDSCAPE

The greatest ambiguity on this and any Series 7 map is land use. Arable is not differentiated from pasture and orchards are not differentiated between Apple, Pear, Cherry, Plum, and Damson. Trees are shown as Deciduous or Coniferous (or mixed) but this does not show age. On English maps one can assume that a coniferous wood is a plantation as the tree is not endemic.

Woods are now shown as deciduous, coniferous or mixed (this is a change), Parks are grey stippled as are tidal reaches. A botanical difference must be that where as in England one can assume a pine wood to be a plantation, this is not the case in Scotland where the tree is endemic. A particularly interesting aspect of the cartography of Scotland is the depiction of remnant forest: geriatric trees from the former Caledonian Forest, standing without the enclosed woodlands, too large to be destroyed by grazing but unable to reproduce. Series to series one can plot the extinction of this forest.

COVERS

In Series 7 Scottish Maps were still has a different Arms on the front cover: a Lion Rampant. In other respects the same form covered both Kingdoms and the Principality. Original Series 7 covers are vermilion and off-white with red and black lining and lettering, the Arms do not say either GR or ER. The edition number was at top right and on the front cover was a cartouche map. The cover aesthetic was not unlike that of Penguin Book. OS not used gloss covers in only the later Series 7 maps.

In this series the standard Scottish floating cover is replaced by the hinged cover. Covers were 8 ¼ inches by 5 inches. Some early ones are shorter and fold the bottom margin in-to accommodate the same sized sheet.

All editions cited revision and publication dates on the cover. Note the Edition date is not the printing date which was generally later.

RAILWAYS

Series 7 maps are British Railways maps. British Railways was formed in 1948 under the Attlee government and dismantled in 1997 under the Major government. It was an amalgamation of the big 4 1923 companies: L&NER, LM&SR, SR and GWR, as well as some smaller networks such as the Midland and Great Northern Railway, Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Committee Railway, and Cheshire Lines. From 1995 it was known as BR.

The Series 7 maps are contemporary to the phasing out of steam traction- the last steam hauled train was in 1968. Lines were electrified or changed to diesel traction. The Southern Region used the 3rd Rail system whereas the rest of the country used overhead lines and pantographs. On the map double lines are shown with a continuous black line and single lines with a black and white dashed line. Principal stations are rectangular, other stations are round- both being marked red. Level crossings are no longer marked with a red diagonal cross which was a remnant, on Series 6 maps, of their subsidiary used by War time flyers of the ATA.

Until 1962 the network was technically “The Railways of the Railway Executive of the British Transport Commission”.

This was the first and last survey to show the full British Railways’ network. So the company names have gone and “British Railways” is unnecessary- being universal. The maps are contemporary to many line closures and these are marked with white dots at the stations. Occasionally the map post dates an early closure and the line is shown only by “track of old rly”. A line with white marked stations is not necessarily a closed line- for it may have remained open for freight use.

A few branch lines are open on Series 6 but gone by Series 7. It is common on series 7 maps to see a line being “rolled back”: closed with white station over part of its course and “track of old rly” over another part. This provides interesting historical information- showing the process of closure and track lifting. Some of the large old companies of Scotland, lost after 1921-23 include the North British Railway and the Caledonian Railway.

ROADS

Series 7 maps named A & B roads with their MOT numbers. A roads are red, B roads are bisque brown and none numbered minor roads are yellow. Unmetalled roads are white and footpaths, tracks and bridle paths are shown with a dashed black line.

Motorways are rare but can appear on late revisions of the 7th Series.

HYDROGRAPHY

Series Seven maps do not show Admiralty soundings , as much earlier terrestrial Ordnance 1” maps had done. But the shallows and tidal flats are shown in great detail in a grey stipple- and the major tidal flats are named. The marine contours of a Series 7 map are 5 and 10 fathoms. Note that inland waters are measured in feet not fathoms (if measured at all).Bathymetric surveys can be quite old- 1870’s-1900’s and are not often repeated. Some inland waters are cited with a height above sea level at the water surface. Fathoms are measured from the same datum as land altitude: LWMMT Newlyn. A sea chart defines: “Chart Datum is the level below which the tide never falls”. Note that this is not quite the same as the terrestrial LWMMT (Low Water Mark of Medium Tides). A fathom is 6ft (1.8288 metres), anciently defined as the distance between a man’s outstretched arms; so the two contours on a Series 7 OS map equate to 30ft and 60ft sea depth. A “shallow” is water which can be measured by plumb line: called “sounding”. Water deeper than 100 fathoms is “beyond sounding”. Technically a Royal Navy fathom is 1/1000 of an Imperial Nautical or Sea Mile, which is 6.08 ft.

The importance of the 5 fathom line on a Series 7 map is that water less than 5 fathoms is measured in feet. Of course sea depth needs a datum, but fresh water depth cannot- for its surface never equates to a standard datum and can be at any altitude.

TOWNS

Urban areas are here grey with white roads. This allowed major buildings to be rendered black, named, and clearly seen: thus solving a major error on Series 6 maps which has rendered urban areas black.

1” OS Series 7 maps do not show bomb or war damage- though a considerable amount remained as this survey was being carried out. One has to fine 25” or 50” surveys- used by the Land Registry and Planners for the word “ruin” to be seen on buildings, plots and parcels of land, and “ruin” can be seen on maps into the 1960’s. Roman names (much less frequent in Scotland) are given under the modern name thus “CAMVLODVNVM”- using that Latin form.

Early Road Maps- cycles versus motorcars

EARLY MAPS FOR CYCLISTS AND CARS

(This article cites Berkshire and Oxfordshire as the “typical” counties, and gives statistics known for London)

In this Edwardian period it is interesting to consider the relative importance of bicycles and motor cars to a cartographer such as George Bacon.

England: Cycle maps versus motor maps

Looking at a map of Southern England: one wonders how important the motor map market would have been at any particular date.

Rudyard Kipling down at Batemans in Sussex, owned a car in 1897, but he never drove himself: that was the level of society which used them then: perhaps there were 1000 machines on the road, at weekends in fine weather and locally.

In 1901 let one assume there were 5,000 vehicles. (some argue 8,000), of which perhaps 50% were serviceable at any one time. In that year 623 people wrote “Chauffeur” as their occupation on the census. Let one assume that twice that number had other titles too: Valet, Gentleman’s Gentleman, carriage Driver etc. That would suggest about 1900 people chauffeured which accounts for about two fifths of the cars being driven.

The early OS motor maps show a chauffeured car on the cover.

In 1904 there were 23,000 cars on the roads of Britain- incidentally most were French. In 1910 there were 100,000.By contrast, in the 1890’s 50,000 people were employed making bicycles. By 1893 roller chains, triangulated frames and pneumatic tyres were established.

If one was printing a map in circa 1910 of an average county- perhaps Berkshire or Oxfordshire – there would be a market for about 4,000 cars owned by rich people many with chauffeurs. They would have bought their maps from Praed and Sifton or Edward Stanford of London and those would have been bespoke. The market for a motor map would have been small and filled by such bespoke vendors. Such a county’s population was about 400,000 in at that time,so 1 car per 100 people. I this year there may have been 100,000 bicycles (one per family) 1 for every 4-5 people. There was no way one would have published a speculative map for the motorist in this period: railway and cycle maps would dominate.

In London the precise figures are known: there were 100,000 driving licences in 1920 (roughly a decade after this map), and 261,000 in 1930. In 1920 Greater London had 7,386,755 people and Inner London: 4,484,523 people. So take the capital as about 6 ½ million: that is a driving licence for every 65 people. In 1930 the capital’s population was 8,000,000 there was a driving licence for every 33 people or so. But in London there were about 2 million bicycles. The market for cycle maps in London in 1930 was 8 times bigger than that for car drivers.

Regarding tipping points: an astonishing fact is that the year in which people, on average, traveller further by car than by bicycle in England was 1950. The proportion of car miles to cycle miles today is 99:1. It is interesting that one reason why England did not go down the Dutch route of building self-contained cycle roads was that the CTC (Cyclists’ Touring Club) opposed the idea; in 1934 they argued that space should be made for cycles on the public highway and they should not be pushed off by cars onto a secondary network.

Gall and Inglis, mapping specifically for cyclists, described road quality- loose, dusty, rough etc on their strip maps. They also chose routes to avoid heavy traffic, leaving London, as early as the Edwardian Age- which may have been buses or horse and carts, more than cars. They took particular note of trams, the slot-rails of which were a hazard for cyclists. The companies which worked most with the CTC were Philip’s and Bartholomew’s- the former at the turn of the century and the later roughly between 1915 and 1928- when the CTC chose roads in three grades. These Bartholomew maps were the first to show cycle routes which were challenging or in any way “off-piste” or non-vehicular. Prior to that, most so called cycle maps seem quite lazy: highlighting major roads- usually on far older map bases: roads which would in the mid 19th century have been turnpikes. The criterion for an early “cycle road” was condition- was it a stable surface and was it seasonal? Roads chosen where direct routes between towns and many early maps noticeably avoided the coast: one is tempted to infer that the  cyclist was not within the same demographic as the resort holiday maker. Philip’s maps marked gradients, hotels, coffee taverns and Temperance establishments and also marked with a symbol any town which has a CTC ambassador. Gradients were shown by Philip-, Bacon, Gall and Inglis. Bacon called them “danger hills” and there severity was shown with chevrons. Temperance was very strong with the cycling fraternity and might be inferred from the map publishers’ choice of recommended hotels as well as the advertisements for Bourneville Cocoa, Fry’s Chocolate and other products of those famous Quaker confectioners who supported the movement.

CTC -Cyclist’s Touring Club

CYCLIST’ TOURING CLUB HISTORY

The Bicycle Touring Club was its name from 1878-1883, when it became the Cyclists’ Touring Club CTC ). It still exists. It worked specifically with Bartholomew, choosing roads and tracks from 1911-1928. Bartholomew maps later than 1928 still use some CTC road choices.

Most towns had a “Consul” for the club. They approved hotels and guest houses and published their names in the annual route books. In 1911-1928 it cooperated with Bartholomew and chose roads for their topographically shaded maps – placing their logo at bottom centre on the map sheet. This map proves that much earlier- c 1880’s, it cooperated with George Philip. Stanley Cotterell from Edinburgh founded it, but its headquarters became established at 139-140 Fleet Street. It put up road signs. Its members wore uniforms for a time. It encouraged women to cycle and advocated “sensible clothing” which meant trousers: not long dresses and bonnets, which were generally deemed suitable. Their uniform was a dark green jacket, knickerbockers and a peaked helmet. The uniform changed to grey. They often rode in groups with a bugler at the front. The pioneer for Women’s modern clothing was Lady Harberton, who had a “Western Society for Sensible Dress” or some such named body. In the late 1920’s they campaigned for not to support cycle paths; fearing that they would loose their rights on the open road. They were often in court, trying to further or protect cyclists’ rights. In 1906 it almost became a motoring organisation too but a court blocked this saying it could not represent the interests of both cars and cycles. The CTC used to put up road signs and signs in hotel and shop windows – as do the AA- They published route books with suggested hotels and guest houses of which some 50% were (at times) Temperance. There was a strong link between Temperance and Cycling which is why Bacon’s Cycle maps often have. Bovril, Fry’s Cocoa, Cadbury’s Chocolate etc advertised. Those Quaker confectioners were strong in the Temperance Movement. In 2016, with stunning lack of history and crassness, the CTC voted to call themselves “Cycling UK”. The badge was a cycle wheel with three wings within it and the initials CTC- an iconic badge which no doubt they have also changed for some modern graphic. I have just looked it up: “We are cycling UK” in yellow and blue play-school lettering; so that is that then- all that was sacred is profaned.