Old series

Market Drayton OS Old Series



Scale: 1 inch = 1 mile
SA ref: X8989/1

This scale is useful to get an overall picture of an area or a landscape, including, for the first time, some indication of physical relief. It is a very early series, with roughly a third of England and Wales mapped by 1830. The many imprints are extremely complex, but the series has been roughly divided into original 1833 prints, Tithe Survey and revised sheets with railways etc. Those labelled ‘Index to the Tithe Survey’ show the names and boundaries of the parishes for which tithe maps had been prepared.

The map we illustrate for Market Drayton is one of these. It stretches from Market Drayton to Newport and includes the county boundary between Shropshire and Staffordshire and the River Tern. The engraving is crisp and the hachuring used for physical relief is clear. Towns are shown with complete street layouts and are labelled with different styles of lettering according to their status. Villages can be picked out easily because each house is drawn individually and coloured black. Isolated houses and farms are also named. There is a good deal of archaeological information and conventional signs are used for windmills, churches, woodlands and orchards although there is no key to the symbols. There is some classification of roads and the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal is shown. Shropshire Archives also has a later version of the same map (c 1890) on which the railways have been inserted.

These 1 inch maps are based on the Ordnance Surveyors’ Drawings (OSDs), prepared from 1789 to1840, mostly at a scale of 2 inches to one mile. The Shropshire sheets were completed between 1814 and 1818. Apart from being unique historical documents, the OSDs are important in that they contain information on field boundaries, land use data and place names that were not included on the 1 inch maps. They are best viewed on the British Library website www.bl.uk within the “Maps and Views” section of the Online Gallery.

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