Hollar map of Hull 1640

Historical Maps

Some historical maps are later interpretations by historians. However, the Local Studies library contains some contemporary maps. These include copies of the Cottonian plan of Hull dating from c.1530 (the original is held by the British Library); Speed's map of Hull (1610); and, perhaps the most well-known, Wenceslaus Hollar's map depicting Hull in 1640.

A series of additional contemporary historical maps are available for the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These include Woolner’s Map of Hull (1725); Jeffrey’s Plan of Hull (1767); Craggs' Plan of Hull (1817); and a series of maps by Goodwill and Lawson (1851-1869).

What kind of information do the maps provide?

Historical maps and plans offer a visual representation of how Hull developed from the fourteenth century through to the later nineteenth century. From Hull’s earliest origins they show how the town appeared in terms of its layout and early street names. Sixteenth century maps show the appearance of the Castle and Blockhouses on the east bank of the River Hull. Later maps show Hull at the time of the English Civil War; the building of Hull’s first and subsequent docks from the 1770s; and its rapid development and expansion into the nineteenth century which was brought about by industrialisation.

Hull History Centre holdings

Our historical maps date from 1293 onwards and can be browsed in person via the search room map cabinets.

Some have been published in various histories of Hull.

Some of our notable map holdings include:

  • Wyke upon Hull with index, 1293
  • Frost plan of Hull showing old town, streets names and the course of the old River Hull, early 14th century
  • Copy of an ancient plan of Hull, c.1530
  • Speed’s plan of Hull, 1610
  • Hollar’s plan of Hull, 1640
  • Copy of plan of Hull, insert with plan of Spurn Point and Lincolnshire Coast, Philips 1720
  • Plan of Hull, Woolner 1725
  • Plan of town and harbour of Kingston upon Hull, Bower 1786 & 1791
  • Plan of the borough of Hull, Aitkin, 1800
  • Plan of Hull, Craggs 1817
  • Plan of Hull with environs, Alfred-Smith c.1823
  • Plan of Hull, Goodwill & Lawson 1842-1869
  • Plan of Hull, Peck 1870-1892


In some cases copyright is not held by the History Centre and therefore copies may be obtained for private use only. Please contact us in the first instance about obtaining copies from our historical map holdings.