Maps have been around for centuries, but the need for accurate maps became all the more important during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Britain found itself increasingly at war, which brought with it the impending threat of invasion. New methods, including photography, made the process of producing maps easier during the nineteenth century.
Hull’s earliest Ordnance Survey map is that of 1855. At a scale of 1:2500 it shows the expanding town of Hull, which had begun to develop beyond its medieval boundaries. It also covers the immediate area around Hull, which was eventually absorbed into its borough, including some areas which were then part of the East Riding.
1:2500 scale OS maps are also available for 1892, 1910 and 1928. A scale of 1:500 is also available for 1892. From the Second World War to the present day, OS maps are at a scale of 1:1250.
What kind of information do the maps provide?
From 1892, the Ordnance Survey produced maps on a scale of 1:500 which offer a detailed view of Hull (in sections). Streets, entries, courts and terraces are shown, along with individual properties. Property numbers are not given but public houses, churches and notable buildings are marked. If used in conjunction with trade directories property numbers can often be identified.
Additionally, Ordnance Survey maps are available for 1910 and 1928. These are at a larger scale of 1:2500, and they provide a bird's-eye view of Hull’s physical development beyond the Victorian era, into the Edwardian era and the inter-war years.
Complementing the earlier maps are a series of 1:1250 scale maps dating from 1949 to the present day. This series shows Hull in the immediate years after the Second World War, and show how the city altered due to the numerous air raids during the war. Maps from the late 1960s and 1970s show its redevelopment with the removal of some housing across the city, most notably places like Hessle Road. The 1980s saw a continuation of Hull’s development, with the city centre being pedestrianised. Later maps from this series take into account developments and changes during the first two decades of the 21st century.
Hull History Centre holdings
Many of the Ordnance Survey maps are available to browse in the library area. The most notable dates are those for 1855, 1892, 1910, 1928 and 1949-present day. Access is available via the map cabinets in the library area and includes:
- OS 1855 - Hull and parts of the East Riding (scale of 1:2500)
- OS 1892 - Hull (scale of 1:2500)
- OS 1892 - Hull (scale of 1:500)
- OS 1910 - Hull (scale of 1:2500)
- OS 1928 - Hull (scale of 1:2500)
- OS 1949 - present day - Hull (scale of 1:1250)
Although some maps may be copied in their entirety, we recommend that you contact us to check in the first instance. Copying of an OS map under 50 years old is restricted to one A4 extract for educational purposes only under copyright law. Please contact us if you require any further information.