Fabulous ‘new’ 1895 map of Kings Cross online – five feet to the mile!

granary rail tracks

A wonderful online presentation of the 1893-95 Ordnance Survey sheets for London are available from the National Library for Scotland.  At this astonishing scale the detail is exquisite, even within some buildings such as the train stations (predating Google by over 100 years).  On the streets individual trees are drawn.  And the map is a salutary reminder of the ultra high density back to back ‘modern housing’ around Bingfield Street that was replaced by even more modern housing in the 1960s.  A fascinating lunchtime browse.

Also a reminder of the phase when competition in mapping drove higher and higher quality.  Stanfords, whose shop still thrives on Long Acre and other commercial map makers competed fiercely to keep the state funded Ordnance Survey out of London producing from the 1850s fabulous large scale Library Atlases of the fast growing city, where maps were a vital tool in the burgeoning public administration.  There was intense lobbying from both sides captured a little by the Library as they describe the genesis of this map.  The OS mapped much of the rest of the country, leaving London almost until last, when blockbuster publications such as this would have dealt a heavy blow to private sector competitors.

bingfield area

About William Perrin

Active in Kings Cross London and South Oxfordshire, founder of Talk About Local, helping people find a voice online and a trustee of The Indigo Trust , Good Things Foundation and ThreeSixtyGiving as well as Connect8.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Kings Cross local history and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fabulous ‘new’ 1895 map of Kings Cross online – five feet to the mile!

  1. Margaret Baum - Hayward says:

    As somebody who for many years spent their childhood just off York Way and whose family lived both sides of the Kings Cross station, these maps are vital when tracing my family history and trying to gain an insight into their living and working conditions.

  2. LT says:

    Absolutely Fabulous!! Thanks for finding this Will, I want to try to display this for our flat.

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