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The Virtual Library

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Maps Overview

Local and family history A-Z > Maps
  • Maps can encapsulate the history of an area

  • The most famous British mapmakers were John Speed and Christopher Saxton. A copy of Speed's map of Bedfordshire, considered to be one of his finest achievements, is held at Bedford Central Library

  • Town plans for this country were first produced in the sixteenth century and many were being produced by the eighteenth century. Production of urban plans increased  rapidly in the early nineteenth century

  • The Ordnance Survey was set up in 1791 when Napoleon was threatening to invade and the Board of Ordnance realised that it had little idea of the geography of Britain's vulnerable south coast. Ten years later, the first inch-to-the-mile map was published

Map of Bedfordshire, 1804

Page last updated: 7th September 2011