Menu Close

Map Guide

Guide to the Maps

1:63,360 (one inch to one mile)

The first OS map of the Ramsbottom area was the Old Series 'One Inch' map.  This was surveyed between 1840 and 1842. Ramsbottom is on Sheet 89, also named 'Bolton'. A modern reproduction of this map is sheet RHS 20/1/1/4 in the Archive. This sheet has detailed discussion about the old series 1inch map at the bottom.  Note that railways have been added up to 1890, very few were actually present in 1840.

1:10,560 (six inches to one mile)
In 1840, while the one inch Lancashire map was being surveyed, the decision was taken for all future maps to be surveyed at the scale of 1:10,560, or six inches to one mile.

Lancashire was the first English county to be mapped at this scale.  The Lancashire six inch map was published between 1846-51, from surveys in 1841-50.  The county of Lancashire was covered in 118 sheets; Ramsbottom is on the eastern edge of sheet 79 (published 1850).  Edenfield, Shuttleworth and the moors to the east are on sheet 80, Bolton Tottington area on 87 and Bury, Heywood on sheet 88.
Three of these can be seen in the archive:

79 Ramsbottom and west RHS 20/1/1/16
80 Edenfield, Shuttleworth RHS 20/1/1/17
87 Bolton, Tottington RHS 20/1/1/13

Six-inch Old Series sheets in SE Lancashire

From 1854, it was decided that all future surveys would be at the larger scale of 1:2500 (25.344inches to one mile), including rural areas with the exception of mountains and moorland, where the 6 inch to one mile scale would continue. Resurveying at this scale took some years, the maps involving Ramsbottom appeared from 1888 onwards.  Sheet numbering changed with the new larger scale.
Six inch sheets were now issued in quarters, and Roman numerals used for the original six inch sheets.  Thus Ramsbottom on maps between 1880s and 1939 is on sheet LXXIX SE (79 south east)
1:2500 (popularly known as 'twenty five inch') were published dividing the whole six-inch sheets by 16, keeping Roman numerals for the six inch sheet, and Arabic for the 16 1:2500 sheets.  Thus the 25inch map of Ramsbottom becomes LXXIX 12.
Even larger scales were found useful, particularly for improving sanitation systems, these were available for urban areas at scales of 1:1250, and 1:500.
1:500 maps were numbered by subdividing the 1:2500 sheets by 16, e.g. LXXIX.12.19
The archive includes some 1:500 sheets,
LXXIX.12.19 RHS 20/1/1/8
LXXIX.12.15 RHS 20/1/1/7

The maps highlighted in yellow are available as modern reproductions, reduced to 15inch to one mile scale, from Alan Godfrey Maps   (

Sheet lines remained the same until 1938, when it was decided that future larger scale maps should all be based on the metric National Grid.  This is the system in use today, the only other major change post WW2 has been metrication of all OS maps, the 1:10,560 scale becoming 1:10,000, and the 'One inch' 1:63,360 becoming 1:50,000; as in the familiar modern 'Landranger' series of OS maps.

National grid based sheetlines are based on grid squares, 1:10,560 or 10,000 cover 5km x 5km squares. 1:2,500  are based on 1km squares, but 2 may be combined in one sheet. The map is numbered from the grid reference in the SW (bottom left) corner of the square.
Thus Ramsbottom on 1:10,000 scale is on sheet SD71 NE, and central Ramsbottom on 1:2,500 is on SD7916
The archive includes:
Ramsbottom at 1:10,000, 1955 RHS.
Ramsbottom N at 1:2500, 1962 RHS.

Nowadays, the OS keep all maps as electronic records, and apart from the popular paper published maps at 1:50,000 and 1:25,000, larger scales are issued as electronic files or printed for a specified area.

Sheet lines of six-inch and 25 inch OS maps in SE Lancashire