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Gloucestershire Archives: Sale of Surplus Maps

The committee of the Friends of Gloucestershire Archives invites you to a sale of old maps.

Over the years, Gloucestershire Archives has accumulated a number of surplus Ordnance Survey maps ("County" Series: 1st edition c. 1884; 2nd c. 1902; 3rd c.1923, and some later ones) covering various parts of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. These surplus maps are taking up valuable space in the archive's strong-rooms and are not needed, as the Archives have kept at least one copy of each and every one of them.

The surplus maps are now being offered for sale, initially to museums and similar bodies, members of FoGA (both personal and group) and later to other bodies interested in local and family history and the work of the Archives - and eventually to the public.

We must emphasise that any money raised from this sale will be strictly ring-fenced for supporting Gloucestershire Archives' work in keeping information safe, accurate and accessible.

The "County" series of Ordnance Survey maps for Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire is numbered in a grid from West to East and then from North to South. The maps are in three scales: 1:10,560; 1:2,500 and 1:500.

Scale 1:10,560

6in scale

These maps (6 inches to the mile) cover 6 miles by 4 on the ground, and their grid (from 3 to 72 with gaps) is the first component of the sheet reference. Few of these are available. Maps at this scale were also produced in quarter sheets (NW NE SW SE, each covering 3 by 2 miles) and we have more of these - each sheet being approx. 22 in. horizontally by 16 1/2 in. vertically. One of these will have a reference like "12 - SW".

Scale 1:2,500

25in scale

These maps (approx. 25 inches to the mile) cover 1.5 miles by 1 (2.4 km by 1.6) on the ground and 1 square inch represents roughly one acre. Their grid (1 to 16, four rows of four) within the relevant 6 inch map is the second component of the sheet reference. One of these will have a reference like "12 - 9" and comes on a sheet 42 in. by 29 (approx.. 110 cm by 74). These maps form the bulk of the surplus.

Scale 1:500

126in scale

These maps (approx. 10.5 feet to the mile) cover 0.06 miles by 0.04m on the ground - or about 96 by 64 metres - on a sheet that is also 42 by 29 in. (approx. 110 by 74 cm.). Their grid (1 to 25, five rows of five) is the third component of the sheet reference and one of these will have a reference like "12 - 9 - 25". They were only produced where very detailed mapping was required, typically large towns and cities. We only have a few of these.


For contrast, it is perhaps worth noting the scale and coverage of current OS Landranger mapping. This is 1:50,000, 2cm to 1km (1 1/4 in to 1m.) on sheets of differing sizes - one of which for example might cover 40 by 40 km on the ground (approx. 24 by 24 miles) on sheet 80 cm by 80 (approx. 31 1/2 by 31 1/2 inches. OS Explorer mapping is at 1:25,000 scale, 4cm to 1km (2 1/2 in to 1m.) covering a quarter of the area of the equivalent sheet of Landranger mapping.


We have created index sheets illustrating which maps we have available at the various scales. These sheets run from west to east and then north to south. The title of the sheet indicates some of the sheet references it covers and hints at the places involved, typically from NW to SE.

Each index sheet shows a number of rectangles outlined against a background of current OS mapping (Landranger or Explorer, as appropriate). Each rectangle shows the approximate area covered by at least one map available for sale. These diagrams are hand-drawn so please allow for human error.

In each rectangle there is a label in the top LH corner with abbreviations telling you which maps are available. This example illustrates the key to these abbreviations:

12 - 5 - 1
1st: 1FP,
2nd: 1E, 3G
3rd: 1F

Line 1 shows the sheet reference uniquely identifying the area covered, containing up to three components depending on the scale of the sheet. Lines 2 to 4 indicate which editions we have available ("1st" c. 1884; "2nd" c. 1902: "3rd" c. 1923) and in what number and condition. We have given each map a condition grading: E (excellent), G (good) and F (fair): a number before each grading indicates how many of each we have. We should mention that this grading concerns the physical condition of the map as an object and not its level of interest. Some of the "E" grade maps, in almost pristine condition, can hardly ever have been handled - sometimes one can guess why. Some "F" grade maps have been heavily used and are endlessly fascinating. If a map is a photocopy then that is indicated by "P", as in "1FP".

Availability and Pricing

We suggest a minimum price as follows (with a 10% discount if you buy more than 10) - but as we are trying to raise funds for Gloucestershire Archives, please feel free to pay more:

Condition Minimum Suggested Price
Excellent: £15
Good: £10
Fair: £5
Excellent Photocopy: £10
Good Photocopy: £5
Fair Photocopy: £2


The index sheets are Microsoft "xps" files which should open in your browser. If they don't, your computer should still have a viewer, so please click them to view. Please contact us if this doesn't work.

The index sheets are available via these links:
6 in or 1:10,560
25 in or 1:2,500
126 in or 1:500

When you have decided which ones are of interest to you we would like you to let us know so that we can get them out for you to see. The simplest way of doing so will be to email Alternatively please write to:

FoGA Maps
27 Arden Road
GL53 0HG

If you would like further information, or if you have any problems or questions, please contact us in one of the ways above.

Last edited: 17th May 2014