Understanding Ordnance Survey Maps

Anthony Lee

Ordnance Survey Map Symbols

Brick Buildings

Carmine colour = brick or stone building

Grey colour = iron or wood building

Blue and/or cross-hatched = glass

Dotted crossed lines: Roofed archway/alleyway/passageway

Interior layout in a public building

Brick or stone wall

Small circle in building = Privy or WC [next to Dung Pit (D.P.), Spellers Court, 1852 map]

Sienna colour = road (dotted line shows pavement on left-hand side)

Ordnance Survey Map Abbreviations

A fuller list of abbreviations is published in Richard Oliver’s Ordnance Survey Maps. A concise guide for historians.

C.H. = Coach House

CR.H. = Carriage House [next to stables, 1852 map]

D.B. = Dust Bin [1852 map]

D.W. = Draw Well - a deep well from which water is drawn by a bucket on a rope [A cluster of draw wells behind the houses in Union Crescent is shown on the 1852 map]

D.P. = Dung Pit [1852 map]

L.P. = Lamp Post [and Seat on Marine Terrace, 1852 map]

P = Pump [in yard, 1852 map]

PY = Piggery [opposite Slaughter House, 1852 map]

S.H. = Summer House [1852 map]

ST. = Stable [next to Carriage House, 1852 map]

W.H. = Wash House [1852 map]