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Ordnance Survey County Series 25-inch, 1st edition

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Ordnance Survey County Series 25-inch, 1st edition

Ordnance Survey

This series of maps employed a number of key criteria, which were not truly replicated until Ordnance Survey’s fully digital Mastermap product was launched in 2001. Each parcel on the map is numbered, and its area calculated, the results made available in an accompanying Area Book, arranged on a parish-by-parish basis. Hand-colouring was used throughout, Ordnance Survey employing thirteen to fourteen year-old boys to colour maps at between 6d. and 1/- per day. The resulting artistic schema saw water coloured blue, roads sienna, brick or stone buildings carmine, and wooden or iron buildings grey. After being coloured the impressions were subjected to hydraulic pressure between glazed boards for about eighteen hours to improve their appearance.

A regular programme of survey at a scale of twenty-five inches to one mile was settled by Ordnance Survey in 1863. This particular series of maps was eventually to cover all of the cultivated land in Great Britain by 1896, with 616 sheets required to map all of Oxfordshire. Each map sheet extended over an area of one mile (north to south) by one and a half miles (west to east). In 1964 leading historian of cartography, J.B. Harley described this series of maps as “a standard topographical authority”. These are the most detailed published maps available for Rycote. Later editions were published at this scale, but nothing more detailed has ever been produced. Scale: 1:2,500.

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