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Archive Collections at HHC: Maps, Plans & Surveys

Guide to material held at Hull History Centre, arranged by theme, creator and document type

“Everywhere's been where it is ever since it was first put there. It's called geography”

Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters 

Maps and Plans

Research Themes Supported

Hull History Centre holds large numbers of maps, plans and surveys. Such records can aid research into:

  • Estate Management
  • Land Ownership
  • Urban Development
  • Rural Development
  • Enclosure
  • Building Construction
  • Development of Docks
  • Public Spaces
  • Rights of Way
  • Drainage

Key Information Content of Records

The following are common categories of information which feature in this record type:

  • Scale showing distances represented on map etc.
  • Road names
  • Building numbers
  • Boundaries
  • Public spaces, i.e. parks
  • Specific building types, i.e. churches, schools
  • Bodies of water, i.e. rivers, drains, lakes
  • Drainage and utility connections

Where Record Type is Usually Found

This record type commonly survives in the following categories of archival collection:

  • Papers created by landed families and estates
  • Council committee and department records
  • Records created by architects, surveyors and builders
  • The Ordnance Survey

Typical formats

Maps, plans and surveys come in a variety of formats, including: Ordnance Survey maps; town plans; street maps; engineering plans; building elevation plans; landed estate plans.


Additional Supporting Material

The following secondary literature provides contextual background and useful further information when trying to understand and use this record type:

  • Rachel Hewitt, Map of a Nation: A Biography of the Ordnance Survey (2011)
  • Matthew H. Edney, Cartography: The Ideal and Its History (2019)
  • Roger Kain, John Chapman, Richard Oliver, The Enclosure Maps of England and Wales 1595-1918 (2004)
  • Colin Chapman, How Heavy, How Much and How Long? Weights, Money and Other Measures Used by Our Ancestors (1995)

Downloadable list of material

The following PDF contains a list of key maps, plans and surveys held at HHC.