OS 1/538

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3" to 1 mile scale map of the London area as an O.S. publication

Date range1928 - 1932
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries OS, subseries OS 1


By the end of the 1920s, the Ordnance Survey found that Bartholomew, AA and other map publishers were leading the way regarding in-depth coverage of London, and wanted to catch up. They started planning a series of 3 inch / mile street or district maps of London, but were hampered with out of date surveys and lack of available manpower. The project was killed off, only to be resurrected after the war (see OS1/338) before being finally thrown on the scrapheap in favour of the then brand new 1:25,000 maps, which were deemed "good enough".

Since the map itself didn't take off, the less said about an accompanying Gazetteer of London that was also proposed, the better.


As well as the expected correspondence between the Ministry of Transport and the Ordnance Survey, there are a couple of draft maps of the Woolwich / Catford area produced, including the A205 under construction between east of Catford and the A20. There's also a short extract from an AA map showing one ways and no right turns along Oxford Street - clearly as important then as it is now.

People with copies

Ritchie Swann has some of the draft plans.