Maps and Plans

To understand family histories it helps to have a view of the geography of where people lived.   The following maps have been prepared to assist with this.   Because of the limitations of graphics files I will be publishing the majority of maps as PDF (Portable Document Format) files - these need a viewer such as the widely available Adobe Acrobat viewer but are capable of being scaled to show fine detail.   Only very simple plans will be presented as embedded graphics for direct viewing.

I do not mind the maps being used on other sites provided that they are not modified in any way this includes not only visual changes but also "optimising" and changing the file format or resolution. If you do wish to use the maps please let me know so that I can advise you if I make changes.

Great Harwood - mid 19th Century



Great Harwood Sketch

SD73Part  (249Kb PDF file)   Thumbnail SD73Part

Based loosely on an extract from the Ordnance Survey sheet SD73 map published in 1955 (and now out of copyright) the map shows the area around Great Harwood and gives locations of farms and settlements from 1790 onwards.    There are a nunber of locations that cannot be positioned with any certainty on the map. This page shows details and an indication of the general area they could be found in.



Street Plan - 1909 (132Kb PDF file)

The plan shows the streets in Great Harwood as mapped in 1892 and 1909, the 1848 roads are coloured differently to show the rapid expansion of the town during the latter part of the 19th Century. A preview is shown below.

Preview of 1909 Composite map

Street Names

This is a list of street names and their locations taken from the Barrett's 1906 Directory - it may be of use in identifying some of the minor streets not shown on the plans.

Churches & Chapels in Great Harwood


Churches and Chapels in Great Harwood



Clayton-le-Moors and districtPreview of Clayton-le-Moors district map (213 Kb PDF file)

This is based on the 1848 O.S. Epoch 1 mapping.

Ordnance Survey maps

Britain is probably one of the best mapped countries in the world, the Ordnance Survey maps provide a wealth of accurate information regarding the geography and topology of the country. Because of this anything on the maps is usually taken as unquestionably correct, this can be a mistake!    One area where the maps can be misleading is where text is not associated with a building, feature, or other object.  Sometimes text is positioned for readability.   A particular example of this occurs in Great Harwood - the 1848 map shows "Hindle Fold" in its correct location (see the mid-19th century map above), by 1892, however it had drifted to the South East and is shown to the North East of St Bartholemew's church, which is where it still appears to be in the 1996 Explorer 1:25,000 mapping.

Some observations on graphics formats

Building the maps used on the site has involved a number of steps, the last of which is the production of a file suitable for use on the Internet.   All the maps are produced using vector imaging as this allows much better editing than is possible with raster (bitmap) editors. Web browsers, however, do not provide much consistent support for vector images so it is necessary to produce a graphic for viewing or downloading. There is a choice of four formats which I could uses - GIF, JPEG, PNG and PDF.   After researching the formats I discarded JPEG, which is ideal for photographic images with many shades of colour but does not scale well without introducing distortion.  GIF images would traditionally have been used for line drawings such as maps, however the newer PNG format offers similar benefits with better control over the compression, so for embedded images I will be using the PNG format unless a GIF offers a smaller file size.   PNG and GIF do not offer any ability to zoom within the browser so the image must be a trade-off between screen size and text readability.

For the more detailed maps which need the capability to zoom and pan the image I will use PDF files as this format is widely supported by browser add-ons such as Adobe Reader. These files can be quite large but lines and text can be represented as vector objects allowing incredibly powerful zooming and thus the use of very small text for fine detail.


R Calvert
30 Octber 2011