1872 OS Map

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In 1872, Chester still just about retained its roots as a walled town set in a defensive crook of the River Dee. Apart from a large Leadworks, and changing the course of the River Dee, the Industrial Revolution had comparatively little impact on the city. The town was a strategic railway junction and distribution centre, as well as a rolling stock maintenance depot. At either end of the city lie two large buildings, both workhouses. However, with the coming of the railways, the city has begun to expand beyond the confines of the City Walls, especially to the north. There is not yet much development to the south of the River Dee but that will come soon, as the 1852 Suspension Bridge has already been constructed.


The roots of Ordnance Survey go back to 1747, when Lieutenant-Colonel David Watson proposed the compilation of a map of the Scottish Highlands to facilitate the subjugation of the clans following the Jacobite rebellion in 1745. From 1850–53, twenty-nine towns were mapped at 1:528 (10 feet to the mile). From 1855 1:500 (10.56 feet to the mile) became the preferred scale. London and some seventy other towns (mainly in the north) were already being mapped at 1:1056 (5 feet to the mile). Just under 400 towns with a population of over 4000 were surveyed at one of these three scales, most at 1:500. Publication of the town plans was completed by 1895.

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