Bath Historical Maps
Bath has a long and interesting history. Historical maps can give us a window into that history, letting us explore how the city has changed and grown over the years. The earliest historical maps of the city date to the 16th and 17th century (the "early modern" period).
Until recently the majority of these maps have only been accessible in offline archives or owned by private collectors. While some have been digitised they have not been made openly available, making it difficult for the majority of people to access them. Until now.
The British Library and B&NES council have recently published several digitised maps of Bath available online under an open licence. To make those maps useful and easy to explore we've aligned the old maps with their modern equivalents so that you can explore them using Google Earth. This means you can now explore maps dating from 1572 from your own computer.
We think this provides an amazing digital resource for local residents, teachers, historians or anyone with an interest in the history of Bath.
The following video provides a preview of what is now possible. As well as exploring individual maps to compare them with the model city, it is also possible to compare individual maps, providing a fascinating way to explore the development of the city.
Accessing the Maps
Firstly ensure that you have downloaded and installed Google Earth.
Using the links in the table below, you can now load individual maps to add them as Google Earth layers. We've also created a download for a that collects together all of the maps in a single Google Earth folder. This is the easiest way to load and explore all of the maps.
Choose a link below. If your browser simply downloads the link to the map file rather opening Google Earth then find your downloads folder and
double-click on the downloaded file (called
doc.kml) and it should then open up in Google Earth.
Tip: once you've loaded the maps into Google Earth, if you drag them from "Temporary Places" into "My Places" then they will be permanently saved and will be available to you next time you open Google Earth.
|All Maps||Recommended: all maps in a single Google Earth folder. Unfortunately this doesn't work in mobile versions of Google Earth.|
|1572||A Copy of Doctor Jones's VIEW of the CITY — of BATH. an it was Published in the Year MDLXXll.|
|1675||The Mineral Baths of Bath|
|1795||Map of Bath 1795 by C. Harcourt Masters|
|1818||A New and Correct Plan of the City of Bath Reduced from a Recent Survey|
|1852||Plan of the City and Borough of Bath and its Suburbs by J. H Cotterell|
|1885||Ordnance Survey map of Bath|
|1891||Map of centre of Bath published in "Our own country. Descriptive, historical, pictorial."|
|1942 Air Raid Damage||City survey of air raid damage following 1942 raids|
|1942 Bomb Sites||City survey of bomb sites following 1942 raids|
To add some extra context to the maps, you can also download this additional layer which contains historical videos, paintings and pictures.
Source Images and Data
The Bath Historical Maps dataset in the Bath:Hacked data store contains some additional metadata about the images, as well as pointers to the source images.
We've packaged up each map into an archive that contains the original image(s) and the georeferenced TIFF files used to generate the Google Earth overlays.
Developers may be interested to know that there are tilemap resource files available for each map, e.g. for the 1891 map. The additional configuration files to create a complete Tile Map Service will be added shortly.
The 1852, 1885, and 1942 maps are all published under the Open Government Licence v2.0.
The remaining maps were provided by the British Library and are in the public domain.