Explore Your Archive 2016: Maps in Ceredigion Archives

Ceredigion Archives looks after many maps, both printed and hand-drawn – explore how the county changed over the centuries!

These early printed maps of Cardiganshire (ref. ACM) were recently donated to the Archives. Here are a few favourites from that collection.

  • This hand-coloured copy of Michael Drayton’s 1612 map shows rivers, forests, and hills, personified as water nymphs, huntresses, and shepherds. Michael Drayton is best known for his topographical poem The Poly-Olbion. This is a poet’s map.

Ref. ACM/4

  • The ‘ribbon’ maps of John Ogilby cover the whole of Britain and were published in 1698. Here is the final leg of the meticulously mapped route from London to Aberystwyth.

Ref. ACM/43 (detail)

  • A maritime map of 1801 shows the safe route into the harbour of Aberystwyth. Note that the town is depicted as still fitting within its walls.

Ref. ACM/83

Several original tithe maps are held at Ceredigion Archives and may be consulted here (Welsh tithe maps are also available online through the Cynefin project).

  • Enlarged part of Dihewyd Tithe Map (1845) showing the centre of the village, including the church and the pub. When we had this map conserved and restored, we blogged about it here.

Ref. Dihewyd TM (detail)

  • This beautiful map was drawn by William Couling in 1814, and is only one of many maps in a volume containing a survey of the parishes of Llanarth and Llanina.

Ref. ADX/176

Many maps are found within estate collections , either in printed sales catalogues produced when an estate is sold, or when surveys are commissioned by the estate owners.

  • From the Priory Estate (Cardigan) survey of 1884 comes this map of ‘New Mill & Lands’ complete with a list of fields and their acreages.
  • From the Hafod Estate Collection, this small map shows the lead-bearing lodes in the area of Bodcoll, Dolwen and Tyglyn.

Ref. H/D4/17

  • This hand-drawn map of ‘The Four Forests or Bishop’s Forests’ (1787) is the earliest known detailed map of the area which lies within the parish of Llanddewi Brefi near the border with Carmarthenshire. The cartographer, Thomas Lewis, also mapped the Gogerddan Estate and Llanfair Clydogau area; these maps are in the National Library of Wales.

Ref. ADX/1282 (detail)

Ordnance Survey and other later maps

Many other maps are available at Ceredigion Archives, both OS and otherwise. The main collections are:

  • OS Old Series maps, 1 inch/mile (1834)
Detail of OS Old Series (Colby) map, sheet LVIII, ref. LIB/1 (1834)

Detail of OS Old Series (Colby) map, sheet LVIII, ref. LIB/1 (1834)

  • OS County Series maps, 25 inch/mile: 1st edition (incomplete coverage); 2nd edition (most of the county); revision of 1937 (Aberystwyth and area only). Below are three successive views of Penparcau.
  • OS 6 inch/mile maps: 2nd edition (c. 1905) and Provisional Edition, overprinted with the national grid (1950s)
  • Various more recent OS maps from the Pathfinder and Landranger series (available in the searchroom)
  • Modern printed maps (usually based on the OS ones) by Bartholomew’s and other map publishers.

Ref. ADX/371

  • And finally, don’t forget the myriad maps contained in old tourist guidebooks!

Explore Your Archive in Ceredigion Archives!


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